Design Team: Sergio Frugone, Felipe Rossi, Ricardo Sevilla
Developer: Greenenergy www.greenenergycr.com
Photographs: Andrés García Lachner www.garcialachner.com
Location: Playa Grande, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Total Area: 301m2
Starts: May 2016
Conclusion: November 2016
Tropiks Work, the first off-grid residence in Costa Rica, was born out of the investigation of a new way of life rather than a traditional architectonic response. In wanting to establish a balance with the environment, we reimagined the concept of housing, creating an adaptable and malleable solution that grows with time in harmony with nature. We firmly believe that the consumption of renewable energies promotes technological development, as part of the new efficient economic model that is established as an engine of growth and employment. At the same time, these renewable energies are part of the vision promoted by our country to become carbon neutral by the year 2021. If we consider that construction is one of the primary contributors of CO2 emissions, we are forced to assume this challenge and establish the parameters for a new sustainable development.
Everything is planned to take only what is necessary, through passive systems that are adapted to different configurations and to each of the living areas present in our country. We have based ourselves on three fundamental principles: efficiency, double functionality and maintaining a closed cycle, where each of these principles is materialized in the architecture.
Efficiency is established through a prefabricated system that is later put together on site. This allows shortened execution times and reduces the cost of construction, as well as the direct impact over the terrain. The double functionality is reached as the architecture is conceived to fulfill and resolve a specific climatic parameter. Maintaining a closed cycle is achieved through the reutilization of resources, energy, water and food, that are integrated to each other through an organizational system that revolves around an elevated central patio, defining the unit as a living component that breathes from its interior. This organizational system at the same time allows a double relation with nature, since the inhabitable spaces are contained within a natural space.
The crossed ventilation, prefabrication, the extraction and induction system which passively takes advantage of the air currents and thermal differences, the reutilization of water for food production and the solar radiation protection, as well as the captured energy stored in a comprehensive system of solar panels strategically positioned to take advantage of energetic performance, are part of the basic strategies which allow us to be an independent, 100% sustainable off-grid system.