Solar Greenhouse (La Calaca): Hot air in the top of the greenhouse is ducted into the home for winter heating. In summer greenhouse roof vents are open, exhausting hot air and drawing cool air into the home.
Alcohol (biofuel) stoves for winter: Made from sugar cane (vs. fossil fuel), the only emissions from clean-burning ethanol are CO2 and water.
LED lighting: More illumination, less electrical consumption.
Natural plasters: Unlike modern energy-intensive cement-based plasters, we’ve used natural cal de piedra plasters throughout.
Milk-based paints: That’s right, milk! Though not as shelf-stable as acrylic paints, they look great and wear as well as any synthetic-based paint.
Composting: Both kitchen waste and garden residues are recycled back into the garden, eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers.
Rainwater Harvesting: Rainwater is collected from all roof surfaces and stored in a large cistern below the central courtyard. Stored rainwater is used to water rooftop garden plants.