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When it comes to wood, a sustainable alternative is to work with plantation species such as ” Guayavillo” or Myrcianthes fragans. A layer of Laro Max ( water based impregnant) every 8 months is necesary to keep wood free of termites. No polyurethane finishes are recommended in this side of the world. Wood needs to constantly absorb the protective layer. The Perkins project is 50% built. Dont miss our on site pet! ( lower left corner)

When you live in a country like Costa Rica where pure air is constantly flowing, and after a psychometric chart study indicating that the use of the passive strategy known as Cross Ventilation you will achieve a 70% comfort without using Air Conditioning almost throught the year, then the Wind Wheel comes in handy!

Know your Holdrige Life Zone in Costa Rica and you will achieve more sustainable dwellings in an easy, less expensive and more sustainable way.Design and passive strategies analysis are the answer to building in a respectful manner.

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Feels good when you can help others to let go and build what they have always dreamed of. Here I am with the Perkins at Escaleras de Dominical, we have stacked their future tropical vacation home as we realize how important the trees are for shading the house. We can’t wait to get building started!

This is a simple 2 level house, first floor on concrete blocks, second level on wood, full of minimalist  details that make  tropical living easier: less mold, more natural breeze, less maintenance fees, more health due to exposition of rooms to the outdoors and lastly a higher quality of life. This is no american house in the tropics, this is a tropical modern architectural design adapted to Nature and local conditions.

tropical modern architect in Dominical

My friend Pagsi wants to build 2 apartments, 2 bedroom each in a 300 sm lot in Santa Ana area. This is a populated zone where the opportunity for rental income is high, so building her own loft and having an additional one to rent is just a great idea of a stress free life for a yoguini.

Tropical Contemporary Urban Oasis in Santa Ana, Costa Rica

Tropical contemporary loft option in Santa Ana, Costa Rica

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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
setting..
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.

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