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Stand 47
Monaghan Farm, Lanseria district, Gauteng

Karlien THOMASHOFF: Project Architect

Type:Show House


Can you use hi-tech light steel and drywall technology almost exclusively to build a luxury South African home that not only embodies the best qualities of design, but also remains adaptable over time (to be relevant to changing needs), resource efficient (less to build and less to run) and comparable to if not better than traditional building materials? This is the question that The Stand 47 Case Study aims to answer.


The idea behind Stand 47 is to explore the process of building a luxury house in South Africa using high-quality contemporary materials and construction techniques featuring Saint-Gobain drywall infill systems. While many examples of this type of construction exist internationally, there are few examples locally that demonstrate their effectiveness within the high-end residential market. The purpose of Stand 47 is therefore to:

  • demystify these materials and technologies,
  • document building a home in this way,
  • and lastly, to demonstrate the quality and benefits of the final product.

In conducting this exploration, the drive behind Stand 47 has evolved and not only includes building better, but also to building smarter, so that the house becomes a home that moulds around the long-term needs of a question-mark family and promotes feelings of calm, comfort, flexibility, health and safety.


While building Stand 47 would be able to explain and physically test our ideas, it was clear that in order to demystify the process (and in some cases realign some misconceptions about drywall homes) the actual building process would need to be public. We knew that people had to be part of the process of building the home to experience it themselves, in order to see that building a wall with dry-walling systems is at least equal to the look of a traditional brick house. However, construction sites are traditionally closed off to the public for practical safety reasons. Therefore, to reach the most people in a highly accessible way, a website ( was created that could track the development of the project from start to finish in four easy steps. These are:

  1. Accommodation Schedule - identifying the needs for the users and concept for the design
  2. Design - refining the details of the home to fulfill the vision of the concept
  3. Specification - select materials and technology to realise the design intention
  4. Construction - create the physical structure and test the theory and design

Together this sequence of four steps divides project progress into more manageable stages each with their own priorities. Perhaps most importantly, it serves as a basic model or framework from which any person interested in building their own home can approach its design and construction.


Location: Monaghan Farm, an eco-estate near Lanseria airport just north of Johannesburg

Site: Stand 47 is located on a North facing plot, covered by veld grasses and indigenous aloes. The house is sunk into a gently sloping site that falls 3m toward the East with extensive views toward the Magaliesberg valleys. Framed on the South by a line of mature trees, the site plan is defined by strict architectural guidelines set up by the estate aesthetics committee. With a maximum coverage of 1298sqm, Stand 47 may not exceed one storey and 1000sqm in size, and has 'earthy' external walls and roofs that do not increase visual bulk, but blend into the landscape.

Size of Stand: 3766m2

Size of House: 333m2 plus a 41m2 enclosed carport

Size of open plan living room and dining room: 68.5m2

Number of bedrooms: 4

Number of bathrooms: 3

*Special Features (Materials and Systems):*

  • Light Steel frame structure
  • Saint-Gobain Gyproc internal drywalls including Rhino Board, Activ' Air and Rhinolite
  • Saint-Gobain Webber external drywalls using the ETICS system
  • Saint-Gobain Isover insulation systems including Aerolite and Cavity Batt
  • Saint-Gobain floor insulation
  • Rhino Wood timber door and window frames
  • Intruderprufe Clear PVB Laminated Safety Glass double-glazed with a 6mm cavity
  • Photovoltaic panels with battery packs
  • Rainwater harvesting tanks
  • Integrated heat pump
  • Gas stove


Saint-Gobain (buildings systems and drywall materials)

Monaghan Farm (site)

Thomashoff + Partner Architects (architects)

Style Projects (main contractor -

Rhino Wood (timber supplier for door and window frames -

Amoretti (specialist Rhino Wood window and door Manufacturer -

Ample Power (photo-voltaic sub-contractor -

Ebony Design (furniture and fine art curators -

Submitted by Edna PERES
PhD Candidate
Department of Construction Economics
University of Pretoria

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.