Our location

Our campus is located approximately 7 km outside Paarl in the Western Cape on the Simondium (R45) road. The site is nestled between spectacular mountains and surrounded by orchards and vineyards. Our seasons are distinct, with cold, wet and stormy winters, dry and hot summers, fresh green springtimes and autumns dressed in the most vivid colours!

Our buildings and gardens are spread over 8 hectares, which gives us enough space to grow our own food, have unique and individual learning neighbourhoods, a communal area and sports field.

The buildings have been designed to allow for a calming, balanced, grounded environment in which children are always visually and emotionally connected to the natural landscape.

Ons ligging

Green School Suid-Afrika is ongeveer 7 km buite die Paarl in die Wes-Kaap geleë op die Simondium (R45) pad. Die kampus pronk tussen asemrowende berge en word deur wingerde en vrugteboorde omring. Ons seisoene is onmiskenbaar met koue, nat en stormagtige winters, droë, warm somers, vars, groen lente, en herfs getooi in die mooiste kleure!

Ons kampus strek oor 8 ha grond, wat ons genoeg ruimte gee om ons eie kos te groei, unieke en individuele leerbuurte vir kleuterskool, laer-, middel- en hoërskool te he, asook ‘n gemeenskaplike area en sportveld.

Al die geboue is ontwerp om ‘n kalm, gebalanseerde omgewing te skep waar kinders altyd visueel en emosioneel tot die natuurlike landskap verbind kan voel.

A campus for
inspired learning

Our school is surrounded by majestic mountains in an area that is celebrated for its rich plant life and natural beauty: close to Cape Town in the verdant Paarl-Franschhoek Valley.

Our campus was designed and constructed according to the gold standard of green design and building: the Living Building Challenge (LBC). The LBC requires buildings to be regenerative, not just zero footprint. This means that:

  • We are regenerative in terms of energy: we produce 105% of our own electricity consumption, giving to the grid and not taking from it.
  • We are regenerative in terms water: we use less water than what the site naturally gets per year from rainfall – so we give more to the river and groundwater aquifers than we take from it.
  • We are a zero waste-to-landfill site (which is quite tricky), and also take in waste from neighbours and the community and thereby have a net positive impact on waste to landfill.
  • We follow a strict ingredient list to ensure that no harmful chemicals are procured, and that there are no harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process of any item procured (think glue, markers, cleaning materials, etc).
  • We re-established endemic flora thereby positively contributing to the biodiversity not just of the site, but the area, with so many different types of bees, butterflies, and seeds spreading; and
  • We incorporate vegetable gardens, fruit forests, medicinal gardens and herbal corridors in our campus and our school day includes growing, caring for and harvesting – re-establishing our connection to the land and food.

'n Kampus gemaak vir
geinspireerde leer

Ons skool word omring deur majestueuse berge in ‘n gebied wat gevier word vir sy ryk plantlewe en natuurlike skoonheid: naby Kaapstad in die groen Paarl-Franschhoekvallei.

Ons kampus is ontwerp en gebou volgens die goue standaard van groen ontwerp en bou: die Living Building Challenge (LBC). Die LBC vereis dat geboue regeneratief moet wees, nie net geen voetspoor nie. Dit beteken dat:

  • Ons is netto positief in terme van energie: ons produseer 105% van ons eie elektrisiteitsverbruik
  • Ons is netto positief in terme van water: ons gebruik minder water as wat die terrein natuurlik per jaar van reënval kry – dus gee ons meer aan die rivier en grondwater akwifere as wat ons daaruit neem.
  • Ons is ‘n nul-afval-tot-stortingsterrein kampus (wat nogal moeilik is), en neem ook afval van bure en die gemeenskap in en het daardeur ‘n netto positiewe impak op afval na die stortingsterrein.
  • Ons volg ‘n streng bestanddeellys om te verseker dat geen skadelike chemikalieë aangekoop word nie, en dat daar geen skadelike chemikalieë in die vervaardigingsproses van enige item wat verkry word, is nie (dink gom, merkers, skoonmaakmateriaal, ens.).
  • Ons het endemiese flora hervestig en daardeur positief bygedra tot die biodiversiteit nie net van die terrein nie, maar die area, met soveel verskillende tipes bye, skoenlappers en sade wat versprei; en
  • Ons integreer groentetuine en vrugte boorde, medisinale tuine en kruie-paadjies op ons kampus, en ons skooldag sluit in die saai, versorging en oes van die plante  – die herstelling van ons verbinding met die grond en voedsel. 

A note from our architects

The Green School South Africa campus is spatially defined by Paarl Rock, the Drakenstein Mountains and Simonsberg. The spatial arrangement at a macro level is what inspired the space making at the site-specific scale, and down to the individual buildings and spaces between them.

The campus constitutes of various clusters of buildings, nestled in amidst orchards, vegetable gardens, meandering routes, landscaped terraces and spill-out spaces. A series of organic shaped ‘werf’ walls weave the individual clusters of buildings into a coherent whole, creating a world of passageways and spaces for learners to discover. While waterbodies are connected with ‘lei water’ channels that are gravity fed, both referenced from the vernacular, Cape Dutch Architecture. The positions of the different zones and buildings have been carefully considered, taking into account passive design principals, feng shui and the Living Building petals. The result being harmonious spaces where humankind and nature can reconnect.

To further enhance this idea, all buildings are constructed from naturally and locally sourced materials to integrate the object within its surroundings. These organic shaped buildings with large oversailing leaf-like roof structures, punched openings, bay windows, clerestory windows, textured screening elements, create enticing and playful spaces for children to engage and explore. 

'n Nota van ons argitekte

Green School Suid-Afrika, ‘n kontemporêre, innoverende en omgewingsvriendelike kampus vir leerlinge van voorskool tot matriek, geleë in die Paarlvallei,  word omring deur Paarlberg, die Drakenstein bergreks en Simonsberg. Hierdie makro konteks het tot n groot mate die vormgewing en ruimte-skepping van die ontwerp beïnvloed. Saamgegroepeerde geboue, vrugteboorde, groentetuine, buitelig amfiteaters en ‘n doolhof, skep saam interessante tussen-ruimtes waar kinders kan speel en leer.

‘n Netwerk van wandelpaadjies van herwinde boumateriaal, leiwater vore, lae werfmure van klip en kalk, verbind die verskillende geboue en buite ruimtes en bring die gevoel mee van ‘n reistog wat opwinding en nuuskurigheid ontlok. Deur die gebruik van verskeie materiale en argitektoniese elemente soos dekriet, kalk, werfmure en watervore word daar terug verwys na die omliggende kulturele landskap. Die materiaalgebruik, orientasie en passiewe ontwerpsbeginsels het die ontwerpe ook gedryf om gemaklike interne ruimtes te skep.

Al die elemente wat deelmaak van die Groenskool voldoen aan die ‘Living Building’ vereistes, wat maak dat dit die eerste skool in Afrika sal wees wat dié spesifieke sertifisering sal ontvang. Die kampus voldoen nie net aan die vereistes uiteengesit soos in die ‘Living Building Challenge’ nie, maar ook aan die goeie energie kwadrante van feng shui. Saam sorg dit vir harmonieuese ruimtes waar mens en natuur kan seevier.