Architectural Guidelines

Architectural Guidelines

The Arabella Estate is located within an environmentally sensitive area adjoining the Bot River Estuary. An organic style of architecture has been adopted using natural materials, slate roofs and subdued earth colours in harmony with the surroundings. High standards of architectural and environmental quality will be maintained.

Environmentally sensitive design and energy efficiency should give emphasis to:
• Correct orientation of the house (see 2.4 below)
• Use of wide, low eaves and pergolas to shade walls
• Proper thermal insulation of roof areas
• Use of solar energy and solar boosted water heating
• Use of heat pumps for water heating and air conditioning

Download the full pdf document. Arabella Country Estate Architectural Guidelines

These Architectural Guidelines (“Guidelines”) establish the architectural character of the scheme and are in addition to local authority by-laws and the National Building Regulations.
The Home Owners Association reserves the right to make minor adjustments and amendments to the design standards, as incorporated in these Guidelines, as it deems necessary from time to time prior to the approval by the Local Authority.

Environmental design determinants

Sunshine occurs in this region for approximately 67% of daylight hours each year, averaging between a maximum of 10,5 hours per day during summer, and 6 hours per day during winter.
Optimum sun orientation for heat control is north with outdoor living orientated between northeast and northwest. Seasonal overheating occurs on the northwestern aspect of the building.
The most comfortable orientation for views and vistas varies between southeast and southwest. With the sun from behind there is no glare or reflection. Glare poses problems during sunny winter days with the sun low on the horizon.
Where properties have a road access from the north, with views to the south, it is recommended that the house be positioned on the site to have a sheltered north facing outdoor living space, as well as south facing outdoor space. Houses on properties having road access from the south should be built close to the road to provide a sheltered north-facing garden facing the golf course. Where properties have road access from the east or west, the house should be sited close to the south boundary, to provide a sheltered north-facing garden.
The prevailing winds are from the south to southeast during the summer months, and from the northwest during the winter months. Landscaping will reduce wind velocity at ground level, and buildings should form sheltered north facing outdoor spaces.
Typical of the Cape climate, most of the rain falls between May and September whilst the summer months are generally dry.
The site has a centrally located relatively flat plateau progressing into steep slopes to the south, east and west. The slopes vary between 1 in 12 and 1 in 6. This has specific design and site works implications.

The different parts of the site would each have a particular microclimate.
South slopes – these would tend to be cooler than the rest of the estate, and are also more exposed to the southerly winds. However, these slopes offer the best views of the golf course, lagoon and mountains in the distance. Special care needs to be taken with the design of units on south facing slopes to create wind sheltered north facing outdoor space while optimizing southerly views.
East and West slopes – the micro climates of east and west slopes are different from each other, with east slopes being warmer than south slopes, while west slopes are the warmest of all, as the sun shines on the west slopes during the overheated period of the day, which occurs during the afternoon. It is recommended that large picture windows should not face east or west, or if they do, there should be efficient sun protection such as sliding louvre doors and landscaping.

The estate is located in a natural biosphere reserve with a possibility of mosquito and midge irritation. Additional architectural design for protection may be advisable.

Siting Controls

The Home Owners Association will manage the Estate. All building work must comply with the approved plans and the requirements of the Estate Manager.
The residential area is zoned for single residential use only.
Maximum coverage is 50% of the site. This includes all roofed areas and is measured to the external face of the outside walls.

The maximum height of any residential building is 7.5m above natural ground level measured from the average height of the area surrounding the building (see also 3.7.1). The building must setback at an angle not exceeding 45 from the street boundary and 40 from the golf course boundary.
The primary view lines are indicated on each standard site plan to assist in the positioning and design of the house.
Building lines are predetermined for each site and are indicated on the relevant site plans. Certain sites have special building lines related to their shape or size. Generally building lines are 3m on the street boundary, 5m on the golf course boundary, and 2m on the side boundaries. The roof overhang may project over the prescribed building lines by 800mm.
The street building line is 3m within which no structures apart from garden walls, paved areas and steps may be built.
The street building line is 3m within which no structures apart from garden walls, paved areas and steps may be built.
A Building line of 2m may be exceeded by garages and carports with flat roofs (see also 4.2.2 below) built up to 800 mm from the side boundary with a total wall length not exceeding 8m and height not exceeding 3.0 m measured from finished floor level to the highest point. Floor level not higher than 300mm above natural ground level. Carports may be built on the boundary. No window or door opening allowed in walls nearer than 1 metre from any boundary. (see also 4.9.3)
The architecture of any building should be designed to minimise the visual impact on the golf course.
There is a building setback line of 5m along the golf course boundary. Within this 5m zone no terrace or retaining walls higher than 1m above natural ground level will be permitted and such walls are to be sloped at an angle not exceeding 40 towards the boundaries of the 5m zone. (see also 4.12)
Units designed for level erven cannot be used for sloping sites, as it would be an inappropriate environmental response, requiring expensive site works and possibly unsightly retaining structures and embankments.
Units on slopes must be designed with terraced levels in response to the topography and the ground floor may not exceed 0,8m above natural ground level. Floor levels to be indicated by temporary benchmarks or pegs with blue heads.
A Land Surveyor must confirm the levels and/or contours shown on the Site Plan of the proposed house.

Retaining structures must be in natural sandstone, earth-coloured, concrete or plastered and painted brickwork. Limited use of earth-coloured retaining blocks may be made. Adequate and effective structural waterproofing and ventilation must be provided for underground rooms, cellars or storage.

Architectural Design Controls

The elemental composition of the building shall be a clearly articulated horizontal ratio of a roof zone and, a glazed/solid wall zone. Any loft space should not exceed 30% of the ground floor area excluding the garages. The upper accommodation must form part of the overall roof design and not be presented as a double storey building.

The roof should be double pitched and simple in shape. Single pitched roofs may be permissible in certain instances. Roofs may be hipped or gable ended and must extend over the external walls. Lofts must conform to the restrictions in 4 above. Upper walls (except gable ends) and dormer construction must be clad in slate, glass or horizontal timber shiplap boarding. The shiplap boarding must be painted three shades darker than the lower walls

Roof material must be a natural slate to approved colour. No other materials shall be allowed. Mono-pitched roofs with full height side and gable walls are discouraged and require clerestorey glazing if utilized.

Flat roofs (with an angle less than 7º) must be limited in extent, and may not exceed 40m2. These could be used for garages and bathrooms. All flat metal roofs must be finished in a non-reflective paint.

Eaves may be closed or open. Maximum height above finished floor level is not to exceed 2,8m. Hipped roofs to project over the walls by a minimum of 800mm and a minimum of 400mm for gable-end roofs. The overhang may be reduced to accommodate architectural features and projections within the building line, these may not constitute more than 15% of the total eaves perimeter. Colour of fascia as per display sample.

Because of the wide eaves, gutters are optional. Where not used, provision must be made for a splash apron to dissipate the water. Storm water may be dispersed over the golf course depending on the soil conditions.

Gutters should be concealed either within the roof or behind fascias and the connector branches to the down pipes must be concealed within closed eaves. Down pipes must be mounted flush on walls and match the colour of the external wall. Any external gutter must conform to the sample retained at Arabella Estate Office.

Walls must be plastered and painted. Plinths of stone or textured plaster may be used. No face brick or semi-face brick or exposed concrete blocks may be used.
High-quality burnt clay bricks laid fair face with flush joints and skim plaster of high quality may be allowed after written application and approval by the Home Owners Association. A display sample is to be seen at the estate office.
(See also 4.12)
Window frames must either be in timber, anodised/powder-coated aluminum, or a combination of the two. Window frames must be in terms of the prescribed colour range and to approval by Arabella Estate (grey, brown, bronze and natural). No steel window frames or precast concrete window systems may be used. Reflective glazing is not allowed. (see also para. 4.16). Non-reflective tinting will be allowed

Doors facing the street must be in natural timber with or without glass inserts or sidelights.

Shutters may be used for sun control and/or privacy. Shutters must either be in aluminum or timber to match the colour of the window frames. Shutters must be of the horizontal sliding variety. No cottage or Cape Dutch type shutters may be used.

Gates and screens must either be in natural or painted slatted hardwood. No creosote treated timber may be used that is visible.

Burglar Bars and Safety Doors are discouraged and any exceptions will be considered by the Committee.

Balcony and verandah balustrades must be in keeping with the architecture of the house, and must either be in natural or painted hardwood or metal and/or glass to comply with approved colours. Brickwork balustrades must have a timber or metal handrail.
Balconies within the pitched roof must be fronted in slate. Those on gable ends must be fronted with balustrades. Balconies must not exceed 30m2 in total area.

Pergolas must be constructed in natural hardwood and supported on either timber, brick or natural sandstone columns. Brick or stone columns may not be less than 345mm2 and are limited to the ground floor only. Pergolas to balconies at loft level must be in timber. Decks and terraces may be constructed beyond the building line provided they are no higher than 1m above the natural ground level. Pergolas may be constructed beyond the building line but may not be covered or closed in at any stage. See 4.9.3

Sun control shall be by means of a wide overhang, shutters or planting. No clip-on aluminium or canvas awning systems may be used over windows or doors. A horizontal sliding canvas system for patios and pool decks is allowed. No brightly striped canvas may be used.

Parking for three cars must be provided on each erf.

A maximum of one double garage may be built per erf. Garage doors must be in natural timber.

Carports must have a flat-pitched translucent roof that is hidden behind a timber fascia. Supports must either be in big timber sections or brick columns. The sides may be trellised and planted with creepers. Patented prefabricated carport systems may not be used. See 4.8.3

Kitchen yards with access from the street – must be provided and be enclosed with a fence or wall on all sides. Wash lines, garbage bins and gas containers may not be visible from either the road or golf course.
Privacy – It is a recommendation that outdoor living areas such as pool decks and terraces should as far as possible be positioned such that the building shelters it. Additional walls and fences may be erected to secure privacy, provided these comply with the guidelines in respect to walls and fences.

Orientation – It is recommended that outdoor living spaces are oriented to the benefits of sun, wind, shelter and views as covered in full under the climate section. (See 2.1, 2.2.3 and 2.4)

Construction – Materials and finishes must match those of the house.

Private gardens – must be managed and maintained by the owner or his appointee. Plants must comply with the Landscape Architect’s approved plant list available from the Home Owners Association.

As a general rule boundary walls are not encouraged. However, where it is a matter of privacy such as around swimming pools, boundary walls may be built according to the following guidelines:
Plastered and painted walls may be built on the street boundary for a distance not exceeding 50% of the length of that boundary. The height of the boundary wall may not exceed 1.8m above N.G.L.
Along the side boundaries, behind the street building line, timber picket fences may be erected as an alternative to plastered and painted brick walls. The height may not exceed 1.8m above N.G.L. and it may not project beyond the golf course setback line.
No wall or timber fences are permitted on the golf course boundary. Where approved steel fences are used e.g. securing swimming pools, planting along this fence must conform to the landscapers approved plant list.
Boundary walls and fences must be approved by the Home Owners Association before being submitted to Kleinmond Municipality for approval.
Chimneys – These must be important elements in the architectural composition and it is recommended that each house has a chimney as an architectural focus.

Material – Chimneys must be built in natural sandstone laid in a horizontal random pattern. Sandstone to be between 60 to 150 millimeters in thickness.

Cowls – Wind cowls must be made of a non reflective/non-corrosive material.
Height – In terms of efficient operation, chimneys should be higher than the nearest ridge however the chimney height may be varied at the discretion of the architect, provided that the responsibility for its proper function will be his.

Filtration Units – Only salt water filtration systems may be installed. These may not be visible from the road, golf course or adjacent properties. Filtration units must be hidden behind a plastered and painted brick or stone wall. Backwash pipes to be connected to the sewerage system of the dwelling.

Safety – Pools and safety fences must comply with SABS 0400/DD4. Safety fences within the 5m zone must be in painted steel. Colour – dark green. 1.2m above natural ground level (see also 3.6.3). Elsewhere on the erf plastered and painted walls, timber and safety glass may be used. All of the above must conform to SABS 0400/DD4. Walls and fences may not exceed 1,8m above natural ground level (NGL). Elevations of these walls and/or fences must be shown on the building plans submitted for approval.

Planning – Pools must be constructed to local authority approval. As per South African Standard SABS 0134-1997 Code of Practice for “The safeness of private swimming pools”, pool nets and covers are not considered as providing adequate safety on their own and may only be used in conjunction with the standard pool safety fence.
Capacity – Pool capacity may not exceed 60 000 litres, irrespective of pool size.

Size – House numbers and letters must be acceptable to the H.O.A. and not be smaller than 80mm or larger than 160mm.

Position – House numbers must either be placed on the house or on the garden wall in a visible position and lit at night.

Post boxes – Post boxes at the houses will not be required, as there will be a central post box facility.

There are, in principle, no constraints on interior design, however the use of white as a colour is discouraged when viewed from the exterior. White curtain linings, shutters and blinds present too harsh a view in relation to the earthy colours approved for the exterior and must not be used.
Paving within the street building line shall be either in concrete or brick pavers to match what is used at road intersections. Materials and colours must be to approval of the Estate Manager (see also 4.19 Electrical Supply).
External colours must reflect soft subdued earthy tones such as ochre, sandstone, beige, grey and autumn shades. Bright and contrasting colours must be avoided. These include red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, pink and black.

A range of approved colours will be available at the estate office.
Plaster bands, window sills may be painted two tones darker than the colour of the walls for approval by the Committee.
• A sample within that range will be chosen
• M2 to be painted on the house
• Estate manager to approve

Repainting of houses to be approved by the Estate Manager.

All external colours must conform to the display samples kept in the Estate Manager’s Office.

Exposed plumbing is discouraged, however, if used it must not be visible from either the road or the golf course.

Position of satellite dishes and aerials must be positioned to approval of the Estate Manager and painted the same colour as the walls where visible

Refuse bins must be hidden behind walls or structures.
Air conditioning and Heat Pumps
Air conditioners or heat pumps may NOT be visible from the street, the golf course or neighbouring properties.

Alternative Energy Saving Products
Installation of environmentally friendly, alternate energy saving products will be encouraged. Consideration will be given. Application form from the Estate office to be submitted for approval on an individual basis.

Solar Panels
Solar Heating panels must be placed flat against the north facing roof slope and may not have external tanks. Freestanding solar panels on flat roofs are not permitted. Pipework on the roof must be black and on walls the same colour as the wall

Electrical Supply
Property owners must comply with the Standard Conditions of Electrical Supply as issued from time to time by the Estate Manager. Only 60 amp single phase electricity supply can be guaranteed. Provide three 110mm diameter PVC conduits under the paving that crosses the sidewalk. Conduits to be at 600mm below NGL.
New legislation for houses exceeding the market value of R750 000 will be affected by new legislation – (see Department of Minerals and Energy – Electricity Regulations Act 2006)

External Lighting
To avoid light pollution and light nuisance external lighting should be low voltage and energy efficient. External lighting for houses and gardens must be subdued (+/- 1 lux) and be directed downward (or upward) to prevent glare and to avoid throwing light onto neighbouring property. Lights should not be set higher than 1200mm above ground level.

All external equipment, generators, pool pumps, etc. should be enclosed to ensure that noise levels are within legal controlled limits.

The Guidelines
These guidelines do not absolve the house owner from complying with the National Building Regulations and the requirements of the Local Authority. Approval by the Home Owners Association does not absolve the owner from complying with the standards set by the Architectural Guidelines.
All building plans for new work as well as for alterations to existing structures must be prepared by Professional Architects registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession. Completed plans are to be submitted to GAPP Architects & Urban Designers at 150 Longmarket Street, Cape Town together with the requisite scrutiny fee payable to the Arabella Country Estate Home Owners Association.

GAPP Architects and Urban Designers have been appointed by Arabella as the Consulting Architects and will examine these plans and make recommendations in regard to approval, interpretation, exceptions and waivers.

Only after approval by the Home Owners Association must the owner submit these plans to the relevant local authority (Kleinmond). Approved plans must be acted upon within 12 months or approval will lapse and have to be sought again
The site must be protected during construction by a 1.5m high shade-cloth fence firmly fixed along all boundaries.

During construction the Building Contractors Code of Conduct must be followed and on completion Certificates must be obtained confirming compliance with the Architectural Guidelines and the Building Contractors Code of Conduct. A Certificate of Occupation must also be granted by the municipal authority.

It should be noted that these updated Guidelines have resulted from an evaluation by Arabella Country Estate of houses designed and built to date. Modifications have been introduced to further clarify the intent and character of the original concept. Certain design features of existing buildings that were approved and built before the above date may not be used as precedent nor may the previous guidelines, illustrations and sales literature be used to justify departures. Any plan submitted after August 2012 is obliged to comply with these updated Guidelines.