Our focus is on land and ecosystem restoration - going beyond sustainability to create thriving, abundant and resilient landscapes.
We work on a wide variety of projects - from large scale land and water restoration projects, to farm regeneration, and ecological building designs.
As long as your priority is to create something deeply rooted in the principal of caring for the earth - we can assist you.
WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU - OUR SERVICES
A masterplan is the conceptual design of the entire property. This plan includes all main systems and components, buildings as well as the necessary infrastructure. The masterplan design integrates all the various design components seamlessly. It typically includes: access roads and circulation pathways, earthworks, water retention and water distribution infrastructure, buildings, different planting and growing areas, forestry, animal systems and waste management areas.
We will design a masterplan for your property based on your specific requirements and goals and the characteristics of your property.
Water retention features are essential to increase water infiltration and improve the hydrology of the land. The main goal of these features is to slow down water and circulate it throughout the property. Most of these techniques require earthworks. But once correctly implemented they become the foundations of your living systems. Life will thrive under the right hydrological conditions. These features range in scale and complexity from earthen ponds and dams to terraces, from infiltration basins or trenches to rain gardens or mulch basins.
We will assess your goals and requirements as well as your property and will advise you on the appropriate techniques for your project. We will design and plan the various features for implementation.
Water Harvesting & Storage
Water harvesting techniques allow you to collect and store water for various uses, from drinking to domestic water or irrigation. Water can be harvested from streams, dams, springs, roofs or hard surfaces such us paved areas or roads. Water storage can be provided in the form of open water bodies such as ponds or dams, purpose built water tanks or prefabricated tanks. Depending on the quality of the water harvested, the storage and the intended use, the water may require certain level of filtration.
We will assess the water requirements and water harvesting potential of the property. We will then develop a plan to harvest, store and biologically filtrate, if required, the necessary volume of water.
Land & Ecosystem Regeneration
The health of an ecosystem is generally based on three pillars and all three pillars are interdependent. The first pillar is water, without water there is no life. The amount of water required depends on the type of ecosystem and the health of the other two pillars. The second pillar is soil, a healthy soil has the ability to infiltrate and retain water as well as retain and provide the necessary nutrients for biology to thrive. The third pillar is biological diversity. The more diversity in an ecosystem the more resilient and productive the ecosystem is.
We will assess your land and ecosystem health and we will provide solutions to optimise the three pillars.
Ecological buildings are buildings with low environmental impact that contribute positively to the immediate environment. They are characterised by three components. One is the manner in which they are built, using materials with low environmental impact and non toxic materials with consideration to their reuse-ability or recycling potential. The second component is their energy requirements. Ecological buildings are designed to have a very low energy input. This is achieved by considering the specific climatic conditions of the site in the design of the various components. The third component is the building integration with the rest of the property. The building can provide a positive impact by providing additional water resources, organic nutrients to improve soils or providing a medium for plants and other biology to grow.
We will consider all three components of an ecological building in our designs.
Water & Waste Re-use
Water and organic matter are valuable resources for any ecosystem. Directing these resources within the property can boost the three pillars of the ecosystem health. Organic waste can be easily process into soil amendments through composting, vermi-composting, bokashi fermentation or through animal systems as feed. Waste water, mainly grey water, can be easily treated biologically and used to improve the hydrology of the land. There are various techniques available for treatment and infiltration depending on space availability, soil, climatic conditions and maintenance requirements. Black water -from toilets- can also be treated biologically. The viability of this option will depend on local regulatory requirements as well as space availability for the necessary larger treatment area.
We will assess the estimated water consumption and disposal, the property characteristics and your requirements and we will develop a design plan to re-use these resources.
Food Production & Animal Systems
Food production and growing areas are also driven by the three pillars described under Land and Ecosystem Regeneration, namely: water, soil and biodiversity. However, these areas typically require a different management approach. It is therefore essential that the location, size and planning of these areas are aligned with your goals, aspirations and intended management. These areas typically include: kitchen gardens, herb & medicinal gardens, main crop areas, specialised growing areas, greenhouses, perennial gardens, polytunnels, nurseries, water gardens, rice paddies and more.
Similarly, animal systems will require specific infrastructure depending on the type of animals. Consideration of it's location and size is also essential to ensure full integration within the system and optimise the required management.
We will assess your requirements and goals and we will plan the necessary areas to be fully integrated within the overall system.
Forestry systems are powerful features that bring many advantages to the entire ecosystem. Trees are the ultimate soil builders. They provide a large amount of exudates for soil microorganisms as well as a large amount of organic matter. Their roots provide aeration and soil structure allowing water to better infiltrate. They also provide a large amount of transpiration which moderates ambient temperature and humidity, they act as screens against winds and they provide shade, essentially creating a microclimate. Trees provide a home to a diverse range of organisms, they are perennial and their long term lifespan gives resilience and stability to the entire ecosystem.
There are many types of forestry systems. From food forests, dominated by fruit producing trees with some supporting species to timber or charcoal production forests. Indigenous forests with a diverse range of flowering trees can support pollinators. Forests can also be a combination of all the above and they can be fully integrated to support other growing areas.
We will assess your goals and requirements and we will plan the various types of forestry systems and their integration with the overall system.
Step 1- Brief Development & Goal Definition
A project can only be successful if it meets your goals and requirements. It is essential that we discuss these so there is a clear understanding of what the project is trying to achieve and what your expectations are.
This first step is all about setting the foundations of the project. If you are unclear as to what needs to be included or even what your specific goals are, we can assist you.
We have developed a methodology to help you brainstorm your aspirations for the project and determine what goals the project should pursue. We will then help you to determine what systems and components are more suitable to your specific requirements.
Step 2- Observation & Design
In this step we develop our design proposals and workshop them with you. But before we start our design process we need to learn about the specifics of your local area, your site and everything that lives in and around it. This is what we call the observation process. The observation is carried out through site visits and via desktop research. We cover from climatic and geological data to existing structures, views, neighbours, water, soils and biology.
Only once we have completed the observation process we commence with the design. We then develop the preliminary design ideas and we brainstorm and workshop them with you. Lastly, we develop the concept design in more detail.
We often schedule the site visits, preliminary ideas development, brainstorming and workshops with you, back to back, so we can undertake these in one single trip over various days.
Step 3- Implementation
The implementation stage is the construction and installation of the design and features. This is an essential step for the success of the project. Although we try to be as rigorous with our design as possible, working with natural systems often result in many unknowns only becoming apparent once the implementation works commence. Therefore, often design decisions have to be made during the implementation process.
We supervise and manage the implementation works to ensure that all design decisions are in line with the agreed design, your expectations and your goals.
We can also assist you in the procurement of the necessary materials and equipment, as well as with the appointment of third party contractors if required.
HOW WE WORK - OUR METHODOLOGY
At Wild Banana Design, we are focused on creating the best client experience we can offer.
What does that mean?
Well for us, it means creating a highly interactive and collaborative design process so that we design alongside our clients, not for our clients.
Why do we think this is important?
Land, farms, homesteads and self sufficient properties are complex - that is what gives them the incredible ability to create diverse and abundant ecosystems. It is critical that the client’s ideals and lifestyle are integrated into the system and its design.
During the design process, we host a series of design workshops with the client - so that they are always fully on board with the design decisions being made.
We believe that this is the only way to ensure that the client is deeply satisfied with the end result, and to create systems and spaces that thrive and only get better over time.