Irota EcoLodge is a small holiday resort consisting of three holiday homes and a natural swimming pool. We set a leading example to the tourist industry showing that sustainability and luxury go well together: Few holiday makers select their accommodation based on sustainable criteria, but while enjoying their luxurious holiday home, they get inspired by the many sustainable solutions implemented. Staying a couple of days in this real-life example make guests enthusiastic to apply these sustainable solutions at their own construction projects.
Net zero carbon was one of our main sustainability goals. Initially we focussed on operational carbon. We achieved this goal with a low energy demand combined with an over-dimensioned solar system in order to supply a surplus of solar energy to the grid. The rural setting of the holiday resort allowed us to use firewood as the primary heating source. The firewood is sourced from the surrounding forests, so transport emission are brought to a minimum.
Secondly we tried to select circular building materials, i.e. materials that were either recycled or could be recycled in future. As a side-effect these materials have a low carbon content: Insulating the wooden frames with recycled paper resulted in high levels of biogenic storage, largely compensating emissions from concrete used in the foundations. The biogenic storage, combined with negative operational carbon mentioned above, made us achieved net zero carbon over the full life-cycle.
All-in-all, choosing building materials with a high biogenic content combined with energy efficiency and renewable generation, helped to achieve net zero operational and embodied carbon, while significant reducing operational costs at the same time.
Life Cycle Assessment Report