Aiming to preserve green space and construct more durable structures, eco-resort Estate Concordia representatives are requesting a modification to their Coastal Zone Management major permit, which will be heard at a St. John CZM Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 5, at 1 p.m. at the Cruz Bay Legislature building.
There are still 15 unbuilt units included in Concordia’s existing permit, the design and placement of which management now wants to modify, explained Concordia Vice President Maggie Day.
“We’re not asking to build any additional units, we just have concerns about how much land it will take to build the last set of units,” Day said.
“We want to cluster the units so that they will be closer together to preserve more of the overall green space.”
In addition to changing the location of the remaining 15 units, Concordia is requesting to alter the design of them as well, added Day.
“The land that is left for us to build on is away from the breeze,” she said. “We’re requesting a modification to our permit to change the design of the units from soft-sided tents to hard-sided structures. They are designed not to have to have air conditioning, but they can.”
If approved, the new units will be constructed of durable panels, Day explained.
“These units will be built from pre-fab insulated panels which are extremely energy efficient and durable,” she said. “We’re really excited about this — it’s going to be a big improvement. The structures will have a very long life and very low maintenance.”
The St. John architect Glen Speer-designed structures will lead the way in sustainable design, according to Day.
“They will be a tremendous guide to sustainable building on St. John,” Day said. “Anyone building small, site sensitive units will be very interested in the design of these units. They will be very low impact because we can place them so they don’t disrupt trees or large rocks.”
“People will be clamoring for this design,” Day added.
With the prospect of air conditioners, Concordia management is planning on the eco-resort becoming power neutral, Day explained.
“We’re going to be putting together a large solar system with 80 panels and a wind turbine for wind power,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll be power neutral. So even if we have to run the air conditioning in the new units, it won’t be inefficient.”
If approved, construction on the units is expected to begin immediately, Day added.
Estate Concordia, located on the southeast shore of St. John near Saltpond Bay, currently consists of 25 eco-tents and three studios.