Inspired by a childhood spent in the great outdoors, Murray Collins, Director of Collins Residential, has a vision of developing wild open spaces that permeates through the company’s ethos and value systems. In his business dealings, Murray prioritizes conservation above all else, a philosophy that extends beyond property development and includes tourism ventures. The company is involved in projects across Zimbabwe, Seychelles, and Botswana that strive to reduce carbon footprints in local communities through sustainable business models. For example, in Zambia alone, the company played a key role in protecting 2 million hectares of hardwood forest. The goal is to enhance biodiversity for a greener future by prioritizing the environment as part of the development mandate.
This approach is a stark contrast to traditional residential property development, where trees and other natural elements are often removed and replaced with bricks and mortar. Murray’s childhood experiences instilled in him an undying love for all things natural, and this is the reason why the company puts the environment first. They develop on previously degraded or disturbed land, and if they cannot enhance or improve the land, they won’t build on it.
An excellent example of this approach is Seaton Estate, where the land was first rehabilitated by planting trees, removing invasive species, and allowing the grass to grow naturally before introducing Seaton to the market. Landscape architects and horticulturists have initiated conservation efforts for Seaton’s 500-hectare expanse, creating a pristine environment with natural grassland valleys, forests, dunes, and wetlands. The architectural and structural design follows nature, which dictates where roads, homes, and all infrastructure are positioned and orientated. The implementation of Seaton Estate’s rehabilitation programme has commenced and will see over 10,000 trees planted, reducing the carbon footprint of the development. The Estate is well on its way to becoming carbon-neutral, thanks to environmentally-friendly building materials, low-voltage appliances, and solar geysers included in the architectural guidelines. It has also taken major steps to reduce its reliance on the national electricity grid with sustainable options for both power and water being offered to residents.
While Murray admits that building under this seemingly altruistic vision has had an impact on the bottom line, this alone has never deterred the developers from upholding their commitment to buyers. They provide them with quality homes or investments that they can be proud of, including on-time delivery and completion of road construction, clubhouses, and other facilities before first occupation.
Murray invites people to visit Seaton Estate and experience this piece of paradise first hand. The company’s unique value proposition is the comfort that comes with knowing that the challenges that come with construction will never be a burden to residents when they move in. The goal is to create thriving ecosystems with multiple biomes where residents can enjoy living in harmony with nature.