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The Reeds at Balgowan: 
 Eco-Estate in The Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal

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The Reeds at Balgowan exemplifies the spirit of “UbuntuLiving” with unique, enviro-sensitive homes built to stay in harmony with nature. Celebrating the bio-diversity of KwaZulu-Natal’s picturesque Midlands Meander, The Reeds is a verdant, forested nature reserve featuring internationally acclaimed architectural designs that blend into the landscape and maximize active living in a pristine outdoor setting.

Just a short drive from South Africa’s most prestigious private schools, the 44-hectare eco-estate is located close to the N3 motorway from Johannesburg to Durban, overlooking the valley around Nottingham Road with sweeping views to the Drakensberg Mountains. Homeowners can enjoy the serenity of trout-filled dams, abundant hiking and mountain biking trails, and the solitude of walks through adjoining indigenous and commercial forests.

Nine free-hold plots of 2,000 square meters are on the market priced from R1.5 million to R1,8 million. The first 380 square meter model home has been completed, along with a security gatehouse to provide controlled access to the properties. An estate architect, on-site project manager, and green building team are available to new owners seeking to develop plots within the Eco-Estate guidelines. Read more…

Award Winning, Green Building Design…

The Reeds first custom, luxury home is now ready for viewing with quality, enviro-friendly materials used throughout the interior and decking areas. Subdued earth-tone colors are combined with rich natural woods, contemporary concrete structures, high-beam ceilings, airy decks, contemporary fixtures and well-positioned lighting. The home also features energy efficient appliances, tasteful shutters for privacy, full-vista windows, floor heating, comfort zone fireplace, and a state-of-the-art home security and property surveillance system linked to a nearby armed-response unit based in Balgowan. Read more…

The Reeds Cause Campaign…

Property developer Donovan Neale-May, a Rhodes University alumnus, will contribute 10 percent of the net proceeds of any property transaction in The Reeds at Balgowan eco-estate to provide Rhodes University scholarships. Read More...


The Reeds at Balgowan nature estate development is now infrastructure ready and open for both building stand and model home purchase. It features:

o Breakthrough, award-winning, eco-friendly home designs that challenge architectural traditions and colonial values in The Midlands of South Africa.
o Original concept created by California architect and South African expatriate Stan Field, who was schooled at the University of Cape Town.
o Design localization and construction optimization done by Marita Nell of Elements Architecture, the site architect and a green building innovator at Stellenbosch University.
o High-end estate homes that sit in harmony with nature just minutes from the N3 highway at Balgowan and very close to the well-known Boshoek Golf Estate near Curry's Post.
o Set on a pristine KwaZulu nature-preserve with inspiring forest, dam and mountain vista outlooks in the heart of The Midlands Meander, a relatively easy drive from both Durban (90 minutes) and Johannesburg.
o Bold, contemporary styling and clean, modern aesthetics that will appeal to urban transplants seeking a rural refuge. Close to South Africa's best private schools (Michaelhouse, Hilton College, Cowan House, St. Anne's Diocesan College).
o Eco-friendly, low profile footprint blends into the landscape and maximizes outdoor living in an enervating climate and peaceful, secure retreat location.
o Ideal for those seeking luxury living, combined with an active, outdoor lifestyle; close to the Drakensberg Mountains (the highest mountain range in South Africa), freshwater fishing, horse back riding, birding, as well as mountain bike and hiking trails.
o Unique site footprint, spectacular high-ceilinged interior, refined and elegant finishing, as well as tasteful furnishings, artwork and aesthetics are a feature of the first model home.
o Expansive indoor space and outdoor deck and entertainment areas with over 200 square meters of decking and 380 square meters of spacious living.
o Extensive use of local materials, including stone, glass, concrete, steel, as well as African Panga-Panga (interiors) and South American Balau woods (decks).
o Luxury interior fittings, large sliding doors and shutters, as well as energy efficient appliances combined with in-floor heating powered by solar roof panels.

The Nature Estate:

o Not fenced to allow natural migration and movement of wildlife; all services underground to maintain the integrity of the natural setting.
o Excellent security provided by topography and geo-setting supplemented by fully staffed security gatehouse, motion detection systems, and armed, rapid response security patrols.
o Architectural guidelines protect the indigenous forests on, and adjoining, the estate, as well as visual integrity of The Midlands landscape, especially the hills overlooking Balgowan Valley.
o Excellent water quality from aquifers and spring supplying the dams; boreholes, storage tanks and new regional water line ensure water supply to homes on the estate.

Green Building Ethos:

o Structure is designed to be cool in summer by preventing the sun to enter the spaces during the day. Cross-ventilation allows summer breeze to flow over the interior cement floor (Cemcrete), cooling the air as it moves through the space and eliminating the need for air conditioning.
o Large floor-to-ceiling, adjustable shutters act as an additional control mechanism to direct airflow and block out or allow sun into the home as needed.
o Home architecture allows solar light and warmth penetration deep into the living spaces during winter days, heating up the well-insulated cement floor, which then warms the house during the night.
o Passive heating mechanism will assist the radiant, under-floor heating system (water circulating in under-floor pipes heated by an energy efficient heat pump and solar roof panels).
o High ceilings insulated with accredited sustainable material made from recycled plastic bottles further assist the passive heating and cooling mechanism described above.
o Hot water supply for the house is powered by solar power; water line length from geyser to bathrooms and kitchen was minimized in distance to ensure efficient delivery of hot water and minimize water wastage.
o Energy efficient lighting throughout the house, as well as latest technology in energy efficient appliances including energy saving gas/electric stove.
o Low maintenance environmentally friendly exterior finishes; where possible construction material was sourced from the immediate area. This includes stone cladding sourced from a quarry nearby, reed ceilings under roof projections harvested from the area, and concrete used in the structure left natural and sealed, not painted.

Interior Aesthetics:

o All timber furniture manufactured from African hardwoods sourced from sustainable, managed forests (Forest Stewardship Council).
o External furniture made from recycled materials and recycled plastics manufactured in the area.
o Interior accessories and fittings mainly purchased from craftsmen and designers in The Midlands Meander, and are made from local and natural materials found in South Africa.
o All art is being acquired from local artists, photographers and craftsmen.
o Interior fittings, furniture, linens, carpets, rugs, tapestries and kitchenware come from tribal, traditional and modern design studios, weavers and custom manufacturers based in KwaZulu and other parts of South Africa.


o Prices for 2,000 square meter stands range from R1.5 million to R1.8 million; the fully furnished model home is on the market for R6.8 million (plus VAT) and plans are available for construction of other uniquely situated homes on the eight remaining lots.

Local Contacts:

Peter Greene
27 82 556 3674
Meander Real Estates
Gowrie Village
Nottingham Road, KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa
Tel: 27 33 266 6456
Fax: 27 33 266 6089
Email: [...]

Rob McKenzie
27 84 587 0962
Property Consultant
Pam Golding Properties
R103, Midlands Medical Centre
Nottingham Road, KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa
Tel: 27 33 266 6000
Fax: 27 33 266 6942
Email: [...]

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