Planning and a good design defeat the blazing tropical sun in Osa

There is a good chance there will be screams each month when expats in places like Jacó get the electric bill.  Some say they are dropping $400 a month because of air conditioning. But a new eco lodge in Drake Bay has been built with the idea that passive cooling is better than expensive air conditioning.

The location is the Drake Bay Getaway Resort operated by Patrick Ludwig and Yens Jimenez Steller, formerly of  Seattle, Washington.

Passive cooling is what Great Grandma used to do before residential air conditioning  proliferated with some modern twists. The pair reported that all the cabins are kept cool with white roofs, ceiling fans, cross ventilation, and eco-friendly architectural design. And, of course, the hot shower is courtesy of the sun. There are five cabins with ocean and rainforest views, the pair noted.

The lodge was finished about three weeks ago, and the pair estimate that they will be saving 2,700 kilowatts of power per month, thanks to the passive cooling considerations. They figure that’s about $850 per month.

The lodge began as Drake Bay Cafe. Now there is a butterfly garden, too, Drake Bay is on the west side of the Osa peninsula and the Parque Nacional Corcovado in southwestern Costa Rica.

White roofs and bay breezes help cool the interior.

White roofs and bay breezes help cool the interior.

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