FROM poo-powered properties to tuna-bone heaters, Spanish properties are leading the way when it comes to the environment. Innovative new designs are proving a building’s green credentials can be enhanced without skimping on luxury or convenience.
All over Spain, new ways of creating a dream home or hotel are ensuring eco-conscious people are able to tread the green path. And anyway, who wants to sleep in a run-of-the-mill hotel when a new wave of eco-friendly establishments offer forest tree suites and grass carpets?
Hostal Empuries, Girona
Hostal Empuries’ clients will certainly be at one with nature. Its rooms are insulated with sheep’s wool and its hallway carpets are made from grass. And you won’t be walking away with a ‘complimentary’ bottle of shower gel here. All the rooms use soap dispensers rather than plastic bottles. The hotel’s solar-powered light will guide you to its natural therapy spa, while a water purifier and organic garden will keep you brimming with natural vitality.
Basoa Suites, Navarra
These ewok-style tree dwellings were developed with nature uppermost in mind. Tree surgeons supervised the development of the the four suites to ensure minimum impact on the trees in the Ultzama Valley. A dry toilet system avoids the installation of pipes or drains and an elevated walkway ensures the surrounding soil and plant life remains free from human contact.
Hotel Viura, Rioja Alavesa
This luxury green hotel has installed innovative new systems to minimise its environmental impact. It was the first hotel in the Basque Country to install an eco-friendly biomass boiler. What’s more, it’s powered on dried, crushed tuna bones.The boiler heats the hotel’s water and allows for a 60% saving on the monthly energy bill.
Californian designer Meghan Sapp’s startup farmhouse in Oskotz is believed to be the world’s first home to takes all its energy from its waste. And it’s not just potato peelings and banana skins powering the dishwasher and underfloor heating. Poo – both human and from the farm’s horses – is heating the house and providing hot water. And with four horses on hand, Planet Energy founder Meghan and and husband Iñigo have a ready-made supply of biogas ‘fuel’.