Gallery: Casa Iseami: Stunning Off-Grid Institute in Costa Rica

 
A photovoltaic system on the roof provides 10,800 kWh annually. Coupled with the hydro system the project can produce enough for the house, maintenance building and lodging for visitors.

Juan Robles developed a method for architecture design that explores 10 elements: site, climate, energy, water, materials, environment, atmosphere, cost, innovation, and the use of passive strategies and implemented processes. By balancing these elements he successfully laid out a design plan that reduces the negative impacts of the ISEAMI Institute throughout its lifecycle. As the institute is located on a biologically diverse peninsula, the architect sought to keep its impact upon the site to a minimum, and the house had to be completely self-sufficient and off-grid because no utilities could be brought in.

The resulting institute headquarters utilized prefabricated construction to speed the building process and minimize site impact. The building features low-maintenance and durable materials, like steel and thermal-panels (Versawall and Versapanel by Centria), which maximize structural support, insulation and durability while minimizing the growth of mold and fungi in the high-humidity environment. The entire structure is white, so if mold or fungi begin to form, they can easily be detected and dealt with. Materials were chosen based on their ability to be recycled at the end of the life of the home.

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