Secrets of the Archival Eco-House
The world is facing increasing environmental problems and mankind is desperate to lessen these plights. As a result, corporations and independents are looking at different ways to contribute to a cleaner and greener world. A key ingredient is passion and hard work. It’s clear that if you have enough of both, you can build your own green house and even be famous for it. This is exactly what Engr. Nestor Archival did.
A professional electrical engineer and advocate of nature, Engr. Archival built his own Eco-House. As Chair of the Cebu City Government Committee on Environment, he implemented and demonstrated how environmental green living could be made possible.
Located in the Earth, Wind and Sun Compound in Talamban, the House of Archival sits in a 7,000 sqm property. The Archival family dedicated themselves to going green by following the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. It seems simple enough, but needs dedication and a creative mind to achieve all three.
The property opens up with an unobtrusive wrought-iron gate and one of the first things you will notice is the tree house nestled cosily on top. Nearby, there are green houses neatly tucked in white nets and potted plants. Our tour guide gave us a piece of dried banana, one of their homemade treats, to prove that dessert is literally found in the backyard,
The area was divided into different eco-sections; like the goatery (where you can feed and pet the goats), vermi compost beds (vermi – bisexual worms whose job is to help convert organic wastes into nutrient-rich vermicasts a.k.a. fertilizers) and the carpentry section (where furniture is made using scrap materials). The mickey-mouse-shaped lagoon and two more pools filled with rainwater as water catchment. These rain tanks were also installed in the Eco-house. They accumulated water to be used to flush toilets, to wash clothes and plates and to water the plants.
Aside from their eco-focused initiatives, they also have a wall-climb and zip-line facility for adventure happy visitors. Groups are encouraged to avail of environmental lectures after the tour.
Inside Engr. Archival’s Eco-house, it is designed in such a way to naturally cool and heat itself thus lessening the need for electricity—which explains the installation of big and small windows as well as the skylight. Artistic murals, heavenly bodies and aquatic creatures, grace the first floor and the receiving area exudes the beauty of the underwater world with its cool blue hues – a contrast to the sunny second floor of the building with pastel shades and wisps of clouds for the sky.
Even down to the useless piece of scrap, Engr. Archival found ways to turn garbage into something useful. The furniture was styled with recycled scraps such as PVC pipes, tetra packs, empty cans, plastic cups, crushed eggshells, cable spools, wine bottles and empty bullet shells.
In this world of iPhones and iPads, a trip to the Eco-house is perfect for the young ones to appreciate the beauty of backyard. It’s the ideal place to get inspired with artistic ideas by turning trash into something useful (you may find yourself rummaging your trash bin later for empty bottles to start a DIY project of your own).
The Archivals have created a true Cebuano legacy and, most importantly, taught us a valuable lesson on giving back to nature: reduce, reuse and recycle. Ask yourself what you can give back to Mother Earth. You can start looking for answers in your own yard. It all starts at home.
How to get there
Ride a jeepney going to Talamban. Upon passing the bridge, the jeep will make a right turn (to Tintay). Before it turns right, you have to get off the intersection. Nearby is a cluster of pedicab drivers, you can ask them to take you to Archival eco-house.
The eco-house receives a lot of visitors every day, it costs P25/pax but they give discounts to students.
*Check out this quick video of how they conserve electricity in their home.