CONSTRUCT A MODEL DWELLING USING
NATURAL AND RECYCLED
The Foundation will build a small home by using materials from the farm and the community, and
recycled materials wherever possible. Our intention is to make the smallest possible global impact.
The materials available are wood, rock, earth, sand and gravel. Recycled materials are tires,
salvaged steel, and metal roofing from other building projects. This will include materials that
are normally disposed of in a landfill. Materials made in the region include tile, fabric, and
cement. The remaining materials will be brought in from outside Costa Rica with preference given
those manufactured in Central America, Mexico and South America.
The mission is to design a home that is integral to the environment and relies on the earth’s
properties for comfort and functional needs.
To shelter humans, the home needs light, warmth, ventilation, water, cooking fuel, and a means
of waste disposal.
The design team will combine elements from other projects that have utilized earth filled tires
and cement beams as structural walls. Light and ventilation will be obtained from placement of
fixed glass, skylights, windows and doorways. Cooling is from the earth mass and prevailing breezes,
and heat for air and water will come from the sun.
Domestic water will be trapped in a cistern or concrete tank for initial use and recycled.
Electricity will be generated by solar photovoltaic and a hydropower generator. Energy will
be stored in batteries and used to power the 12 volt electrical systems.
The project will borrow ideas from every available source and determine what works best at this
This will be a hands on project built by volunteers, students, local craftsmen and by visitors
who stop by to see what we are doing.
The planning stage is critical and will require input from many different sources, including
builders and suppliers.
We are excited about the possibilities and welcome your comments and participation.