#8 Peter McIntosh – Tipping Point in Cape Town

Natural building in the home of natural building

Peter McIntosh is a natural builder from South Africa with almost 20 years’ experience off the grid.

This conversation could be the beginning of more to come. We talk about the reality of regular projects and how to work within the mainstream.

Peter McIntosh started building with natural materials in 1999 when he built his own off the grid, earth-sheltered straw-bale house. For 10 years he embarked on a career as a natural builder working with South Africa’s top green architects across the country with the full range of natural materials and techniques. This experience gave him the ability to make decisions based on what is the most appropriate for each given site with regard to available materials, the triple bottom-line of sustainability, client needs and climate. 

In 2010, Peter shifted his focus to training, mentoring and building the profile of natural and sustainable building in southern Africa. To this end he facilitates CPD accredited natural building courses under the auspices of the Natural Building Collective. Realizing that sustainability is about economy and social justice as much as it is about ecology Peter has been exploring the value of alternative building materials including tyres, glass bottles and eco-bricks (plastic bottles stuffed with plastic waste) since 2014. Recently he’s set his sights on social development and innovation within the industry. He has been working in some of the poorest communities in Cape Town with local government and NGOs on several natural and sustainable building projects specifically in the area of Early Childhood Development.

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