Ecological living

I have been slowly constructing my house to provide a base-camp for my restoration projects. This construction is becoming an amazing lesson in designing a functional home from the ground up. I incorporated topography, vegetation and aspect into selecting the site. I also utilize an elevated floor and high ceiling in order to increase airflow which will hopefully keep the inside cooler.

I have large 2 x 3 m sliding barn doors on both the east and west of the house to create more airflow and keep me close to the beauty of the nature.

Open to the beauty

Closed barn door






DSC00541My roof collects rainfall into a 1100 liter tank. I have water pump powered directly from a small solar panel (100 watts) to move the water from the collection tank into an elevated water tower. This system provides the house with gravity fed water pressure and eliminating the need for any fuel. For the dry season we have ram and solar powered pumps moving water up from the river for irrigation.

Solar for the house and small water pump.

Solar for the house and small water pump.

Small water pump runs off of 12 volt solar panel and pumps up to 15 meters high.

Small water pump runs off of 12 volt solar panel and pumps up to 15 meters high.










Leach field


Grey water is used for garden and food irrigation black waste goes through a septic and then to a leach field of banana, coconut and papaya trees for final cleansing. Natural insect suppression comes from planted lemon grass, ginger and the must, chiles!



The house is running on 12 v solar power. I chose to go with lower voltage, even though efficiency is lower, because the access to 12 v appliances, lights, etc. is easier. Battery bank




The proximity of the large sailing community in Rio Dulce makes obtaining 12 volt light bulbs, batteries and refrigerators fairly straight-forward.I have two 250 watt panels, a 45 amp charge controller, eight 100 ah batteries and and a 2000 watt inverter. My fridge and lights are all running directly on 12 volt power.


Here is some photos of the progress and styles I have gone with to create my home. The work will continue in 2016!