Sunplace Lodge Green Tourism & Training

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Sunplace Lodge Green Tourism & Training: Building on Sunshine!

Hartbeespoort, South AfricaSouth Africa
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Scaling strategies launched within the past 6 months:
Trainings, Consultation
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

100% Green Tourism venue, offers educational tours to school groups and show casing various forms of an alternative lifestyle for the promotion of sustainable development. This is how Green Tourism should look like!

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all household buildings/accommodation facilities/offices could function in such a sustainable way as ours?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Energy (and water) security, therefor planning for the future and avoiding being dependant on an unstable and polluting national energy grid, built on coal firing. This project is a showcase of how one can cover many areas of supplying yourself with green energy, own water, as well as luxuries like underfloor heating!

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Since 2008 through electricity restrictions, South Africa became aware that we are in short supply of electricity from our national grid. Since then electricity prices have sky rocketed and recently ESKOM has announced that they are financially bankrupt. With our abundant sunshine here, it makes perfectly sense to invest in renewable energies for securing your own energy needs, as well as move away from polluting systems that are also unreliable. We not only take care of using green energy for our needs (solar PV, solar thermal for hot water and underfloor heating) but also our waste by recycling, feeding our bio-waste to a worm farm and recycling our waste water for re-use to flush toilets and watering of non-edible garden.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Some of the activities of an Educational, inter-active tour of Sunplace Lodge to demonstrate the following: 1. Use of only solar (photovoltaic panels) for electricity generation (integrated into building and also on roof) 2. Use of solar vacuum tubes for heating of water 3. Batteries and electronics for storage and conversion of electricity to household currency, also for managing of system 4. Difference between our system (island system) that's not connected to Eskom's grid and a Network connected system, explained 5. Passive design of buildings as to minimize the need for external systems (i.e. heaters and air conditioners) for regulating the ambient temperature for body comfort Continue underneath

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

6. Bio-gas system and a "wetlands" system for cleansing of used water so it can be used as recycled water to irrigate the non-edible garden 7. Waste recycled methods in place here, as well as worm box for making good compost 8. Solar cookers in use - one will be set up as demo when tour starts so guests can have cooked sausages at end of tour 9. Rainwater collection, our only means of water supply, with tanks and dams positioned all over the premises to catch water from the rooftops.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

By informing and show casing the above, we create "Change Agents" and Duplicators for a better environment.
Funding: How is your project financially supported?: 
individual donations or gifts - 1%
earned income (product or services sales, licensing, franchising, consulting, financing, etc.) - 95%
other - 4%

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Since 2017, it became a Tourism venue, creating an income.

Founding Story

Over the next four decades, the Holms showcased their house and sustainable lifestyle to anyone interested and open days were held where people could visit and learn more about this lifestyle. It came naturally then that Henning Holm, also an architect by profession and later specializing in alternative energy strategies, followed in his father’s footsteps to build Sunplace Lodge as an example of what can be achieved in the field of sustainable commercial design in the built environment and green tourism. The entire project is running on environmental conscious activities, making this a bigger, more evolved version of the original family home to become the manifestation of a family’s dream not just for show casing what can be achieved.


Henning Holm: owner and managing director of "Holms and Friends" & Sunplace Lodge. Architect and Energy Specialist consultant, both in South Africa and Germany. Thea Holm: co-owner "Holms and Friends". Environmental Educator and ESD Expert, living in Germany since Sept 2017. Co-ordinating schools projects between SA & Germany. Andrew Ngoma: ex Science & Maths teacher. Freelancing for "Holms & Friends" for Educational Tours at Sunplace Lodge.