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Conscious construction…

With cleverly thought out design and careful planning, the construction of the Tremearne family’s Elaleni home was cost-effective and sustainable … and the result is simply magnificent.

It took a dream team of talented experts to create this forest fantasy home, which was the first property to break ground and be completed in the lush Elaleni Coastal Forest Estate.
Matthew Chaplin of Jemstruct construction worked closely with his clients, Dane and Morgan Tremearne and the other service providers on this project, including top KZN architect, Julia Rutherfoord.

The external and verandah ceilings were made with bamboo reeds by a Zimbabwean ‘rusta’ from Pietermaritzburg who physically picked the reeds, wove theme together in panels and installed them.

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“They appointed a really good architect and Julia did a great job on the design in terms of positioning, style and comfort. Her designs are also very cost effective which is important. You can have a magnificent design, but at the end of the day it needs to be within budget,” says Matthew.

Not wanting to add aircons, the clients decided instead to install extremely classy ‘Oyster Box style’ fans from Global Lighting.

Staying within budget was a key factor in the build process too, he says, which is why they worked on a ‘cost plus management’ contract with their client. “Our clients knew exactly what they wanted. They paid all the building costs directly, with our help getting them the best prices possible.”

The internal tiles in the shower and bathroom floors are 25mm thick white terrazzo tiles, giving the bathrooms a very unique appeal.

With a helping hand from friends and family (Dane’s semi-retired dad Roy cut down the trees that were in foot print of the build, and they were able to dump excess soil from the steep slope on his sister’s plot down the road) the structure went up quickly and they finished the build in 10 months.



Matthew (pictured here with his children) started Jemstruct five years ago after gaining experience in fast track commercial projects, learning the trade of ceilings and partitions and working as a site foreman for a number of top construction companies. He worked on residential builds as well as large construction projects such as the revamp of Ballito Lifestyle Centre and apartments at Pebble Beach Sibaya.
Jemstruct offers building, renovations, ceilings and partitions and they do both large and small projects.  Details: www.jemstruct.com, 0767076842 Photo: Sam Maber

Text: Leah Shone | interior Photos: CHRIS ALLAN PHOTO

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