I’ve always enjoyed looking at houses, not with the intention of buying but because I’m nosy. With this in mind, we took a trip to the Casas Bioclimaticas at the ITER technological park and what a fascinating trip it was.
Tenerife is known for its wind, whether you’re into kite boarding or wind surfing so it is amazing to find this residential development of 25 homes located in an isolated but exceptionally peaceful area, between sea, mountains, and right next to a wind farm! They are also just a few minutes’ walk from several, practically deserted beaches.
To find this unique ‘village’, take the TF1 motorway towards Santa Cruz exit 51 or from Santa Cruz exit 52. Follow the signs and when you get to the industrial estate, stop at the barrier, give your details and they will let you through.
The first stop is the Visitors’ Centre, itself a bio-climatic building, close to the houses. There you will find a cafeteria, shop and terraces where you can view the Wind Farm and Montaña Pelada in the distance. There is an exhibition area with a model of the whole ITER project, different kinds of renewable energies and some of the exhibits are interactive so you can ‘fiddle’.
The centre and walkway are easy to negotiate on your own, but once a week there is a guided tour through the houses and this answers all your questions about renewable energy.
The project had an inspiring beginning. In the 1990s, construction in the Canary Islands was haphazard with little care for the impact on its surroundings. The Casas Bioclimaticas started as a competition with the idea of generating awareness about constructing homes in an efficient way. Architects from 38 countries submitted almost 400 designs and 25 winners were chosen. These designs allow experts to compare different solutions and decide which are the most efficient. The data is used to design environmentally friendly buildings across the world.
The houses were opened to the public in 2011 and were all individually designed, using recycled and recyclable materials. They are all 100% energy efficient, make maximum use of the available wind power and blend in with the landscape. The gardens are planted with only plants native to the island and there are small water features like ponds dotted around. The furnishings are all from local interior designers and the overall result is that each home has character and style.
Even though experimental all the houses are available as holiday rentals through the ITER who also run the wind farms either side of the TF-1 motorway. Tel: 922 747 758 or email email@example.com.
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