SosteNica and Cornell University Sustainable Design (CUSD)-SNN have teamed up to design and construct a model home that relies on values of sustainability, health, beauty, and cultural continuity, while also addressing affordability. The proposed model house will be built partly by student labor. Future homes will be built using sweat equity of the prospective owners. In addition, the house will be built using local materials – earthen adobe walls – respecting tradition, using less embodied energy, and protecting inhabitants from tropical heat.
The house will include four eco-technologies: a composting toilet, an efficient wood burning stove, rain water caption, and grey water treatment. In addition, a patio garden will be planted using food forest permaculture principles, fertilized by the compost from the toilet, watered from the grey water treatment, and providing food for the family to improve their food security and diversify their diet with fruits and vegetables.
This house will be a showcase for more than 100 housing cooperatives throughout Nicaragua, as an option over the recently conventional cinder block, rebar, and metal roofed alternative.