How do I select construction materials for my new sustainabe home in Costa Rica?

For those of you wanting to build a small size vacation home, small apartments or cottages and bungalows, there’s some innovative ideas that I have applied to some projects, with great results and I’d like to share.

Let’s take the typical ‘beach or mountain cottage’ as an example. This would be a smaller detached home with approximately 1000 living sq ft ( 120 sm/ 1291 sft, 2 to 3 bedrooms, living room, kitchen, 1 or 2 levels) on  a budget of 60k to 70k (good quality construction)  in a beach or mountain
When creating your dream ‘cottage’, one can accomplish staying within budget, aesthetics, and functionality by using new life style concepts, new materials and new thinking overall. If you take ‘change’ as part of life and can deal with a few, you’ll be good to go. My philosophy is that ‘the river is not the same river, it changes with every second that passes by’, and I like to apply that to my designs. I have accomplished the ‘tropical living’ in many designs and have stayed within budget by incorporating some, or all, of these ideas and construction materials in the tropics:

1. Roof as envelope.
In Costa Rica, due to it’s geographical location, a home’s roof is in charge of reflecting the sunlight back to the atmosphere, protecting the interior from rain and providing insulation. So here’s an idea: use the ‘envelope roof design’, which looks like an open envelope with the living space inside. Here are some examples of houses built like that in Europe, Brazil and one of my designs in Costa Rica.

I am working on this tropical modern project, and the owner and I would like to hear about your opinion on colors. Which one you like the best? White metal facade? Silver metal facade? or slate gray facade? Please fill the form below.

Silver Option

Slate gray option

White option

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After visiting the latest edition of the Construction Fair several days ago, something got me thinking…why there´s so many companies offering solar water heaters and not so many offer  photovoltaic  systems to generate electricity despite the fact that solar energy will become a more economically attractive energy source in the future?

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Been green can be very simple, when you decide to have a new costarican tropical modern architecture project. You can choose to go for Leed credits, but there are also many ways to achieve sustainability in more simple ways.

Besides having a house designed on a passive design strategy basis, you can also start working on selecting the right building materials for your eco-home. Wood is a very versatile material, used many years ago. Ecologically speaking, wood comes from a rapidly renewable alive source and it reduces CO2 emissions in a natural way.In general there are 3 main wood types: soft and rapidly renewable woods, semi-hard woods and hard-dense woods and exotic woods. Read More

Columns already located according to plan, view from north east

Hello followers! Here we are at another work week. This time I am going to tell you how to save time and money when you’re building a house. Time is money some might say…

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