Buildings are said to be the biggest source of greenhouse gases in North America, not vehicles. Additionally, the building industry has been accused of being the largest contributor to global warming worldwide. With this knowledge firmly entrenched, a growing body of individuals, organizations and governments are taking a down-to-earth (literally) commonsense approach to the design, construction and operation of buildings, from humble cottages to skyscrapers – and encouraging all of us to go green.
But do you know why you should be aiming to build or buy a green-built home?
Hi Penny, I’m selling your advice regarding a boundary wall issue. We have a sea front corner plot for which we are currently finalizing drawings. The area has strict building guidelines. No building within 4m of the boundary and boundary walls must be a maximum of 800mm height. We went there last week to check something and saw that our neighbours to the right have raised the boundary wall to more than 2m. A section of it is 2.4m high and has a pergola roof resting on it to give an enclosed braai area. Neither ourselves nor the neighbour at the back were consulted. The high wall will cast shadows on our house to be. It also blocks sea view on the front side on two of the windows. Incidentally the wall now goes over the front boundary. Our property has devalued because if this. It is an illegal building from a few points of view- no approval from the controlling architect, none from the municipality and none from affected neighbors. They have also encroached into the green zone on the sea side. What is the best way to sort this out, go straight to a lawyer and request demolition and they must reinstate according to the guidelines? It is very disappointing to find out we have such an inconsiderate neighbour. He has devalued two properties by what he has done. Your advice would be appreciated.