In Cayman, the green movement isn’t just a trend anymore. It’s becoming a lifestyle as more homes are switching to solar energy. Following in the footsteps of islands like Aruba, which aims to become 100 percent reliant on renewable energy sources by 2040, and Jamaica, which is creating the largest solar plant in the Caribbean, Cayman is looking to become less dependent on fossil fuels with the help of solar and wind farms.
“Most new developments in Cayman are incorporating some type of green elements in their construction,” says Kim Lund, broker/owner of RE/MAX Cayman Islands. “Over the last few years, many new houses and developments were built and marketed specifically as eco-friendly, and this trend continues to increase. The new Lighthouse Point Residences development in West Bay, for example, will be a leader for all green initiatives and become one of the most eco-friendly developments of condominiums in the Cayman Islands.”
Whilst the switch to solar energy is a slow-moving one, it could save $153 million on diesel fuel importation costs, as well as lower consumer bills. One of the major developments already under way is the $1.4 million, 22-acre 5-megawatt Bodden Town Solar Farm, which can generate enough renewable energy to fuel 800 homes. In addition to the solar-powered Lighthouse Point Residences, Cayman Airways Skies polled the experts to learn about a few of the other new eco-friendly homes to hit the market.
Located in the gated Grand Harbour community, the canal-front Bimini Sun Eco-Home is what RE/MAX Cayman Islands calls “a true pioneer in the world of functional living and sustainable design.” Built 11 feet above sea level and able to withstand Category 5 hurricanes, the $1.75 million home is not only structurally sound (with foundations three times the size of a normal residential home); it’s also environmentally friendly. Thanks to solar-generated power, this home is fully self-sufficient and the first in the Islands to feature geothermal air conditioning, which is 70 percent more efficient than conventional air conditioning. Other major perks include zero electricity bills, minimal operating costs and no power outages. The home was built in 2009, but still has a modern feel thanks to sleek LED lighting inside and out, as well as UV- and infrared-tinted windows.
The eco-living concept takes on a whole new meaning at Zapallar, a smart home that not only acts the part, but it also looks it. Think double-height ceilings, high-end appliances and a distinctive solar-panelled butterfly roof that makes for the ultimate in sustainable style. Slated to be completed in the summer, the five-bedroom home is perfect for families thanks to its prime location in the calm Crystal Harbour development, with vistas overlooking the canal and North Sound golf course. At Zapallar, you can have the best of both worlds, taking a dip in the pool on one side of your house and setting off by boat from your dock on the other.
Nestled along the canal in West Bay, the new Solaris, The Shores features the ultimate in cutting-edge green technologies, producing 100 percent of its energy via solar- and wind-powered systems. The sleek five-bedroom property spans 6,000 square feet with plenty of outdoor space prime for entertaining guests. On the market for $3.5 million, this modern beauty, which brings elements of the outdoors in, is slated to be the Caribbean’s first LEED Platinum home, setting the bar for sustainable living on the Island.
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Author: Lane Nieset