Eco Beach House – Aruba
This Eco Beach house was designed for an Aruban family of five.
Their wish was to have a house be designed for them that is ecological and makes use of the natural element the caribbean island of Aruba has to offer.
Wood as a natural material
The house should have a low foot print and after considering all options, wood was chosen as a construction material. The aim is to carefully collect the most sustainable wood possible, taking into consideration the budget and options available on the island of Aruba.
Position of the house on the plot
The house is positioned in a way that the wind can easily flow through the house and be steered by the shutters from the windows and doors.
The wooden house is placed on a foundation of concrete piers, which makes for less need of concrete and puts the wooden house off the ground so that air can flow underneath it. The house will stay a lot cooler this way.
Making use of the natural elements: Shade & Wind
Furthermore the walls around the house are covered by the eaves of the roof surrounding the outdoor veranda all the way around the house. This way the walls will be protected from the outdoor elements, like the sun and rain. The walls will not easily deteriorate and will stay cool, keeping the indoor house cooler as well.
The roof of the house is designed so that the warm air, that rises inside the house, can leave through the openings on the short sides of the roof. Alle these factors make for a fresh house to live in comfortably without the use of airconditioning, making it a lot more environmental friendly than a regular house.
The four bedrooms are all located so as to receive as much fresh air from the Nort Eastern trade winds as possible. The shutters can always be used to temper or let the wind go through a room.
Making use of the natural elements: Rain & Grey Water
A cistern will be placed in the garden to accumilate water from the gutters around the big roof. The roof footprint of this house is 272m2 and since Aruba has an average yearly rainfall of 600mm, this means that 272m2 x 600mm = 163,2 m3 water can be caught and re-used yearly. This water is perfect for watering plants, since it has all the necessary minerals that plants need to thrive. (Taking into account that the rain water is not polluted.)
The grey water that comes from all the showers and faucets can also be accumilated, using a filter, to go to the cistern and be harvested for the garden as well.
Making use of the natural elements: Plants & Trees
The garden is a very important asset to the designing and building of a green home. When the garden thrives and is full of trees and shrubs it will account for a cooler home in the tropics. The trees will grow faster thanks to the harvested water in the cistern that is hooked up to a grey water drip system. The garden can thus be regularly watered and give off fruit and vegetable, when designed well in a permaculture way.
The plants and trees have another function as well, they can create a microclimate. When the trees and plants are big enough they create shade and protection from the elements. The house will suffer less from the sun, wind and even dust. When the garden is set up in an ecological way with permaculture principles there will be little to no bother from insects as well, since the garden will be a self-sustainable system.
Eating from the garden
When fruit trees and eatable plants are used primarily the garden will also provide in the basic food necessaties, that are otherwise quite costly when you’re living on a caribbean island. The supermarket will eventually become absolete. So above all the garden will create a healthier environment in many perspectives.