Top 3 Cheap Green Building Ideas for the Tropics

Top 3 Cheap Green Building Ideas for the Tropics
By Louise Pool
The powers that be here in the Seychelles do a lot of talking about eco tourism, sustainability and the environment and yet I don't hear a lot about building in a more sustainable manner. And there's a lot of building going on. One ugly building after another is popping up all over the islands. I sometimes wonder if we have no architects here (and if we do, they must be either extremely frustrated or out of work). It looks like a couple of construction companies have one set of plans they apply to every new building. They're all built from concrete with little air flow and Roman columns on the verandahs with air conditioning units sticking out on all sides like oversized Tic Tac containers. And then touted as executive apartments or houses. Strangely, we seem to have a lot of executives in the Seychelles...



Some effort towards sustainability has been made with the new houses on Perserverance to install solar panels for electricity and someone has started a business importing solar units. Another is building prefab wooden “eco” houses (sadly without any concession towards aesthetics). Whilst I applaud these efforts, it is not enough.

There are many low cost ways of building environmentally friendly houses which may be more suitable for those of us non-executives. Here are three of my favourite ideas for eco building in the tropics:

1. Earth bag houses

 earth bag house in the tropics
Cheap, quick and easy, earth bag houses are made from soil dug out from the construction site itself which is then filled into gunny bags. A professor at Caltech came up with the idea some years ago and these houses have proven to be earthquake and flood resistant. It's essentially the sandbag idea used for emergency construction taken to a more sophisticated level. Conventional square or rectangular houses can be built with this method, but I like the more organic constructions. Oh, and it takes about three weeks to build one with a couple of friends helping.

2. Cob houses

cob house in New Zealand
All over the world, houses have been build out of mud. In Europe, they are called cob houses and are built out of clay, sand and straw. We don't have straw here, but I'm figuring coconut husks might do the job as well. We have sand (unless it all gets dredged up at Beavallon) and red earth which is sticky. These houses are extremely strong and can withstand fire and heavy weather as well.

3. Earthshipsearthship home
Earthships are built into the earth, utilising the thermal effect of the earth to either heat or, in our case here in the tropics, to keep cool. Earth-sheltered homes can be built entirely underground, bermed (covered with earth on one to three sides) or built into a larger hill with just one side open. This is especially useful for all those sloping plots of land in the mountains. No blasting of granite required either; just use that huge piece as part of the wall. Exterior walls can be built out of old tires, bottles and cans which are tightly packed with earth (again from the site itself).

All these houses can be fitted with solar panels, water catchment systems and self composting toilets (and I don't mean a smelly hole in the ground) to be truly eco friendly.

Some ideas that I don't feel translate to well to the tropics are shipping containers (all that metal is too hot), pallets (think of the insects) and beer bottles. Whilst we have enough of the latter (and it might not take too long to collect enough to build a house with), all that glass is a little heating. Strawbale, whilst popular amongs builders seeking to live a lighter footprint on the environment would work, but we don't have enough straw to feed those straggly cows, let alone to build homes.

I'm a starving artist, so I don't even own a piece of land to build on. If I did, I'd go for an earthbag home. Aside from the ease of building, I love the aesthetics of some of these houses. If there's a generous soul out there willing to lease me a plot of land, I'd be happy to demonstrate...





P.S. A lot more information on natural building can be found at Natural Building Blog and Dream Green Homes.



11 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing the information.

    Green building is helping a lot in the protection of the environment. Now a days, architects are using the concept of green building in the construction of the buildings which is not only helping to protect the environment but, it is also helping to protect the global warming.

    There are number of companies who are providing the service of green building and it's sustainability and one such company named as Spinnaker is providing the service of LEED certification training at jacksonville.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm loving the hobbit style houses! earthships are really interesting, I may build one on my smallholding soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The only green thing the Seychellois people know is grass.It will take these backward thieves a million years to go green in reality.

    ReplyDelete
  4. There are countries like Bulgaria,. The land costs about 3000 leva ( Bulgarian money)$1900 dollars. That is where I live. The cheapest land is by the river or up high in the mountains!

    ReplyDelete
  5. PS! I am planning on building a dog house from sandbags. Thanks for the idea!

    ReplyDelete
  6. FOR CAR DEALERS OR BUYERS
    *************************

    RamaDBK Ltd. is a Japanese car dealer pioneering a major role in the Japanese vehicle export industry providing all kinds of vehicles to individual buyers, dealers, industries and government organizations.
    Please contact DUNKAN for best price

    Email - channel31@ramadbk.com
    Whatsapp or viber +817041273345 (ask Dunkan)
    Direct No- +81455503782

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Louis Poole, How do I get in touch with you. avinashpardeshi@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. hi I want to do little bussines there.

    ReplyDelete
  9. hi I want to do little bussines there.

    ReplyDelete


  10. MY NAME IS MARIAM FROM SOUTH AFRICA...I SAW THIS COMMENT ON POSITIVE BLOGS AND I WILL LOVE TO TELL EVERYBODY HOW MY STATUS CHANGES TO NEGATIVE, AND AM NOW A LIVING WITNESS OF IT AND I THINK ITS A SHAME ON ME IF I DON'T SHARE THIS LOVELY STORY WITH OTHER PEOPLE INFECTED WITH THIS DEADLY VIRUS...,HIV HAS BEEN ONGOING IN MY FAMILY... I LOST BOTH PARENTS TO HIV,. AND IT IS SO MUCH PAIN IVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET OVER.. AS WE ALL KNOW MEDICALLY THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO IT..AND MEDICATION IS VERY EXPENSIVE..SO SOMEONE INTRODUCED ME TO A NATIVE MEDICAL PRACTITIONER IN AFRICA..I HAD A JOB THERE TO EXECUTE SO I TOOK TIME TO CHECK OUT ON HIM.I SHOWED HIM ALL MY TESTS AND RESULTS.. I WAS ALREADY DIAGNOSED WITH HIV AND IT WAS ALREADY TAKING ITS TOWL ON ME.. I HAD SPENT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS SO I DECIDED TO TRY HIM OUT...I WAS ON HIS DOSAGE FOR 1 MONTHS. ALTHOUGH I DIDNT BELIEVE IN IT, I WAS JUST TRYING IT OUT OF FRUSTRATION... AND AFTER 2 WEEKS, I WENT FOR NEW TESTS... AND YOU WONT BELIEVE THAT 5 DIFFERENT DOCTORS CONFIRMED IT THAT AM NEGATIVE..IT WAS LIKE A DREAM,,I NEVER BELIEVE AIDS HAS CURE..AM NOW NEGATIVE,,AM A LIVING WITNESS..I DONT KNOW HOW TO THANK THIS MAN... I JUST WANT TO HELP OTHERS IN ANY WAY I CAN..HAVE JOINED MANY FORUMS AND HAVE POSTED THIS TESTIMONIES AND ALOT OF PEOPLE HAS MAIL AND CALLED THIS MAN ON PHONE AND AFTER 2 WEEKS THEY ALL CONFIRMED NEGATIVE..BBC NEWS TOOK IT LIVE AND EVERY.. HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT.. EVERYBODY SAW IT AND ITS NOW OUT IN PAPERS AND MAGAZINES THAT THERE'S NATIVE CURE FOR HIV AND ALL WITH THE HELP OF THIS MAN,,HAVE TRIED MY OWN PARTS AND ALL LEFT WITH YOU,,IF YOU LIKE TAKE IT OR NOT..GOD KNOWS HAVE TRIED MY BEST.ABOUT 97 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED NEGATIVE THROUGH ME..AND THEY SEND MAILS TO THANKS ME AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED NEGATIVE,,THIS MAN IS REAL..DON'T MISS THIS CHANCE,,HIV IS A DEADLY VIRUS,,GET RID OF IT NOW..
    case there is anyone who has similar problem and still

    looking for a way out, and he those cast all kind of spell like ::
    Love Spells
    Luck, Money Spells
    Health, Well Being
    Protection, Healing
    Curses, ex, Breakups
    NEW! Combo Spells
    High Priestess Spells
    Vampire Spells
    Authentic Voodoo Spells
    Custom, Other Spells
    Business spells
    Health/Healing spells
    Cancer healing
    Curse removal
    Job spells
    Healing from all kind of diseases
    Love binding
    Barrenness(need a child)
    Need love
    Lottery Spells
    Promotions
    Success
    Money rituals
    winning court case
    Divorce spells
    Low sperm count
    Infertility in women
    Breast enlargement/reduction
    Penis enlargement/reduction
    YOU CAN CONTACT HIM HERE AS (dr.abalaka@outlook.com) and also his state based number text him here if you're in the US: 760-935-3804 if you need any question contact me via here as mariambaurice@gmail.com i wish you best of luck and good health.

    ReplyDelete

Share

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More