House Plans, Home Designs, Eco Logical Consultation in Costa Rica.
Here are a few environmental impacts and considerations to keep in mind. One should always consider the natural resources available closest to your community and building location.
The people that live in your community are your greatest resource of wisdom, knowledge and where sustainable materials are available.
Building with Guadua Bamboo -
Bamboo trusses are excellent support systems for floors and ceilings, earthquake resistance and stronger than standard conventional poured concrete structures. There are examples in Columbia of bamboo structures over 500 years old. Bamboo has certainly earned its reputation as the most sustainable construction resource on the planet. As lumber and hardwoods are becoming scarce, bamboo is becoming the only option for eco-development, construction and especially remodeling your existing house into something fun and exciting.
Building with Concrete-
As you drive along the coastline of Southern Costa Rica, heading towards the Osa Peninsula, you'll see dozens of small prefabricated concrete homes in rural central America, schools, and public buildings all built from precast concrete panels. This style of concrete construction uses 70-83% less sand and gravel than conventional block and poured concrete methods of concrete construction. Using custom poured concrete precast and customized concrete pilings to support your structure is truly the best way to get the benefit of water resistant surfaces on the lower levels of your home while taking advantage of wood and bamboo accents on your walls, windows, doors and second floors. Wood and bamboo add warmth and richness to the coldness of concrete precast construction.
Precast Concrete -
On average, you can save 50% of your concrete construction cost, by using a poured paver system. This old world system has been used since the beginning of time as all cobblestone streets in Europe are built in this manner. For those of you that live near the beach, these concrete pilings and wall panels are perfect for adding on to your existing beach house and still remaining within compliance to sensitive beach laws governing the zona maritima / maritime zone. High tension pressurized pre-poured concrete panels requiring 83% less sand and gravel, also means that the trucks that are in our precious rivers and watersheds, removing sand and gravel for our construction needs, are also in the rivers 83% less, making it truly the most sustainable method for building with concrete.
Quarried Sand and Gravel vs. River Dredging
If you can find a source for quarried sand and gravel, you have eliminated 98% of your negative footprint to build your home or eco-project. Precast, pre-manufactured and prefabricated homes made from concrete, wood and Styrofoam insulating panels, stuccoed and painted and supported by bamboo. Walls and support systems are certified to be the most affordable, practical methods when using concrete and considering alternatives to conventional concrete pouring methods.
Building with Wood -
Here in Southern Costa Rica especially the Osa Peninsula, conservation and wildlife preservation is widespread. The days of commercial lumbering in the rain forest have been over for a few years now, however with each new ex-patriot moving into Costa Rica, there is a high demand for lumber, and most gringos love their hardwoods. Including me!
We are fortunate enough to live in a country where sustainable materials are abundant. All over Costa Rica and Panama you can find mature Teak farms and sustainable plantations selling wood, lumber and flooring from sustainable plantations in Southern Costa Rica and on the Caribbean side. On occasion you can also find eucalyptus, pine and almond woods.
Many Costa Rican subsistance farmers have planted teak on their properties many years ago and their families are struggling to make ends meet. Paying local farmers a reasonable price to cut and transport your teak to your job site or project is the most sustainable building option when building with wood in tropical America.
Supporting your local community -
Buying teak and sustainable hardwoods creates jobs and supports rural farming. Not only for Costa Rica but for Panama and all of Central America. Most of the rain forest of Central America has been deforested. Teak, Pine, Eucalyptus and Melina wood types are the only sustainable choice when designing custom built homes , and considering building a Custom home, hotel, eco development in Southern Costa Rica. Consider you most precious natural resources first. Buy local, hire local.
Custom Homes in Costa Rica made from Teak and Bamboo. Bamboo should only be cut during the week of the full moon and during the months of January through April. Cutting bamboo during the green and rainy season has proven to fail, time and time again. Cutting, caring and treating your bamboo at the right times of the year is one of the most important factors that go into a life long lasting house design or custom home made from bamboo. Here in Southern Costa Rica, Osa Peninsula exist dozens of mature bamboo groves. I only use and recommend using a sturdy and mature Asper, Atar or Guadua bamboo cane for your construction project. There are six or eight species of bamboo growing here in Costa Rica that are available for many construction needs.
Many clients want to add a second floor to their house and do not know how. Prefabricated bamboo trusses and wall systems are the perfect solution to building in sensitive environmental areas, such as the maritime zone in Costa Rica. Prefabricated wood and concrete foundations and knee walls are standardized to fit your existing home. A large modular or prefabricated bamboo or wood home, is loaded onto a truck and delivered. Transported to the job and in many cases put together in just a few weeks. Remodeling your beach house in Costa Rica has never been easier.
I design and build sustainable eco-homes and beach houses here on the Osa Peninsula, construct hotels with eco friendly philosophies in mind. Most of my floor plans, home designs and blueprints can be prefabricated as in the example of our Lapas Nest Treehouse in Southern Costa Rica,we used every single type of recyclable product imaginable including bird cages and barbecue grills, old Jeep tires, car axles, recycled rebar, broomsticks, bicycle tire and a dozen other renewable resources making the Lapa's Nest treehouse, possibly the greenest and most sustainable 6 story house built in all of Latin America. Casa Lapa On Top A was a similar green project whereas no trees were cut down to build it.
Before breaking ground on your new custom home in Costa Rica, Panama or Central America, look for sustainable materials in your own backyard.
I'm an experienced sustainable living consultant alternative thinker and I find inexpensive ways to build sustainably. If that is something you are interested in, you should contact me. Environmentally safe and eco friendly homes in Southern Costa Rica is my passion.