Living in Patagonia - starting an ecological housing project in the Andes

Living in Patagonia

Registered
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
4
Likes
11
Hi, its been three years now since I have moved with my family from Europe to Villa la Angostura, Argentina. Main motivation was to have the kids experience the unspoiled nature of the Patagonian Andes, emerge into a welcoming culture and to get out of the city life (traffic, etc.). Argentina is not an easy country to move to, we have lived in Asia, North America and Australia before and this has been by far the most difficult process. Not because of the immigration policy but rather because of the lack of any clear path on how to obtain bank accounts, vehicle registration etc.

This might be easier in Buenos Aires, the advantage of starting this process in Villa la Angostura was the heartwarming friendliness of everyone involved in the process that made good for the absence of any process and months of waiting. Next was to find a home for my family. Given the rough climate of the Patagonian Andes we had to learn that energy efficient construction has only started to be relevant to most in Argentina.

We took the decision and build our own house - and add 3 more with the same sustainable building standards we were used to Northern Europe. We acquired a piece of land and spent month putting together a team of engineers, builder and architects that were skilled and enthusiastic about our plan. In 2019 we finished the construction of four almost energy zero homes and named the neighbourhood Village Ecolomas, all with mountain and lake views in a calm and safe neighbourhood in five minutes distance to the center of Villa la Angostura. It was not easy but absolutely worth taking on the challenge. The houses are absolutely beautiful, my family loves living in the house and it is near maintenance free as we only used the highest quality of construction material, furniture and windows available.

The kids are now avid hikers and skiers, the go climbing in the local Club Andina, kayaking and camping on one of the remote islands of Nahuel Huapi - simply living a very balanced life surrounded by the wild and unspoiled nature of Patagonia. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding living in Villa la Angostura, the most beautiful place on earth.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_4360.jpeg
    IMG_4360.jpeg
    128 KB · Views: 36
  • Casa 3.jpeg
    Casa 3.jpeg
    204.4 KB · Views: 37
  • Casa 3, Vista Dormitorio.jpeg
    Casa 3, Vista Dormitorio.jpeg
    154.4 KB · Views: 35
  • Living.jpeg
    Living.jpeg
    120.7 KB · Views: 34

FrankPintor

Registered
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
1,017
Likes
589
The house looks very nice, will you be sharing any details about costs, materials, problems encountered and so on?
 

sts7049

Registered
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
1,749
Likes
1,319
beautiful pictures!

were the costs significantly higher than what it would have taken in europe? how hard was it to find similar materials or competent contractors?

what are you doing with the other 3 houses, renting them out?
 

on the brink

Registered
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
1,675
Likes
1,843
Wonderful project, and wise life plan. Best of luck to you and your family....!
 

Living in Patagonia

Registered
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
4
Likes
11
The house looks very nice, will you be sharing any details about costs, materials, problems encountered and so on?
Hi Frank, in order to achieve a near zero loss of energy in the house we had to combine construction material from Chile, Germany and Argentina. Given the remote location of Villa la Angostura, shipping costs are very high and delivery times very long. No counting the cost for land, land development and connections (gas, water, electricity) we had a cost per m2 of way over USD 1000. Fortunately we found a builder who made the impossible possible, super passionate about the project and absolutely skilled in creating the first sustainable housing project in Argentina. If you come by Villa la Angostura I am happy to show you the village we created (Village Ecolomas or ecolomas.com)
 

Living in Patagonia

Registered
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
4
Likes
11
beautiful pictures!

were the costs significantly higher than what it would have taken in europe? how hard was it to find similar materials or competent contractors?

what are you doing with the other 3 houses, renting them out?
Hi there! Cost of construction material is higher than in Europe. You habe basically 2 choices: buy at the local stores where prices are high and choice of material very limited. You order online of directly with wholesalers/factories and only if you ship large volumes can you absorb the extra cost of shipping (and make it worth while not buying locally). Given the distance from Buenos Aires and the high import taxes it is a significant effort changing the "traditional" approach of building a house (very poor insulation) to build sustainable and energy efficient. Since we built 4 houses some economies of scale could be applied. We started offering the 3 other houses (ecolomas.com) for sale recently, sold one immediately and we will be selling the remaining 2 over the next 2-3 month. Friendly neighbours welcome!
 
Top