Queensberry Bay, East Coast, South Africa.
Dolphin Inn was designed and built in 1996-97 and the design allowed for five independent living areas. The construction was to be from Rammed Earth however due to local planning restrictions the technology was unable to be used. The building was constructed from double brick produced from local material. The building was positioned for the maxiumn solar orientation to allow for maxiumn light and heating of the five different areas of the house. The local climate is sub-tropical temperate with wet summers and dry winters. The local conditions do not require protection from extremes of heat and cold as the climate is benign. There is a main double volume area which is heated through a bank of windows shown in the pictures.
The floor was tiled concrete allowing for heating of the internal area through solar mass. All frames in the house were precast concrete. The top verandah was also precast concrete with inlaid decking tiles and sealant placed around the tiles. This verandah provided heating to the rooms below in the winter with large double doors in each of the three units below the verandah providing cooling in the winter. Water supply was from a local well supplemented with tank water which was fed back through the house with an electric pump. Solar power generated electricity was investigated at the time of construction however the cost was prohibitive. The three front units and the main communal area flow out onto a front Braii area (Barbecue area) giving a very communal feel to the house.