Pancha Mahabhuta (The Five Elements)

The fresh, integrated concept combines ancient building techniques with modern technology, renewable and recycled materials that are appropriate for the environment and resources available.

As the Bay of Banderas presents a warm, tropical climate, the house is oriented to the north to avoid overheating associated with sunrise and sunset.

Multiple ecological benefits are offered in this home. Water management is an essential element of the project: rainwater is harvested and stored while grey water is recycled and later used to flush toilets and water the grounds and produce food on site. Materials that would otherwise have been buried in the landfill were salvaged from local air conditioning business, restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions all within the Bahia de Banderas municipality. For example, tyres rammed with earth, 2 and 3 litre plastic PET softdrink bottles, glass wine bottles, styrofoam packing material and fibre glass insulation were used in the non living areas. Sand that was excavated to build the underground garage was used to form 75% the stabilized adobe walls in the house.

The integrated project consists of:
1 model home (first story)
2 apartments (second story)
3 car underground parking and basement

More images can be found here.


Notes:This home is priced at base currency USD 450,000; the GBP price of GBP 277,00 quoted is at an exchange rate on 27 September 2014 (

Disclaimer:Whilst we make all reasonable efforts to validate the property details and green features of the home provided, we unfortunately cannot guarantee it. Please let us know if you find any information provided here are false or misleading. Please also refer to our Terms & Conditions when you have a moment.



  • Property Type: Showcase 
  • Listing Type: For Sale 
  • Location: Bucerias, Mexico 
  • Price: GBP277,000 
  • Bedrooms:
  • Bathrooms:
  • Floor area (sq ft): 5080 
  • Condition: New build 

Energy Efficiency

  • Energy Efficient Appliances: Samsung refrigerator, Washing machine, Gas dryer. 
  • Energy Efficient Lighting: Illumination through LED fixtures that blend seamlessly with the modern architectural style assure low watt usage. 
  • Wall, Floor, Roof and Cavity Insulation: The house has been created from the earth it stands on. The soil removed to dig the basement out was compressed into nearly 1000 tyres. In the living areas of the home, stabilised adobe was used as the primary construction material for the 30cm thick walls. The mix contains 70% sand, 18% clay, a handful of rice straw, and 12% cement. Finished walls are 30 cm thick. This formula is ideal as it allows the adobe to “breath” thereby self regulated humidity (perfect for asthma suffers). Adobe is naturally resistant to termites, nontoxic, fireproof, noise proof and biodegradable. The thermal mass of the adobe walls helps maintain comfortable, stable temperatures indoor. The acoustic value is incredible. Roof top 30cm thick insulated foam. 
  • Other Energy Efficiency: Optimum window placement for maximum energy savings take advantage of predominant winds and sunlight. 


  • Solar Photovoltaic: Yes (work in progress). 
  • Solar Thermal: Yes. 
  • Biomass: Yes, adobe and earth rammed tyres. 
  • Anaerobic Digestion: Yes. 

Design Principles

  • Other Design Principles: Proper solar orientation assures natural lighting during the day without overheating the house. 


  • Waste Recycling (incl. Construction): Use of thousands of PET softdrink bottles, 1000 Used tyres, Glass bottles, Plastic 5 gallon buckets. 
  • Water Management: The rooftop “harvests” rain and stores it in a 208,000 litre underground cistern. Bath water is heated on the roof by an evacuated tube collector system. No additional gas water heater is required. Grey water from bathroom sinks, showers, laundry room and kitchen are routed through a “biocell”. The used water is filtered through a mixture of gravel and plant roots. The live botanical cell removes soap, grease and other impurities enough to take advantage of this recycled water to flush toilets and water the grounds (toilet flushing consumes over 40% of the daily water use in a conventional home). Biodigestor for black water. 
  • Feed-in To National Grid: During daylight hours, electric energy is produced by solar panels and is passed along to the local electric company, CFE, through a two-way meter. At night time, when there is no production, energy flows back into the home through the power company. This ebb and flow help keep the home’s overall energy costs down.  
  • Awards Received: Not yet; very soon! 
  • Local and Sustainable Building Materials: Yes, earth onsite used to fill in tyres and to form adobe walls. No VOC paints used. 
  • Sustainable Transport (On-site): Yes. 
  • Food Production: Yes, tropical edible garden plus food from biocell. 
  • Other: Dual flush toilets. 


  • 2 Apartments upstairs each with kitchen and gas stoves
  • 3 Car underground basement
  • Dishwasher
  • Gas dryer
  • Large kitchen first story with GE Profile gas stove and oven
  • Small lagoon
  • Spacious closets throughout
  • Spectacular views of the Bay of Banderas (Mexico's largest Pacific bay) and surrounding mountains
  • Warehouse
  • Washing machine

Community Features

  • ATVing
  • Beach
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Fine dining
  • Mountain hiking
  • Pools
  • Private schools
  • Sailing
  • Shopping
  • Snorkeling
  • Sports clubs