Keeping an eye on sustainability

Throughout the renovation of both Casa do Outeiro and Tapada do Falcão we have sought to minimise their impact on the environment and maximise their eco credentials without compromising on comfort.

Solar panels at Tapada do Falcão heat its water and a bank of a 28 photovoltaic panels linked to a battery system provide much of the electricity needs at both properties, backed up by the grid if necessary. The windows and doors are argon-filled double glazed units and use low emissivity glass.

All pools use salt water systems thereby removing the need for chlorine and other harsh chemicals. Our own wells and bore holes provide water for the pools and for garden irrigation.

Casa do Outeiro is clad in capoto, a special external plaster system designed to maximise insulation, keeping heat out in summer and in during winter.

The high output wood burner utilises our own wood which has either naturally fallen or been felled for safety. Water is heated in a rooftop tank powered by solar panels.

We have deliberately left the land surrounding Outeiro “wild” which benefits wildlife and removes the need for further irrigation. Any plants that have been added are drought-resistant.

We have also tried where possible to use local craftsmen and materials. A small team of builders from Caia completed the major works, working tirelessly and without missing a day for over three years, including throughout Covid lock-downs.

Our kitchens were hand-crafted by a Portuguese joiner, wardrobes were made by a local carpenter and all new pool and bathroom tiles were locally sourced.

We have drawn on specialist artisanal knowledge where possible – for example in the renovation of our stone walls and the laying of calçada (cobbles) around Outeiro.