Well, after almost four years living in Playa del Carmen, we are finally making plans to build a home of our own. We have selected the lot, a nice 831 square meter parcel backing up to the jungle in an area west of 307 called The Campestre. We have hired an architect, Carlos Alamillo (more on him later) who is just now putting pencil to paper to sketch out preliminary layouts and design ideas for our new home. This is the fun part of the process when everyone has their input and everyone’s wish-lists are incorporated into the design. Now is the time for dreaming big. Negotiation, compromise and sacrifice will come soon enough. I hope you will all enjoy following us through the process of bringing our dreams to reality.  

Carlos came to us through the group developing Rancho Mayab. Because of his background, integrating low impact, eco-friendly home design and construction with the modern conveniences prefered by most of our clients, he is our architect of choice for our buyers in this new residential community in the jungle. He has spent the last three years working in Pueblo Sacbe on some of the most unique and amazing homes I have ever seen. Last week, we spent a morning in the jungle looking at some of the projects he has worked on and investigating various building techniques and architectural elements, some of which we will incorporate into our own home.


One of the "eco-castles" being completed in SacBe.


This fascinating roof design funnels rainwater down and into a catch basin of constantly circulating water.


Imagine a rainstorm in the middle of your home!!


Currently dry for the construction process, these aquaducts will ultimately be filled with water and continuously pumped with windpower under and around the house. These man-made rivers serve to cool the house using naturally chilly cenote water. This feature of constantly circulating water is something we would like to consider in the design of our home.


Carlos in one of the "moats" that weave through the property.


View from the handcrafted windows out to the surrounding jungle punctuated with a giant energy generating windmill.


One of the dramatic architectural pieces the property owner imported from the far East to use in his creations. Not exactly to our taste but undeniably beautiful.


This magnificent space is to become a theatrical performance and conference area. It's hard to properly portray the massive scale of this structure.


These are Rob-sized stairs and we love them! For reference of scale, the treads are about 3 inches thick!

 

While we are completely open to any and all ideas, our new home must integrate sustainable resources with traditional building materials and it should be as eco-friendly as possible. I think we are all in agreement that our home will not be as rustic as these structures in Sacbe and that the level of finish will be a bit higher. We do want to integrate as many natural elements as we can and invite the jungle onto our property by planting lots of flowering bushes, vines and fruit trees to attract birds and butterflies. We learned from our visit to The Jungle Place in Chemuyil that there are any number of indigenous plants that act as natural mosquito repellents. You can be certain we will have plenty of those on the property.

At this point our plan is to be on the grid, hooked into CFE, but also utilize wind and solar power for some of our less energy efficient modern conveniences such as air conditioning and water pumps. Inspired by the homes we saw in SacBe, we plan to build a rainwater catch system with which we can irrigate the gardens. To reduce our reliance and exposure to chemicals the pool will employ a saline filtration system to treat and balance the natural fresh cenote water. Carlos is already excited as he has spotted some tell-tale plants on our lot that indicate a cenote is nearby. Let’s just hope we don’t sink the house into one!

Stay tuned for ongoing reports. we hope to be in our new home by this time next year, so we really have our work cut out for us.