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Stilts: Inhabitat Monkeys Around in Sustainable Kenyan Treehouses
Posted By Tafline Laylin On March 26, 2013 @ 1:00 am In Architecture,carousel showcase,gallery,Sustainable Building,Sustainable Materials,Treehouses | No Comments
We had a chance to chat with Andy about the genesis of Stilts, which was carefully designed to have the smallest possible impact on this section of Coral Rag Forest.  While the Kenyan-born business owner derived his inspiration from Southeast Asia, the materials and skills required to build the treehouses  and cottages were all sourced locally. During our visit, we had a chance to watch trained Makuti roofers repair one of the roofs with hundreds of shingles made of palm fronds. Using a kind of twine, the men attached the shingles to the timber framing in overlapping rows. At this pitch, the roof needs to be replaced every seven years.
Andy sources sustainable Casuarina poles  to frame roofs and build furniture that he designs himself. The dining, bar, and reception area is furnished with beautiful timber seats topped with colorful cushions covered in the same fabric that the local Swahili men use to wrap around the lower half of their bodies (kikoy). Nearby craftsmen also weave detailing for the pieces out of palm, optimizing the use of breathable, natural materials  that fit with the wild surroundings. Colobus, Sykes and Ververt monkeys are regular guests, as are bush babies, a monitor lizard and other small reptiles.
Stilts only uses solar-heated water  that is funneled through black pipes, and lights in the tree houses are powered by 12 volt batteries. The lack of electric sockets emphasizes a glorious sense of disconnectedness from the wired world. (Although some guests might prefer the larger, more expensive cottages that do have lights and sockets.) Andy used cement for foundations, floors and walls in the cottages – a choice dictated mostly by cost. He explained that the hot, humid climate is rough on timber, which is also why he opted for steel steps instead of wood. In time, he hopes to install solar panels  that will provide the necessary energy to power all of the lighting.
Remarkably cool despite the heat (thanks to natural ventilation), the treehouses, cottages and rendezvous area are so comfortable that we’d never want to leave. But Andy might have a thing or two to say about that.
+ Stilts 
All images © Tafline Laylin for Inhabitat
Article printed from Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com
URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/stilts-inhabitat-monkeys-around-in-sustainable-kenyan-treehouses/
URLs in this post:
 Diani: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diani_Beach
 Southeast Asia: http://inhabitat.com/beautiful-green-village-of-balinese-bamboo-homes-masterfully-crafted-by-ibuku/
 Stilts: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stilts-Backpackers/120956872812
 : http://inhabitat.com/stilts-inhabitat-monkeys-around-in-sustainable-kenyan-treehouses/stilts-backpackers-kenya-03/?extend=1
 Coral Rag Forest.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral_rag
 treehouses: http://inhabitat.com/treehouses/
 sustainable Casuarina poles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casuarina
 natural materials: http://inhabitat.com/tag/natural-materials/
 solar-heated water: http://inhabitat.com/tag/solar-water-heaters/
 solar panels: http://inhabitat.com/sharps-concentrator-solar-cell-sets-43-5-conversion-efficiency-record/
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