Sustainable Building in the Andes
We are an Eco-Mountain Lodge from the ground up, which is evident in the way we sustainably built all of our on-site buildings. All buildings at the LDI were sustainably 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, 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 electrical tools.
Sustainable Building Technique
Adobe is a great material for sustinable building as it’s not just an insulator, but a temperature regulator. How do you sustainably build a lodge 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) 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. In addition all of our builders are from the local communities so each building helped the economy of several households within the local indigenous villages.