Committed to sustainability, architect Gerhard Breedt shares some advice for creating an eco-friendly patio

  • Literally green your patio with a vertical garden. Wall planters made from recycled or natural fibres are a great way to decorate your outdoor areas and are really eco-friendly, especially if you choose water-wise plants such as bromeliads and orchids.
  • If you want a timber deck, choose hardwoods like Balau, Massaranduba or Garapa from sustainable sources and leave the wood untreated. Another option is to use recycled composite decking.
  • Choose patio furniture made from timber sourced locally from sustainable forests. There’s a wide range of recycled fibre cane and bamboo furniture available. Bamboo can also be used for screening and ceiling finishes.
  • Use solar-powered garden lights and allow nature to save you money.
  • When painting, choose paints which are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals and other potentially toxic substances and have recyclable packaging.
  • If you’re building a new patio, it’s very important to consider the orientation and position of the new space. You don’t want to be facing the prevailing winds, but a bit of a breeze means you won’t need a fan, reducing your electricity usage.