Environmentally Friendly Holidays on Tenerife

Mon, April 4th, 2011 - By Colin

If you mention eco-friendly homes, people conjure up images ranging from Swampy the eco warrior living in a ditch, to Mole Manor – a millionaire’s folly in middle England. Transfer that idea to Tenerife and it sounds even more bizarre. But the sunshine holiday island is leading the way in bioclimatic houses. It’s taken 14 years to turn a government challenge to architects into a reality but now the 25 home estate is fully open in Granadilla and the government are renting them out as holiday homes so that people can live the green dream.

It would also be a popular assumption that these futuristic homes are hidden away in the nether regions of Tenerife. The reality is you may well have passed over them as your plane arrived or left at the nearby Tenerife Sur airport. Just a right turn out of the airport slip road and instead of heading for Playa de las Americas or Los Cristianos you will soon see an array of wind turbines marching down seaward to ITER ( Institute of Technology and Renewable Energy), home to the new dwellings.

Working with nature is the key here. The heat that attracts so many holiday makers is too good to waste and photovoltaic solar panels give the houses much of their power. Add to that the wind that blows in on this rugged point of the coast and you soon slash the running costs.

Those are pretty basic conservation tools but the bioclimatic answer is to use everything. All the houses are positioned to get the best light source and most are sunk partially into the ground to conserve the earth’s heat. Building materials were recycled and chosen for their ability to retain heat, light and energy and the ocean provides endless drinking water via a shared desalination plant.

If that all sounds a bit clinical and like living in a laboratory, fear not, fixtures and fittings are colour blended, plants are put to good use to soften edges and the overall designs please the eye as much as the environment. La Estrella is a roomy and spreading place to live, Las Bovedas has a very open and welcoming face, and they all have relaxing patios and gardens. Luxury wasn’t a rude word during construction; indoor pools and roof top Jacuzzis are no sin if they are heated and powered by renewable energy.

For the holiday maker there is the pleasure of living in a secluded natural setting away from the trappings of commercialism, and for the developers it’s the ultimate proof of whether their ideas work at a practical level. Sitting in the sun with the sound of the ocean rolling in has got to be the most satisfying way of saving the planet.

FACT FILE
Small houses for 3 or 4 people are 200 euros per day
Medium houses for 5 people are 240 euros a day
Large houses for 6 people are 280 euros a day.
If you want to try the houses out contact ITER

Posted : Monday, April 4th, 2011 at 8:18 am
Category : news
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