Welcome to the project page of Selva Santa Fe Biological Private Reserve and Nature Retreats, a uniquely eco-friendly development that combines the conservation of natural habitat with eco- and agro tourism and a truly green residential project.
If you are looking for a project that’s really different from the typical me-too developments that lack vision; if you care for a project that respects nature and follows and implements (not just on paper) the principles of sustainable development and eco-tourism – no ‘greenwashing’ but the real thing - and you expect quality building of your future 2nd home and its supporting facilities, you’ve come to the right place.
While there are many beautiful places in Panama – at the beach or in the mountains, to date we still have to find a development that follows our approach.
Explore our web site and picture gallery to see if you agree!
After 25 years in the tropics, I’m back again in the Netherlands. We decided that for the formation and education of our kids (12, 10 & 10), it would be better form them to grow up and go to school here.
We’re living in a small village called “Oegstgeest” which is right north of the beautiful and historic city of Leiden, also a university town. Close to the beach, lakes and “green heart” of the Netherlands.
This doesn’t mean our project is slowing down. On the contrary, being in the Netherlands I now have access to a very advanced engineering, design and manufacturing base that will help us design and create the low-impact housing we plan for our project.
We’re currently looking into prefab bridges to improve access to the property and building sites and the design of a concept cabins laminated wood construction on a small concrete base.
The design above shows a very low footprint on the ground that will not only minimize the impact we make on the natural surroundings but also make it very practical to build on our hill-side locations.
We’ve designed to go for (laminated) wood for the structural parts as it represents the lowest cost of ownership, ecological(energy) footprint and gives more design freedom.
The single truss bridge design above serves as a sample for what we’re looking for to create access to our project sites. Spans will be between 6 and 10 meters and the maximum load permitted will be 5 tons.
Below a few pictures of streams we need to cross.
Bridges are more expensive than other solutions like culverts. However, they eliminate the risk of blockage (of the tubes) during the rainy season which could jeopardize the entire structure as is illustrated below. Culverts also require a lot of material to build headwalls and wingwalls to protect the upstream side of the construction. And, you can’t take re-use them at another location.
On the other hand, a wide steel arch formed culvert like below right might also be an affordable and practical solution.
So, more exciting things to come. Stay tuned.
We just visited the property and wanted to share some pictures that show the difference of water levels between dry season and rainy season.
As you can see above, there’s a lot more water now which reconfirms the potential for hydropower. Between the lower part of the development and these waterfalls we have a difference in altitude of at least 50 meters (160 ft.) Given the volume of water we should be able to generate approximately 60 KW with small hydropower plant. When supplemented with solar power and a smart battery system including inverters, we can be totally self-sufficient in our power needs, even when you want a small air conditioning unit in your bedroom.
See this link for a few more very cool pictures on our Dutch language site.
Talking about power: the neighbors in the nearby hamlet of Palmar Arriba (3 km/2 miles away) confirmed that the electricity company has started to bring power to their village. We’ve indeed seen work has already started and power is now about 4 km away from the village. No doubt these people and the nearby school will be very happy with this development.