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Sustainable Architecture in Costa Rica

Autor:   •  January 6, 2019  •  717 Words (3 Pages)  •  33 Views

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that “protect it from river floods and

excessive rain,” alike. (Lisa 2014) The structure is made from locally harvested Guadua wood.

This flexible material ensures that the home will remain standing even through an intense

earthquake. By constructing homes that are designed to last for a lifetime, the owner avoids

egregious expenses and resources are not used in repairing damages. Casa Altrevida also features

an open-air concept, allowing air flow. This is a technique that many Costa Rican architects are

utilizing to take advantage of the country’s natural beauty and reduce energy costs.

Villa OSA

OBRA Architects specialize in homes that feature few walls and large windows. making

“heating unnecessary,” while “cooling is provided by a few ceiling fans.” (OBRA 2014)

In 2013, OBRA designed and constructed Villa OSA, located in the Osa Peninsula. The open

concept reduces the need to temperature regulation while photovoltaic panels provide the home

with energy for electronics. Rain water collection takes place on the home’s roof. The water is

“harvested and connected to a cistern.” (OBRA 2014) If rainfall is low, water can also be

harvested from a nearby stream.

An example of a living roof

Another method of cooling used by Costa Rican architects are living roofs. According to

the Environmental Protection Agency, a living roof is a “vegetative layer grown on a rooftop.

Green roofs provide shade and remove heat from the air through evapotranspiration, reducing

temperatures of the roof surface and the surrounding air.” (EPA 2014)

Chapa, Jeorge 2007. POO POWER: Could Cow Poo Power Your Home?.

Peck, S. and M. Kuhn. 2003. Design Guidelines for Green Roofs (PDF) (22 pp, 551K). Canada

Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Ontario Association of Architects.

Clark, C., P. Adriaens, and F.B. Talbot. 2008. Green roof valuation: a probabilistic economic

analysis of environmental benefits. Environmental Science and Technology 42(6):2155–2161.


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