Sustainable Building in the Andes
We are an Eco-Mountain Lodge from the ground up, which is evident in the way we built all of our on-site buildings. All buildings at The Lazy Dog Inn are built with the use of local materials to minimize the environmental impacts resulting from extraction and transportation of materials from remote locations. Our buildings are constructed of seismically reinforced adobe (mud brick) using soil taken right from our property and baked under the Andean sun. We used locally harvested wood for our roof structures and rock for the building foundations. Each brick was made by hand and mixed without the use of any electricity and with help from the local communities.
Sustainable Building Technique
Adobe is a great material for sustainable building as it’s not just an insulator, but a temperature regulator. How do you build a lodge with mud bricks and ensure that it’s stable? The adobe construction is seismically reinforced in various ways. First the adobe blocks themselves have a larger surface area (45cm x 45cm), which is larger than the traditional 20 x 40cm blocks used locally. Secondly a small amount of straw and sand was mixed with the finer particle clay soils found on the property to produce blocks of optimal resistance and flexibility. The adobe blocks were also produced with a 5cm hole in the middle of each block to allow for the vertical placement of 5/8”steel rebar through every block which was anchored into the concrete foundation and the wooden roof beams. Finally two layers of wire mesh were fixed to both the internal and external surfaces of every wall prior to applying the final layers of mortar and paint.
Supporting the Local Economy
Part of the practice in sustainable building is using local products so that we only needed to bring in tiles and windows from Lima, resulting in a minimum carbon foot-print for each building erected. Closets, furniture and doors were built by local artisans and carpenters using local wood to again minimize our carbon footprint and support the local community. All of our builders are from the local communities so each building helped the economy of several households within the local indigenous villages.
Not only has each building been built with local materials, using local labor, each building has a passive solar design which helps heat up the buildings during the day. As the temperatures drop at sunset, the adobe holds in the heat, making the cool nights more comfortable. With our adobe buildings and closed-loop system to grow our food and reuse water we’ve created a lodge that has a minimal impact on the local watersheds and the local environment.