Solar Energy

Sustainability

At CO Cerro Mouro, sustainability is at the root of our vision. The urgent need to redesign the way we live in relationship to the planet and coexist with one another is central to our mission. We seek to go beyond the standard "green building" and instead push the agenda further in terms of how we can live in homes and communities that are regenerative - promoting circularity as much as possible.

As such, we have designed our homes to produce solar energy, catch and reuse rainwater, reutilise grey water for irrigation, and contribute to the cycle of green waste that fosters rich soil for the community garden. We want our homes to be healthy, inspiring spaces and for our neighbourhood to foster community and social resilience. 

 

Of course our homes are also intended to tread lightly on the planet; this means that our foundations using ground screws prevent the need for using polluting concrete (a huge source of carbon emissions worldwide) and do not cause soil sealing (permanent damage of the topsoil). Our thick, insulating walls made of compressed timber-straw panels are locally produced and carbon sequestering. Their high insulation properties also mean there is little need for energy to heat and cool the home. With low energy demand and solar panels meeting this need, our homes will be energy neutral.

Wood Work
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We also believe that building community is critical to more sustainable ways of living. As such, we have designed a series of communal areas where local residents can gather, garden, cook, and play. These include a communal outdoor stove and dining area, a food forest, an organic community garden, an eco-swimming pool and a children’s playscape using natural materials. Such areas are intentionally placed to bring people together, young and old, and foster strong ties amongst people in the village of Barão de São João and the surrounding area.
In summary, our project includes:
  • High-insulation walls made of compressed timber-straw wall panels that are locally assembled. The panels are also breathable and moisture-wicking, reducing indoor humidity and producing more comfortable, healthier living spaces. 

  • Solar energy for electricity, water heating and home heating.

  • Foundations based on ground screws, eliminating the need of concrete and preventing soil sealing; screws are also reusable and recyclable.

  • Water conservation via rainwater harvesting and grey water separation (from sinks and showers) that is filter with a helophyte system to then irrigate the community gardens.

  • Food and garden waste recycling in communal compost, creating a loop for edible landscape via the food forest and communal gardens that are based on biodynamic methods.

  • Food forest includes over a hectare of fruit trees, shrubs, bushes, vines, vegetables and herbs, reducing the carbon footprint of the residents by producing and consuming local food.

  • Communal areas meant to bring people together and foster regenerative, resilient community.