Starting construction of a Caribbean house, especially in a foreign country, might be a complex task. There is one area, however, where you cannot make mistakes, and that is choosing the right local materials.


There is one rule that works in any country if you want to build sustainably and to follow green architecture rules: use as many local materials as possible. That way, you will take advantage of centuries-old local construction secrets, insure yourself from that fact that an imported material might not fit with local environmental conditions and also save on costs.

JA' House by Riviera Maya Property Consultants. Bathroom

 

If you find yourself building your dream Mexican Caribbean house, for example, take advantage of ancient Mayan building traditions. Who else knew the region and local materials better than the Mayans? Their civilization is known for their majestic buildings that remain till this day.  We can actually say that the Mayans were true masters of sustainable and green architecture, besides being advanced engineers and builders. 

 

If you find yourself building your dream Mexican Caribbean house, for example, take advantage of ancient Mayan building traditions. Who else knew the region and local materials better than the Mayans? Their civilization is known for their majestic buildings that remain till this day.  We can actually say that the Mayans were true masters of sustainable and green architecture, besides being advanced engineers and builders. 

 

 

K'AK' House by Riviera Maya Property Consultants. Bathroom


 

The materials that the Mayans used include fossil stone ConcheraSascab as a mortar, limestone and sandstone, elegant green Guatemalan marble and durable, strong wood of the Caoba and Zapote tree, among many other options for you to choose from.

 

Here’s a basic list of popular local Yucatan building materials for you to consider.

 

Limestone. Yucatan limestone has been used widely in architecture throughout the peninsula, and is a prized local Mayan building material in other countries. Limestone is used in many different places, such as poolsides, bathroom walls and ballustrades. There are a few kinds of local limestone for you to choose from: Conchuela (off-white; patterns of coral fossils; great for outdoor paving); Coquina (finer, more elegant, less durable; great for molding and carvings); Macedonia (harder, more durable, with dramatic veining); Ticul (similar to Macedonia; terra cotta color).

 

Tiles (Mosaicos de pasta). These are the decorative tiles that you will find on the floor of colonial haciendas and palaces throughout Yucatan. These tiles are prized abroad, and are about 5 times more affordable in Yucatan, where they are produced. Think about adding a romantic colonial touch to your Mexican Caribbean house!

 

Wood. Caoba is a local broadleaf mahogany, known for its excellent wood. Extremely valued in carpentry and furniture production. Cedro, or Spanish cedar, is one of the most endangered local woods that is widely used for outside applications and emits a pleasant fragrance. Zapote tree is considered to be the hardest, the most durable tree in Yucatan.

 

Mortar. Sascab, which means “white earth” in Maya, was used by Mayans as a mortar in the famous white Mayan roads. Currently sascab is used as a filler material in buildings. Finely ground, it is called “stone dust,” and placed in mortars instead of sand. Its fine elements are also used for cement for stucco.

 

WAY House by Riviera Maya Property Consultants

 

Before starting the construction of your Caribbean house, take your time, investigate, talk to local architects and choose the right local Mayan building materials that work for the style of the building you have chosen and for its location (distance from the beach is one of the important factors to consider). Our next post will be about interior decoration following some local traditions. Stay tuned!

Take a look at our current House Projects in Tulum!

 

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