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Ecovilla, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica

Intentions: Pava Vida is an ongoing project for a family of four living in a Costa Rica permaculture development called Ecovilla.  The project is expected to be completed sometime in 2019. The project’s name, Pava Vida, is a play on the family’s name and common greeting in Costa Rica, “pura vida”, which means, “pure life”, which is a fitting expression for a country that dismantled its military over 70 years ago and chose to invest that money in health care, education, and the environment.

Permaculture is a way of designing buildings in the landscape that draw upon the natural conditions of the site to inform the design, as well as heat, cool, and maintain a building using the unique aspects of the site itself.

For example, the home is laid out in harmony with the surrounding topography.  Starting at the front entrance, water falling on the northwest side is guided to the creek, and water on the northeast is guided down the slop on that side.

Other site honoring condition include:

  • The profile of the building follows the topography from north to south.
  • The slope of the roofs is the same angle as the latitude of the site.
  • The south facing roofs slopes are designed to maximize solar gain for the solar panels and solar hot water, too.
  • The roofs and roof vents are also designed to capture prevailing westerly breezes, promote passive cooling though stacked ventilation, and protect the structure below from both sun and northeasterly rain storms.

All buildings are unified on the site both it their orientation to one another while utilizing one of the most ubiquitous “codes” for growth and beauty in the natural world, the Golden Rectangle.

Last but, certainly not least, there are the clients themselves, who made a courageous choice to leave the busyness of the Bay Area and spend more quality time with one another as a family, the basic “building block” of humanity, as well as committing to building community, both locally and globally, and allowing their home, as well as the greater Ecovilla community, to serve as a platform for new and innovative solutions to the worlds most pressing challenges.

Go Team Pava!

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