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Construction and homes expo in Belén to focus on sustainability

February 19, 2014

More than 230 businesses will display their latest home and construction products at a fair focusing on developing eco-friendly and energy-saving homes.

The ExpoConstrucción y Vivenda 2014 opened Wednesday afternoon and will continue through Sunday at the Pedregal Event Center in Belén, northwest of the capital.

Randall Briceño, president of the event’s organizing committee, anticipated 40,000 total attendees to peruse products ranging from power tools, construction equipment, building materials, and even mortgage options.

“Construction is a revitalizing part of the economy, creating residual and multiplying effects,” Briceño said in an interview.

The year 2014 marked the 16th expo, and Briceño said the main innovation was providing attendees with a written guide that can take them through all the steps of building a home in Costa Rica. The guide will help attendees navigate the 600 stands at the expo through the stages of homeownership, such as acquiring permits, information for property developers, and technical details on building construction.

Expo organizers invited the press to a preview on Wednesday morning, and construction teams filled Pedregal’s center, setting up the stands and model rooms. A group of students from Institute of Technology of Costa Rica and Trópika plan to unveil a prototype of an ecological sustainable home on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. The prototype is a preparation for the team’s entry in the June-July Solar Decathlon in France.

Other companies were hawking similar eco-friendly home solutions, which have the added benefit of mitigating rising electricity costs in Costa Rica. Insulation manufacturer Prodex had a stand manned by technical adviser Manuel González, offering ceiling, wall and floor insulation to protect air-conditioned homes from the intense tropical sun.

“This insulation can help deal with the thermal heat that comes in from the ceiling, which affects homes in all parts of Costa Rica,” González said in an interview.

Prospective homeowners can peruse more than tangible products at the expo, as banks and credit unions are showcasing special mortgage rates for the expo attendees. Leticia Arguedas, a spokeswoman for Banco Davivienda, said her company was optimistic about a rebound in Costa Rica’s real estate market – a sentiment shared by several bank representatives at the expo.

“We won’t be at the level we were at in 2007,” Arguedas said in an interview. “We are going to help our clients in a responsible and sustainable way.”

Schedule:

On Thursday at 10 a.m. the expo will showcase an eco-friendly home prototype. Doors open for the main expo from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m on Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday and Sunday, attendees must pay a $4 entry fee, and doors are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

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