Finca Rosa Blanca – Costa Rica

This amazing property has received numerous awards & honors for its eco-friendly & sustainable efforts and practices. It receives TOP Honors in our EcoExcellence AwardTM Program. 

For more information on Finca Rosa Blanca

FINCA ROSA BLANCA COFEE PLANTATION & INN

On Site Sustainability Review for Finca Rosa Blanca

PROPERTY INFORMATION
Property Name Finca Rosa Blanca
Telephone Number CR( 506) 2269-9392US 1-(305)-395-3042
City Santa Barbara
Country Costa Rica
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS
Site Design
Comply with local zoning requirements Yes
Respect the natural or cultural heritage surroundings in site location, design, impact assessment, and land rights and acquisition Reforested hillside formerly used as motor cross track. Use organic and free flowing shapes for all of the buildings to visually flow into the landscape.
Recycle job site construction waste(including green waste and existing structures) Yes
Site and foundation drainage – sloped grade,protected drain tile/French drains, foundation floor drains Yes
Conserve resources by increasing density Yes
Building orientation for maximum energy efficiency Yes
Reduce Heat Island Effect on site/ minimize areasof pavement & walls of heat absorbing surfaces Yes
Private or semi-public outdoor gathering placewith natural elements Yes
Access for persons with special needs. Yes
Walking & bicycling paths Yes
Preferred parking for hybrid & electric vehicles No gasoline powered vehicles allowed past Reception gate.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE (continued)
Exterior & Structural
Locally appropriate principles of sustainable constructionusing regional materials and technologies. Yes
Structural materials of natural, rapidly renewable,reclaimed or high recycled content Timbers reclaimed from highway construction waste or fallen timbers used.  Bamboo used for ceiling framing.  Recycled plastic roofing tiles.
Windows placed for effective passive solar control Yes
Structural design to create stack effect for air circulation Cabinas have cupula with ventalation
Thermal mass in floors/walls concrete, tile
Breathable wall materials stucco walls
Foundation Drainage System Yes
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE (continued)
Energy & Water
Renewable energy source: Solar, wind, Geo thermal for power On grid using regional utility company which primarily uses renewable sources.  Solar pathway lighting.
Renewable energy source: Solar, wind, Geo thermal for hot water or tankless on-demand water heaters Solar and On-demand, tankless water heaters
Renewable energy source: Solar, wind, Geo thermal for hot water /or tankless on-demand water heaters for pools Solar (non-photovoltaic) heated tubing water heating system for pool.
Daylighting with windows, skylights & solar tubesto replace lighting fixtures Cupulas as skylights
High efficiency ceiling fans, lighting and signage– LED lamping preferable Yes
Monitoring of energy consumption and energy savings campaign Electrical and water metering devices for locatingleaks and monitoring consumption.
Certified wastewater treatment systems Plans for bio-digester system that would generate methanes gas from organic matter.  Possibly one to fuel kitchen for cooking and one to fuel the coffee roaster.
High efficiency toilets(Dual Flush or ≤ 1.28 Gallons Per Flush (gpf) best) Yes
Efficient water filters where necessary to provide safe & bathing drinking water with regular water quality testing Yes
“Solar” dryer (clotheslines) Yes
Monitoring of water consumption and water savings campaign Yes
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE (continued)
Indoor Air Quality
No VOC bio-based or low VOC recycled content paints, finishes and sealers Yes
Hard surface flooring instead of wall to wall carpeting Yes
Operable windows, skylights, and/or solar/high efficiency ventilation fans for cross ventilation Yes
Moisture resistant material in wet areas: Kitchens, Bathrooms, Yes
Breathable, hygroscopic wall & floor materials Yes
LANDSCAPING
Protect topsoil and minimize disruptionof existing plants & trees Restored
Storm water control to prevent erosion Rainwater is managed through a series of tubes and drainsumps, which supplies a pond,  then feeds surrounding foliage and fruit trees.
Permeable paving Yes
Use native species only, no invasive species Reforested with over 2500 native species trees and Chusquea clumping bamboo used for groundwater control and straws.
No plant species that require shearing Yes
Group plants by water needs (Hydrozoning) Native iris help to prevent erosion and absorb water
No toxic pesticides Only natural, non-toxic versions used.
Local Water Ordinance requirement Yes
Resource efficient landscapesusing materials present on site Yes
Minimal turf in landscape Yes
Recycled greywater and rain water Plans for greywater system near pool.
Community garden Yes
Site furniture of regional rapidly renewableor recycled materials Yes
Shielding of light fixtures and directing light downward Yes
FIXTURES & FURNISHINGS
Natural, rapidly renewable, or non toxicreclaimed or high recycled content material Reclaimed woods used for tables, bamboo for dining room chairs.
Regionally sourced materials Yes
Shower curtains & linens of natural fibers, bio-based fibers or recycled content, non-toxic synthetic fibers Bed linens natural cotton, towels of bamboo fibers.
MAINTENANCE & PURCHASING
No VOC bio-based or low VOC recycled content paints Low VOC – Paintura Sur / Protecta
Nontoxic, natural cleaners, soaps, sanitizers, pesticides, etc. throughout the hotel Yes
No air fresheners or deodorizers Yes
Bath linen reuse program Yes
Recycling program Yes
Composting program Yes
Refillable dispensers vs. disposable Yes
Chlorine & algaecide free pool maintenance Using ionization techniques for 25 years, saving about $50,000 by not purchasing chlorine
Two sided printing on recycled content, bleach free paper Some paper is banana, mango or papaya based.
Bulk purchasing & in reusable or recyclable containers Yes
Local purchases – within 30 miles or Regional purchases – within 200 miles Majority of supplies come from property or local merchants.
Fair Trade purchases Gift shop items.
Food grown / raised on siteor locally using organic / sustainable techniques All organic, primarily from own organic gardens.
Reusable or biodegradable, non-petroleum basedcups, plates and cutlery Yes
Ongoing sustainability training program for employees Yes
Biodiesel or electric property owned vehicles Yes
COMMUNITY POLICIES
Equitable hiring practices for women and minorities, in all positions, and no child labor. Yes
Hiring and training opportunities provided to local citizens first. 60% or higher 95% from local community.
Compliance with international or national legal protection of employees including fair living wages. Yes
Employees are provided with housing, food, healthcare or other benefits beyond pay Social security and continuing education paid for.  Loan programs offered. Christmas bonus. Profit Sharing.
Basic services, (water, energy, or sanitation), are not disrupted to local communities, by actions on property. Yes
Contributes to the protection of local historical, archeological, culturally, and spiritually important properties, and does not impede access to. Donations made to Barva Volcanic National Park and reforestation.
Local art, architecture, or cultural heritage incorporated in operations, design, decoration, food, or shops. Yes
Sustainability education for guests / suggestion cards Yes
Participates in local or regional environmental protection programs. Ongoing educational program for school children on environmentally correct use of the land.
Donations made to local community 5% of bar and restaurant profits to local school, Children’s Food Bank, and 2 recycling centers.  Solicited Food Bank donations from local stores.  Provide skill building workshops for local women.  Donations to Red Cross.  Donated automatic turn off faucets to local school. Donation to Barva Volcano National Park.
 Our Recommendations  

Even though they are difficult to find in Costa Rica, we recommend making it a high priority to find sources for zero VOC paints and finishes.  The sealers used on the new tile floors in our cabana were toxic, and had an adverse affect on indoor air quality.

 

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