Climate responsive design

Some additional information about the construction work and its background.

Our vision was to construct a house that fits into nature, does not need air condition and will not require a lot of maintenance.

We studied some architectural literature and got our inspirations from the idea of a climate responsive design.


First of all we chose the hill as the constructions site because here we have constant airflow from the valley below and this air is naturally cooled by the creek that flows through the valley.


We decided to use cement instead of wood and built it strong and solid so it can withstand some high winds if necessary. The roof is extra solid as we used thick rafters and beams. The roof can be tied down at its ends in case of a strong wind approaching.  


To optimize cross ventilation inside the house we came up with the idea to build two instead of one houses. The main house consists of one big room and many openings so that the wind can always blow through it. If you open all doors you get the impression of being outside, underneath a roof that offers coolness and shade.

The roof has an open top so that warm air that arieses can pass off.

The walls are double block walls and offer maximum strength and insulation. The roof itself has a good overhang so the walls are well-shaded, especially during the strong midday sun.

For really calm and hot days there are 4 ventilators inside and 2 outdoor fan hat offer a good breeze.


Towards the north side the main house has glass windows that can be closed during the cooler and sometimes stronger north winds. They also bring light into the building but no heat since they are facing the north side.


The colors of the walls and the roof shingles are light so the sun does not heat them up.

The floors are white cement which has been polished. This contributes to the coolness of the place on hot days.


The master bedroom as well as the guest apartment follow the same concept of cross ventilation, good insulation, light colors and if necessary, the use of ceiling fans.



Quality matters

The goal of a low-maintenance home requires the use of high-quality material that withstands the elements of the intense UV exposure, salty air and high winds.


All doors and shutters are made of Santa Maria hardwood. Using Waterlox Tung Oil Sealers instead of varnish to seal the doors and windows it makes it really easy to maintain. You just apply the Tung Oil once it is necessary. No sanding or other messy preparations. 


The gutters are copper gutters. They are pretty wide and handle tropical rain very well without overflowing. Copper is a long lasting material and looks a lot prettier than PVC which is widely used on the island.


The hinges, door knobs and also the key cylinders are all high quality stainless steel and will last forever.


Inside the main house the ceiling fans are all Hunter Originals and on the porch we used Hunter outdoor fans.