Imagine spending lazy afternoons in dappled sunlight, eating watermelon and biltong and drinking Oros. To many, the notion that South Africa is one of the most beautiful and unique countries in the world might seem like a cliché that should only be proclaimed on postcards in tourist traps. Unfortunately for them, Century Property Developments considers itself a true ambassador of our amazing country with its diverse cultures – and we sincerely advocate the idea that our country’s beauty is something to be celebrated. . Our campaigns are centred on family values, as wholesome living sets the tone for Century Property Developments' uniquely South African lifestyle estates. The design of houses throughout all of Century’s lifestyle estates is driven by the South African climate and lifestyle. We pride ourselves on our particular architectural brand, inspired by historic farm-style architecture. We respectfully urge our homeowners to embrace this stance and offer assistance in guiding their aesthetic decisions towards an architecture that could be considered unique to Southern Africa. Scholars and academics might criticize this approach to architecture, but we endeavour to find and enhance the visual elements that make our South African architecture unique within the standardised global village.
Security is one of the cornerstones of all of Century Property Developments’ estates. At Century Property Developments, we firmly believe that every South African has the right to peace of mind when it comes to the safety and security of their homes and their families. In a recent property study by a major independent company, it was found that demand for gated communities is on the increase, both from a security and an investment point of view. Often, homes within a gated community are valued at almost double the value of comparable houses outside of the gated community in the same neighbourhood. All of Century Property Developments’ lifestyle estates are designed to provide a sense of personal freedom and expression while maintaining tight security measures for each and every resident and their families. Security is managed at the highest level, with state-of-the-art CCTV and access control systems, supported by highly trained and motivated manpower. Security is effectively and aesthetically integrated into the lifestyle of the residents so as to be non-intrusive, yet security controls are highly visible to the outside world. We aim to prevent an intrusion from occurring in the first place. As a standard, access to all of Century Property Developments' lifestyle estates is controlled 24 hours a day by highly trained, courteous security personnel. Perimeters are secured by four meter high reinforced concrete walls, topped with electric fencing and mounted CCTV cameras, in addition to being well lit and frequently patrolled. The entire collection of Century Property Developments’ various developments has been designed to set a new benchmark in secure living.
All of Century Property Developments’ lifestyle estates feature comprehensive, high-quality infrastructures consisting of a number of integrated lifestyle elements. These developments are not only the preferred estate address, but also the preferred choice for those who value living life to the full. In general, our lifestyle estates are places that defy the conventional. They are places where excellence is the standard and expectations are to be exceeded as a matter of course. Century Property Developments offers its residents a unique opportunity to live an environmentally conscious lifestyle whilst enjoying the benefits of a completely secure environment. Our urban designs are centred on the needs of a community as a whole. Family values and wholesome living set the tone for these uniquely South African lifestyle estates. They are viable, well- planned developments that will provide increasing asset values for purchasers and enhance the areas in which they are located.
Trees are fundamental to the ambience of any residential estate and, in essence, define its very nature. We see trees as the basis of wealth, character and integrity of any development.
By planting a selection of indigenous nectar- and berry-bearing species, we expect to attract and feed birds throughout the year. And through this, we anticipate that the property will take on new and interesting dimensions. Consideration has been given to evergreen or deciduous, fast-growing or slow-growing, flowers, fruits and foliage. The selection includes species that are not difficult to grow but are reasonably frost-hardy and drought-resistant.
Century Property Developments strives to create awareness around, love of, and - most importantly - wide acknowledgement for indigenous species amongst our residents. The landscaping, and especially the trees, due to their size, goes a long way to determine the overall aesthetic ambience of an estate.
With our indigenous landscaping policy, we hope to reinforce the uniquely South African nature of our estates, not to mention benefitting from the numerous additional advantages of planting indigenous trees as listed below:
- Attracts indigenous bird life.
- Frost resistance and well adapted to our highveld climate.
- Need only 10% of the water that exotic species use.
- Help to promote a uniquely South African aesthetic.
Century Property Developments is a property development company that shares certain design and aesthetic principals that are unique to the South African culture. Our goal is to embrace those elements that are unique to and that represent our beautiful South African culture. We firmly believe that our climate is conducive to a very specific style of architecture that is not commonly found in colder zones such as Europe and North America. We also believe that a strong synergy needs to be established between landscaping and architecture.
An aesthetics committee protects the integrity of each estate, and strongly encourages the use of materials in their natural state only. These materials are raw stone, exposed brick, plaster, glass, wood and steel. Paints are often limited to cement finishes and colours may only be earth-tones. Century Property Developments’ aesthetic principles do not relate to imported styles such as Georgian, Tuscan or Balinese houses. These tend to age quickly and bring about a general depreciation in value throughout the surrounding neighbourhood.
We find that this approach sets the scene for the indigenous stage that we provide for our investors. It also ensures a synergy between our landscape and the residential development.
“When we build, let us think that we build forever.
Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone;
let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for.”
The generally accepted definition of sustainable development is 'Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (WCED, 1987, Brundtland Report). In practice, this means living in harmony with the natural environment, considering the social, environmental and economic aspects of our decisions, and reducing our footprint by living a less energy-, water- and material-intensive lifestyle. Social sustainability is also important, and working towards a healthy and safe community is often interconnected with economic and environmental endeavours.
Home purchasers in any of Century Property Developments’ estates have a major role to play in making their houses and environment more sustainable. Through incorporating awareness of environmentally sustainable design principles and expressing such preferences to their architect, designers and builders can bring about significant change across the industry.
The main ways that homeowners can make a difference is through:
- Recycling of refuse
- Saving energy through the use of solar geysers and energy saving lighting
- Using passive design or 'green' architecture
- Storm water capture
- Responsible landscaping
In line with the “green” initiatives that have been planned, we will be striving for the implementation of long-term energy management. We truly believe that it is our moral obligation to start thinking not only smarter but ‘greener’ by introducing certain key initiatives that will ensure a minimal impact on the environment while simultaneously creating long-term cost savings.
A house built according to our sustainable housing guidelines will have a 40% lower carbon footprint than the average residential house in Gauteng. Our new Green Design Centre is situated in the Waterfall Country Estate Gatehouse and will house a wide variety of green products available on the market.
All marketing brochures and promotional flyers for Century Property Developments are printed on environmentally friendly stock. The producers of these papers have been certified by the government as being eco-friendly companies. The paper pulp is accredited as being 'Totally Chlorine Free' with the wood fibre carrying the Chain of Custody certification, as well as the Soil Association Woodmark. It is endorsed by both the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. It is also ISO 14001 certified, with special attention being paid to environmental issues such as energy conservation, shielding indigenous forests and protecting wildlife in the production of this stock. We would also like to encourage our clients to recycle brochures once they have served their purpose.
This programme was designed on the principles of exchange and is aimed at empowering our local communities to produce and supply their own indigenous trees, which carry great value towards the landscaping of our estates. The tree pilot programme involves a mutual understanding between Century Property Developments and a school from an informal background. As a pilot programme, it will initially be applied to two schools, with the full intention of expanding to more educational institutes in the area. The greater goal of the programme is to provide the schools selected for participation with a method of generating additional capital, which will be applied to the acquisition or upgrading of school equipment, and the establishment and improvement of educational systems.
The first part of the programme entails each school providing Century Property Developments with a 'wish list'. The wishes could be anything that would be considered ‘valuable’ to that particular school (something as simple as an organic vegetable garden or as complex as a new school bus, library, computer centre, etc.) After careful consideration, Century Property Developments will allocate a value, in points, to each wish.
During the next phase of the programme, the school is supplied with a tree propagation starter pack. This pack consists of the necessary elements required to complete the task. Seeds of indigenous trees will be included, along with planting instructions. Each starter pack will include compost or organic fertilizer, as well as additional tree food. A clear understanding of the nature of the particular trees will be generated through informative posters that clearly illustrate watering schedules, winter care programmes, seed identification charts and planting instructions (for self-perpetuation by the community). The starter pack will include seed trays and bags for transferring saplings. As an optional experience, the relevant schools are invited to the Century nurseries, where demonstrations and explanations take place.
After a period of no less than one year, the trees are presented to Century Property Developments, where they undergo an evaluation process and the value (in points) of each tree is determined. Once the school has met their target in points, Century Property Developments will provide them with their 'wish' in exchange for the saplings. A percentage of the trees will also be donated back to the schools for greening purposes. The schools are then encouraged to take initiative by propagating seeds from their own trees, and to exchange the saplings for further 'wishes'.