THE FUTURE OF BUILDING
OFF GRID SOLUTIONS
A BETTER WAY TO BUI L D HOMES AND ST R UC T UR ES
UN D ER STA N DI N G A N I N TE R I O R DE S I G N E R ’ S S K I L L S
MA K I N G L I F E E AS I ER FO R A L L O F U S
Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences The future of sophisticated living in the BVI
WHAT WENT WRONG? H U RRICANE I R MA’S AFTER MATH – W H AT CAN WE DO TO PR OTECT O U R SELVES?
D EC/JAN 201 8 B V I P R O P E R T Y YA C H T. C O M
The only thing that’s better is what still lies ahead. We aim to help our clients make significant progress. By acting as an entrepreneurial bank and a dynamic partner, creating experiences that inspire. In efficient but straightforward ways. So that each summit reached excites anticipation of the next.
VP Bank (BVI) Ltd · VP Bank House · 156 Main Street · PO Box 2341 Road Town · Tortola VG1110 · British Virgin Islands T +1 284 494 11 00 · F +1 284 494 11 44 · firstname.lastname@example.org VP Bank Group is based in Liechtenstein and has offices in Vaduz, Zurich, Luxembourg, Tortola/BVI, Singapore, Hong Kong and Moscow.
TOWER HOUSE & FRENCHMAN’S CHALET Frenchman's Cay, Tortola US$6,500,000
JASMINE VILLA Long Bay, Tortola US$ 2,500,000
COHOBA HOUSE Belmont, Tortola US$2,500,000
SHANNON HEIGHTS Shannon, Tortola $1,295,000
THE ART OF LIVING Living in the British Virgin Islands means having an intimate relationship with the ocean and our tropical climate; they permeate our daily activities. Beach day or forest hike? North shore surfing or South shore marina? Tortola or Virgin Gorda? The choices are many and varied. Choosing to eat out could take you to one of numerous restaurants on several different islands with countless beaches and hidden coves, all an easy boat ride away ‐ power boat or sailing yacht ‐ you choose!
INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS, LOCAL INSIGHTS
TORTOLA OFFICE +1 284 340 5555 (Maritha Keil) Mill Mall, Road Town +1 284 494 5700
Each office is independently owned and operated
Delivering trusted legal advice and peace of mind to clients acquiring property in the British Virgin Islands.
HARNEYS | British Virgin Islands
Your one-stop shop for any real estate transaction in the BVI.
harneys.com | harneysfid.com
British Virgin Islands
Bermuda legal services are provided through an exclusive association with Zuill & Co which is an independently owned and controlled Bermudian law firm.
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on the cover
WE HOPE LIFE IS beginning to take some form of normality after the traumatic storm of this year, and you’re moving toward a state of stability and wellness. For this holiday issue’s features, we continue our effort to aid recovery after Irma with a progressive attitude and insightful information. The time of rebuilding is a challenging one, but we must not lose heart —the Virgin Islands will be strong again with prudent planning, perseverance, and patience. We open the magazine with our exclusive feature property showcasing Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences; an oceanfront property blending modern sophistication with relaxed Caribbean flair. Innovative company Earthship unveil their sustainable, eco-friendly housing ethic for a new Caribbean in this month’s publication; an apt time as we rebuild after the storm. We also examine what it really means to be a designer with Debi Carson, who explains the finer differences between designer and decorator. In our regular feature Habitat, we show you how your home can reflect your personality, and following, we reacquaint ourselves with TigerQi Architecture— the firm that specialises in contemporary design while respecting and maintaining Caribbean tradition. ‘What went wrong?’ Keeping in mind that hurricane Irma’s destructive path had a great deal to do with misfortune, VIPY investigate the damage of 70% of buildings in the BVI. What can we do to improve construction and live in peaceful knowledge that we’ve done our best in architectural planning and protection? We find out. Rufred Forbes Associates relay their expertise and what they can do for your architectural needs in the aforementioned question, and we also ask: What are the best, most-sustainable products that we should be using in building our homes? The plumbing retail, marine trade, contracting, and maintenance specialists Clarence Thomas Ltd. Home Center, inform us as to what their services can offer; again, very useful during this period of reconstruction. Another timely addition to our magazine this month, is a review of off gird solutions which are making the future look brighter—aTec allow us a clearer picture on where this alternative energy technology is leading the Virgin Islands. We review the BVI energy company itself and what services they provide, boasting optimum resources to create clean and reliable power. Finally, Beachside Lighting Solutions dazzle us with their beautiful, functional, and weather-resistant lighting products—a concluding editorial to complete the advice presented this month. Wishing you enjoyment of the LAND, SEA, and LIFE in the Virgin Islands.
Stephen L France Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences rendering by TigerQi Architecture
6 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
PS – Let’s keep moving forward as the Virgin Islands returns, greatly improved #BVIStrong
CTL HOME CENTER
IS YOUR PARTNER IN THE REBUILD CTL Home Center is committed to the BVIâ€™s post-hurricane rebuilding needs, offering lower prices and free consultations.
Get accurate estimates for building requirements from our experts. We provide onsite visits and personal consultations.
E-mail your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or message us via facebook.com/ctlbvi
CTL Home Center is passing on tax-exempt savings to the whole community on building materials, lumber, plumbing and electrical supplies, household furniture, appliances and cleaning products.
Post-Hurricane Hours: Monâ€“Sat 8.00am to 4.00pm Sunday 9.00am to 2.00pm
CTL Home Center is Your Home Of Savings! The Best Products at the Lowest Prices Period!
OUR TEAM / CREDITS
contributors Debi Carson
Habitat Editor Debi is among the Caribbean’s most prominent interior designers, decorated with NCIDQ certification and heading one of the region’s most versatile full-service design firms.
Sara Sherman is a freelance writer, yogi, and accidental island girl living in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. SaraMSherman.com and IslandersFromIowa.com is where she resides.
Stephen Leslie France
Stephen is a freelance editor, working with VIPY for six years. He can be found at stephenlesliefrance.com
aLookingGlass Team Erin Paviour-Smith
Sales Director & Project Manager Originally from New Zealand with a background in brand management for three of New Zealand’s top-selling lifestyle magazines, Erin has strong understanding of sales and marketing within publishing. She brings a fresh approach to advertising in magazines and digital media.
FOUNDING PUBLISHER Colin Rathbun CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nick Cunha
DESIGN & LAYOUT Sally Fullam email@example.com
8 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
WEB DEVELOPER Maros Pristas
DISTRIBUTION Francoise Frank
ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Erin Paviour-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Director of CTL Home Center, Michael has the knowledge and expertise regarding all the materials to build a property from the foundation up. As a special guest entry this month, he provides much required info on our construction efforts post Irma.
VIRGIN ISLANDS PROPERTY & YACHT is usually published eleven times a year (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November & December/January), however, due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the magazine will temporarily be published bi-monthly (January, March & May 2018) and reviewed thereafter, by aLookingGlass Limited, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. © Copyright 2017 by aLookingGlass Ltd. All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright by the creators or by the contractual arrangements with their clients. Nothing shown may be reproduced in any form without obtaining the permission of the creators and any other person or company who may have copyright ownership.
The publisher of VI Property & Yacht, assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content placed in its publications. For the avoidance of doubt, aLookingGlass gives no warranty or guarantee in regards to any information placed in its publications. PLEASE DIRECT ALL ENQUIRIES TO: EMAIL: email@example.com PHONE: 284 494 7788 MAIL: alookingGlass Limited, PO Box 3895, Sea Cow’s Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110 alookingglass.com bvipropertyyacht.com
BRING GREAT DESIGN HOME
To discuss your Project, contact Roy Keegan: Office: 284 494 5240 Cell: 284 541 7483 firstname.lastname@example.org Arawak Interiors, Road Reef Plaza #9, Road Town
Arawak Interiors offers home interior design advice, custom designs and sourcing from Asia, Mexico and USA. We also offer an extensive range of furniture, fixtures and fittings to choose from at our interior store and warehouse located in Road Town. Arawak Interiors manages all the shipping and logistics to deliver to your door anywhere in the BVI. Overseeing projects for Private villas, Private Islands, Resorts & Restaurants.
contents D E C /J A N 2 0 1 8
20 50 14
EXCLUSIVE FEATURE PROPERTY
Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences blend modern sophistication with tropical island style
EARTHSHIP Sustainable, eco-friendly housing for a new Caribbean
We explore what it really means to be an interior designer with Debi Carson
The architectural firm that specialises in contemporary design
The construction retail specialists offer a reflection on Irma
WHAT WENT WRONG?
VIPY investigate what we can do to aid reconstruction in aftermath of Irma
OFF GIRD SOLUTIONS
The future looks brighter and brighter with alternative energy
RFA explain what they can do for your architectural needs
Working with the best technologies to create clean and reliable power
RUFRED FORBES ASSOCIATES
STORM PRODUCTS AND PRACTICES
Deconstructing design, your home should reflect your personality
What are the best, most-sustainable products and practices?
Creating beautiful, functional, and weather-resistant lighting products
V i r g i n
G o r d a
Paradisesustainable awaits…and exclusive... Luxurious,
…discover thisopportunity unique opportunity ... discover a unique to createto createyour yourdream dreamhome homeon onVirgin VirginGorda Gorda.
been designed to management, provide the highest quality Our 10 10generous generoushomesites homesiteswith are private nestled docks, on Our helipad and onsite are nestled on mostbeautiful beautifulcoastlines and exclusive in the world, overlooking the yachting facilities and infrastructure. Blunder oneone of of thethemost in thecoastlines heaven of Virgin Gorda’ s North Sound. Blunder Bay Estates has been designed to provide Bay Estates are here to assist you - from world, overlooking the yachting heaven of the the highest quality facilities and infrastructure. Our expert team are here to assist you - from purchasing and planning to design, build North Sound. With private docks, helipad purchasing and planning to design, build and management. and onsite management, the Estate has
Let us arrange a visit for youatotrip experience Blunder To find out more or arrange to Blunder Bay: Bay: +1 284 541 0355 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
e W s g n i Th Love
To (Re) Decorate Whether starting from scratch, or putting it all back together after the storms, we have everything you need to decorate.
Simple elegant images, keep it clean and fresh.
Perfect as a stand alone piece, by the bed or console.
Brighten up a scheme with a bold coloured frame.
Blueberry looks great with for a twist on coastal.
Cool and comfortable slip covered sofas. Letâ€™s be...
Subtle beaded embellishments work well with shabby chic. On trend with the two-tone design. 12 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
These blue bottles are candle clothes.
284.542.1964 | email@example.com | housebvi.com
OWN A PIECE OF PARADISE
Leave the legal details to us... Property
Acquisition | Construction | Disposal
WE KNOW OUR TERRITORY
Over a quarter century of success representing BVI property & yacht transactions in all legal phases of acquisition, land use, planning, design, construction, ďŹ nancing, and coroprate structuring for individuals, companies, and trusts.
Specializing in foreign investment Residential | Commercial | Admiralty
Contact: Willa Tavernier (e) firstname.lastname@example.org (p) +1 (284) 494-5808
L A N D / E XC L U S I V E F E AT U R E P R O P E R T Y
Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences The future of sophisticated living in the BVI WO R DS BY SA R A S H E R M A N R E N D E R I N G S C O U R T E S Y O F L AV I N A L I B U R D â€” TIGERQI ARCHITECTURE AND DEBI CARSON
14 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
LEFT The stunning future of oceanfront bliss at Brandywine Bay Estate
IN THE WAKE OF hurricanes Irma and Maria, many are wondering what life in the British Virgin Islands will be like moving forward. For luxury real estate Sothebyâ€™s International Realty BVI and the developers of Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences, the outlook is shining as bright as the Caribbean sun. The luxury town-home development is situated on one of Tortolaâ€™s premier waterfronts in the quiet community of Brandywine Bay Estate on the eastern end of the island, with stunning views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Their location is nestled among the natural beauty of the islands, and the environmentally-friendly design coupled with green building practices mean these residences get the best of both worlds when it comes to owning a piece of paradise in the BVI. The three-bedroom town-homes are the height of sophistication and each include three and a half baths and a private dock per resident. With three levels of space to relax and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings, the desirable properties feature spacious floor-to-ceiling doors with open water views. Each level of the properties boasts its own veranda, perfect for watching the yachts and for simply enjoying the views of the sea. The main interior living area has soaring ceilings to further create an open feel and blur the lines between nature and the comfort of the great indoors. Plenty of uniquely-designed storage areas mean everything has its place, while keeping desired items
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L A N D / E XC L U S I V E F E AT U R E P R O P E R T Y
ABOVE Spacious, contemporary interiors grant freedom and relaxation
U N D EERR OFF
16 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
close at hand, and the mixed-use spaces are perfect for entertaining family or guests. In addition to a private dock for each homeowner’s use, access to a separate parking lot with designated spaces is provided for convenience. Clean, modern and with all the amenities of a cosmopolitan waterfront home, Water’s Edge Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences have everything a homeowner wants, needs, and much more. While the post-hurricane property market isn’t entirely clear, British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty is continuing to show and sell homes in the BVI, which is good news for the recovery of the islands. Infrastructure concerns are the main question being contemplated
Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences have everything a homeowner wants, needs, and much more
by buyers and builders, but the fact that the market is still positive and will continue to grow as the BVI continues to heal, is a welcome and positive sign. The Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences development has not only survived the storms but sustained no damage. The all-local team of professionals has been working together on this project for more than two years, and their diligent research and pre-construction work
ensured a high-quality product that is contributing to the sustainability of the structures and overall project. No storm surge reached the property, and the hurricane shutters and windows to be used throughout the property performed well, further proving that the quality of the materials chosen are suited perfectly for a property in the Caribbean. As the project was newly under development when the hurricanes moved over the BVI,
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L A N D / E XC L U S I V E F E AT U R E P R O P E R T Y
TOP The smooth, modern bedroom offers tranquillity ABOVE Plans of the property project development
18 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
BRANDYWINE ESTATE BAYSIDE RESIDENCES
the Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences development team has since assessed the property and have made slight adjustments to the project’s completion timeline. One of the condos at Brandywine Bay was under offer at the time of writing this publication, and the project is moving forward. ■
CONTACT DETAILS: If you’re interested in owning one of the luxury condos at Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences on Tortola, please contact Maritha Keil with British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty at 284-340-5555 or email@example.com
ABOVE The modern aesthetic, designed to blend with the Caribbean climate and atmosphere LEFT Another attractive and serene bedroom with a fantastic view
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All Earthship vessels produce their own food from indoor greenhouses and 20 | Vlike I Pthis R O beautiful P E R T Y hallway & YA C H T gardens
Getting on board with Earthship Sustainable, eco-friendly housing for a new Caribbean WO R DS BY SA R A S H E R M A N P H OTO G R A P H Y BY K I R S T E N JACO B S E N â€” E A R T H S H I P B I OT E C T U R E
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LAND / GETTING ON BOARD WITH EARTHSHIP
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT:
Natural light streams into a functional and beautiful Earthship home. Every inch of space has been designed with the earthâ€™s natural cycles in mind
22 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
AFTER MOTHER NATURE pummelled the Caribbean with not one but two category-five hurricanes in September 2017, many island communities are sifting through the rubble to determine how to best move forward. While severe weather is not unheard of in this region, the complications brought on by the 12-day separation between massive hurricanes Irma and Maria hitting the British Virgin Islands meant less opportunity to assess, recover, and repair amid the storms. Many homes are completely destroyed, while others are severely damaged and will need extensive repairs in order to be habitable and functional living areas once again. As the BVI shifts its focus from recovery to rebuilding and moving forward, a more sustainable way of living could change the way the people of the Caribbean live. Michael Reynolds of Earthship is one man that has brought the tenets of sustainable, ‘off the grid’ living to a new level. Since graduating from architecture school in 1969, Reynolds’ passionate pursuit of a better way to build homes and structures has bvipropertyyacht.com
D E C /J A N 2 0 1 8 | 23
LAND / GETTING ON BOARD WITH EARTHSHIP
evolved into Earthship, a vibrant organisation committed to creating self-sufficient dwellings from natural and recycled materials. From creating a ‘building block’ from beer cans in 1971 and using them to create light, strong concrete walls for a structure, the idea of homes made from ‘garbage’ has evolved into unique and beautiful structures that incorporate thermal mass, passive solar, and natural ventilation, offering a self-sufficient way of living.
The Six Needs for Life on Earth In addition to heating and cooling built into the structure, Reynolds recognises six other ‘needs for life’ that Earthship structures address.
BUILDING WITH NATURAL AND RECYCLED MATERIALS By creating
foundations from discarded tires and walls from aluminium cans and glass bottles, ‘Earthships’ are not only cheaper to produce, but take unwanted items that may sit in a landfill and repurpose them for building materials. In an island environment—when landfill space is at a premium and recycling practices are expensive and difficult to sustain—taking ‘garbage’ and using it to create sustainable buildings could affect great change in the region.
SOLAR AND WIND ELECTRICITY All power for
an Earthship’s existence is created from solar or wind energy. This energy can then power the structure for all daily living needs, including powering the other systems that make it a selfsustaining living environment.
THERMAL HEATING AND COOLING By using
discarded tires for walls and building into the earth, Earthships use thermodynamics to keep interior rooms at a comfortable temperature without needing electric systems to heat or cool them. 24 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
Islanders are accustomed to cistern-fed water systems, and Earthships continue this practice, harvesting all water from rainfall needed for daily living.
CONTAINED SEWAGE TREATMENT In addition to
harvesting water for daily needs, an Earthship contains its own sewage treatment system, which reduces need and cost for municipal waste management.
Earthships incorporate greenhouses and aquaponics in order to offer organic food production systems to sustain the people living in the structure. The plants are not only functional as a food production system, but are also aesthetically pleasing and provide natural air purifying measures for the home.
Natural Disasters and Island Implications Reynolds and the Earthship team have responded with their biotecture technologies to natural disasters around the world. In 1999 after hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras, Earthship took their building practices to the region to assist in rebuilding homes that could withstand a category-five hurricane. Similarly, after a deadly typhoon hit the Philippines in 2014, Reynolds designed a new kind of Earthship that allows torrential winds to pass over a home instead of lifting it off the ground, as could happen during a massive hurricane. “We could go to any Caribbean island and start a city that didn’t need any infrastructure whatsoever,” said Reynolds. “And these structures won’t blow away in the event of a hurricane.” After the catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, Reynolds went to the island nation and in four days constructed a room for immediate shelter for an earthquake survivor—a unique demonstration
of the intersection of beauty and sustainability of the Earthship model. Then, after raising funds and returning to the island two months later, their team added a flush toilet, cistern, and shower that created a courtyard-like structure resembling a villa. This villa is now being used as an Airbnb rental. “We have been working on sustainable dwelling units for five decades. What we find is right after a hurricane or earthquake, people don’t have infrastructure anymore and need what we’ve been working on,” said Reynolds. “We learned a lot by going to these places for decades, and we do now have a programme that provides them with the essentials for survival right after a natural disaster, but in a way that is not temporary. It evolves into a permanent structure, permanent residence, a permanent way of living that is sustainable and green.” British Virgin Islanders may consider the durability and sustainability of an Earthship-type structure when rebuilding a home or business in the Territory. This kind of building could revolutionise the way people live in the Caribbean, in a way that not only greatly reduces the waste coming from a dwelling, but helps the islands to use some of the unused materials that are already piling up on the beautiful shores of the BVI. “An Earthship vessel addresses the six points for human survival. You need to make a strong shelter that is comfortable without fuel. It can be done. We all on this planet need to move to green and sustainable and logical living, so this an opportunity for everyone,” said Reynolds. Learn more about Earthship, their structures, and how their solution could make a real difference in how the BVI recovers from natural disasters like hurricanes Irma and Maria at www. EarthshipGlobal.com. Preserving the beauty and culture of the unique and unforgettable Caribbean region has never been more important. ■ bvipropertyyacht.com
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT
Earthship founder Michael Reynolds has designed and refined biotecture structures since the 1970s. Each is built with discarded materials like tires, bottles and cans. Earthship vessels produce their own food and treat their own water systems with indoor ponds
D E C /J A N 2 0 1 8 | 25
Traditional Caribbean interiors of Outer Banks
26 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
Understanding an interior designer’s skills with Debi Carson WO R D S BY ST E P H E N L F R A N C E P H OTO G R A P H Y BY R A I N B OW V I S I O N S BV I
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE between an interior designer and an interior decorator? So often, laypeople confuse the job roles using the terms interchangeably, so VIPY set out to discover more about the specific skill set of an interior designer with Debi Carson. Debi holds the highest certification an interior designer can accomplish in the United States with a NCIDQ. This qualification is defined by the US Council for interior design (CIDQ ) as “the professional difference between an ‘interior designer’ and ‘interior decorator.’” The CIDQ continue, “Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behaviour to create functional spaces within a building. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.” Often, Debi refers to herself as an interior architect as this defines her role, qualifications, and level of responsibility appropriately within a construction project team. With over 20 years’ experience, Debi’s career in the Caribbean began as a senior interior designer with OBM International in the BVI. After seven years with the company, Debi set out to pursue her own business. She quickly gained a profound understanding of the diversity within interior design from extensive work across various facets in the industry. Her resume ranges through new construction and development, renovation and expansion projects, residential and commercial scenarios spanning from the budget conscious to luxury, Government, assisted-living, historic properties, and immense hospitality developments.
D E C /J A N 2 0 1 8 | 27
Debi holds the highest certification an interior designer can accomplish... with a NCIDQ
“A typical project consists of client liaison and briefing, development of design schematics, space allocation, detail design development and documentation, on-site project supervision through to the last touches of installation,” she said. With developing modern technology, interior designers have to be able to use the tools available with precision and Debi has adapted to this evolution flawlessly. “Much like a pencil is what we would use to draw an expression on paper, the new technology is an extension of the tools used to reflect design solutions,” she said. “It’s the skill and training behind the use of the pencil or computer programme that leads to a successful end result.” Debi enjoys the responsibility of analysing project needs, listening to the client, understanding and interpreting goals, and fighting for a client’s vision to be implemented to the fullest. She escorts her clients from the drawing board through to final installation. With every project, Debi brings her technical skills and artistic eye to create functional spaces that are a reflection of the occupants’ personality. With the prerequisite to be a ‘people person’ as part of the interior designer vocation, Debi comprehends her client’s needs and relishes faithful replication of their idea(s). LEFT The spacious interiors of Outer Banks
28 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
The designer relayed that her passionate occupation is a culmination of innovation, niche experience, knowing one’s resources, and vision comprehension. Empathising with the client on a project, she coordinates with the architect’s understanding of the building infrastructure. This means function of the property, aesthetic, and safety are goals she achieves smoothly. “I love the site work process as the dreams start to become reality,” she said of her hands-on approach with the team of contractors, specialty sub-contractors, fabricators, and suppliers. “There are so many layers to the project and it’s amazing to see all of the elements come together.” Alongside the multitude of residential projects, Debi was integral to the renovation and expansion of an old home in Great Camanoe last summer—an example of a full interior design work-through. “All areas were renovated and redesigned,” she said. “I was responsible for conceptual layouts, specifications, procurement, and site visits through to the final fabrications.” Her renowned commercial works include the interiors of Conyers Dill & Pearman in Commerce House, Harney Westwood & Riegels’ Main Street offices, and Tortola Sports Club. AVL, and the CCT buildings have also been blessed with her proficient design mind. Visitors and residents will also see Debi’s design signature at Peter Island Resort and Scrub Island Resort’s villa—a handful of the retreats she’s worked on. She is also the interior designer for the Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences, overseeing the new construction development of 10 luxury town-houses. “I’ve worked with the local architect and client team to establish floor plan layouts and details,” she said. “All interior specifications from concept through procurement and installation,” she continued. “As this is a development project, we did
target market analysis in our initial explorations and design proposals.” Two extra projects she’s working on are a new beachfront home and renovation of an existing home, both in Long Bay. These are due to complete in spring of 2018. For Debi, the general scope of the process remains the same for much of these projects with one huge, defining variable; she tailors her service completely to the needs and vision of the client. Another project worthy of mention that the multitasking interior designer is still committed to since 2015, is Nanny Cay Resort’s luxury condominiums. Dealing with all interior and exterior finishes and
ABOVE Stunning interior and exterior of Diamond Reef
fixtures, her work also encompasses coordination with the home buyers— reinforcing her loyalty to meeting clients’ wishes. Maintaining insight of her clients’ visions, it’s highly probable we’re going to see Debi’s signature interior design increasingly around the British Virgin Islands in years to come. It’s clear that the most prudent property developments employ her skills early on in a project, thereby acquiring the most fruitful use of her abilities from blueprint to correct expression of their requirements. ■
D E C /J A N 2 0 1 8 | 29
L A N D / H A B I TAT
As you embark on your construction project and establishing the end vision, consider elements early that will shape your final solutions WO R DS BY D E B I C A R S O N P H OTO G R A P H Y BY R A I N B OW V I S I O N S BV I YOUR DESIGN SHOULD REFLECT your personality and region, and what evokes good form and function to your specific needs.
THE SENTIMENT Pieces that have significant value or reference to you personally; furnishing that you might have inherited or reflects your heritage; art that tells a story or an object you acquired on an amazing exploration. Bring the notation of these elements to the forefront in your planning so they can be highlighted and showcased.
COMPOSITION The scale of pieces that you might have on-hand or look to implement, need to be carefully considered as they relate to the scale of the space. A large chandelier—which in this example evokes a strong element of size and texture—is placed in the juxtaposition of the bold colour and scale of turquoise pottery. Your space is a work of art.
MOOD Lighting which creates mood, directs focus and highlights texture or colour as an important component to a successful design. ■
30 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T
LEFT TO RIGHT All ‘e Same t’e Pakeha canvas print by Charles Goldie. Framing by Images Custom Framing & Gallery. Wooden beaded chandelier $595, tall blue glass vase $38.95, marina tall bottle vase $18.95, glass telor vase $34.95, Datura carved storage cabinet $1,550, extra-large black/green pot $325, small black/off white pot $125, all from Arawak Interiors. OPPOSITE PAGE , LEFT TO RIGHT The Fall of Icarus print from the Birds series by Bill Hammond. Framing by Images Custom Framing & Gallery. Large black/off white pot $265, small black/aqua pot $75, all from Arawak Interiors.
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Windmill Cottage at Sabbath Hill
VIPY revisits the BVI’s contemporary architectural firm WO R D S BY ST E P H E N L F R A N C E P H OTO G R A P H Y CO U RT E SY O F T I G E R Q I A R C H I T E CTU R E THIS MONTH, VIPY WERE glad to reacquaint ourselves with the firm TigerQi Architecture to discuss their progress since their launch in 2013, when we spoke to them last. Talking to founder of TigerQi Architecture, Lavina Liburd, we enjoyed learning that the company have remained consistent in their original philosophy and approach to architecture—to take a progressive design stance,
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embracing the simplicity and minimalism of modern aesthetics. Integral to the TigerQi Architecture ethos, Lavina strives to respect and relate to the regional context and built-environment traditions of the Caribbean. From her website: “Our custom designs grow from a sense of the specific site, intersecting with a focus on climate appropriate strategies, function, and personal experience of space. A project should
respond to the history and cultural context of a place without being bound by it. Design should have a sense of fun and lightness, as well as sophistication, elegance, and charm.” This approach to architectural design is often identified by the term Critical Regionalism. Wikipedia notes that, “Critical Regionalism is not simply regionalism in the sense of vernacular architecture. It is a progressive approach to design that seeks to mediate between the global and the local languages of architecture.” TigerQi Architecture’s service offerings include residential architecture in the form of single family, multi-family, and luxury/resort residential design. For commercial architecture, they design entire buildings as well as providing interior fit-out services, property development consultation, and site/development master-planning. Significant projects to date include luxury villas in Virgin Gorda, the Brandywine Estate Bayside Residences in Tortola (featured in this issue), JOMA Office Exchange and Projects offices, and the Medicure, Bougainvillea, and Tortola Vision Center branch locations at Tortola Pier Park. Lavina believes it’s incredibly important to always collaborate with a qualified structural engineer familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the BVI and Caribbean context on building projects. To facilitate this important service for those on tight budgets, TigerQi Architecture also offers pre-designed and pre-engineered ‘stock’ plans in an effort to provide a superior product at an affordable price for middle-income families. “We are proud to have had the vast majority of our projects in different areas of the BVI come through Irma with minimal damage. These include Windmill Cottage at Sabbath Hill, Eagle’s Nest in Upper Huntum’s Ghut, and Egret’s Perch at Soldier Hill,” said Lavina. “These are all part of our
RIGHT TOP Egret’s Perch at Soldier Hill
RIGHT BELOW TigerQi
portfolio of designs with full structural engineering, which are available for reuse on suitable sites and considerably shorten the time needed for design approvals. These can be viewed on our website and by appointment.” The architectural firm will also provide review of design and construction documents to ensure International Building Code compliance. Lavina’s current areas of research include active natural ventilation systemsas well as mixed natural ventilation and mechanical airconditioning systems. Ms Liburd revealed how vital it is to protect the integrity of the envelope—the physical separator between the interior and exterior of a building—in relation to the BVI’s recent hurricane experience. “In order to reduce cost and increase flexibility, designers and builders will often use interior materials which are not weather resistant, such as drywall,” said Lavina. “In this case, it’s extremely important that the building envelope is properly designed and constructed to prevent the intrusion of water and wind. A cement board, though more expensive, is preferred to drywall because it adds more weather resistance should the envelope be breached.” Lavina continued to explain that windows and doors tested and rated for use in high velocity hurricane zones are essential. “It’s significant to distinguish between these and products which simply provide impact glass instead of tempered glass—these may not be tested to withstand category five windspeeds,” said the architect. “Often for design purposes, many will choose to use hardwood doors and windows which may not be hurricane rated,” continued Lavina. “Also for budget
reasons, an individual may decide to go with non-rated windows and doors. It may be cost-effective to choose nonrated products, but then it’s necessary to include an added layer of protection in the form of shutters.” Providing further insight, Lavina explained that securely-attached, manually-operated steel shutters are preferred to aluminium, which is weaker, and to their electrically functioning counterparts, since they can still be opened for access or egress in the event of a power outage after a storm. The inexpensive addition of a roof vent can also serve to keep a home cooler and to equalise pressure inside and outside the
structure during a hurricane as well. In the BVI’s current climate— rebuilding after the devastation of hurricane Irma—TigerQi Architecture is working with the Rotary Clubs on details for pro-bono roof replacements in situations of great need. Lavina concluded, “It is definitely possible to build structures in the BVI and the Caribbean region as a whole that can withstand the strongest storms while being elegant and reflective of the hardy, irrepressible Caribbean spirit.” She looks forward to advancing this critical regionalist approach through her work, collaborations, and community service into the foreseeable future. ■
Lavina Liburd, Architect, British Virgin Islands Mobile: 1-284-542-4521 St.Kitts-Nevis Mobile: 1-869-663-4539 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org tigerqiarchitecture.com
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L A N D / H U R R I C A N E A F T E R M AT H â€“ W H AT W E N T W R O N G ?
HURRICANE AFTERMATH WHAT WENT WRONG? How did buildings manage to stand through Irma? WO R DS BY ST E P H E N L F R A N C E
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IT WAS TRAGIC NEWS to learn that “70 percent of our buildings,” were damaged or completely lost in Irma. Nevertheless, as the BVI’s leader, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE added in his press announcement on September 25, 2017, “this now gives us an opportunity to build smarter and stronger.” In this pursuit for the BVI’s improvement, it is prudent to ask the question—what went wrong? Or, perhaps more productively and progressively phrased, ask: what can we do ‘right’ to aid ourselves for the future? During Irma, although there was an element of luck involved in where properties were positioned geographically, there were many properties that did not adhere to the expert advice of structural engineers, for example, those residences not reinforced with steel or filled block. VIPY spoke to several members of the property industry—all in different sectors—to gain a collaborative concept of moving forward. TigerQi Architecture’s Principal Lavina Liburd has nearly 20 years’ experience in architecture. Rufred Forbes and Associates Construction Managing Director Cortez Forbes has over 40 years’ proficiency in the construction industry (passed down by Rufred Forbes). Interior Designer (NCIDQ ) and Artist Debi Carson holds 20 years’ expertise in all matters integral and related to interior design. And aTec Managing Director Dana Miller holds 10 years’ experience in the field of alternative energy resources. All have kindly offered their expert advice on advancing from the unexpected.
WHAT WENT WRONG WITH ROOFS AND STRUCTURES DURING IRMA?
Lavina: By international building codes, there is a minimum amount of vertical reinforcement necessary for concrete block walls to resist lateral forces. This requirement usually becomes critical when considering earthquake resistance. However, wind is in itself a lateral force, and hurricane force winds can exert pressure on walls equal to that of horizontal movement in an earthquake. It is important to fill and reinforce the block work on both sides of windows and doors. With regards to roofs, the number one reason for roof failure in framed roofs was the use of incorrect or insufficient fastening at each layer. Cortez: After visiting many of the houses after the storm to do insurance assessments, it was evident that most of the damage structures sustained during hurricane Irma were caused by structural elements that were not used. The hollow block walls that were visible in most of the older houses and newer structures did not hold up. Some of the rafter sizes were too small for the span, rafters were not poured into concrete, and some roof structures lacked the proper Simpson straps and screws as well as screw sizes needed to secure the structure together Debi: We witnessed walls that were not reinforced with appropriate structural support, e.g. not using the correct steel in the structure, unfilled blocks, or blocks that were too small for exterior wind and loads. Failing with wood structures came with those not fabricated of structural timber, those incorrectly sized, i.e. using 4”x 4” when the components
D E C /J A N 2 0 1 8 | 35
L A N D / H U R R I C A N E A F T E R M AT H – W H AT W E N T W R O N G ?
ABOVE Photo by aTec
of the aftermath
should have been 6”x 6”, hurricane clips or fasteners that were spaced incorrectly—too wide of spans— installations of roof and decking materials with incorrect fastening i.e. nailed when it should have been screwed. It’s not only the quality of the fastener, but the installation method that is key. Dana: Old roofs and roofs that were not constructed with enough consideration for huge winds suffered. Second story roofs also suffered more damage. Unenclosed roof spaces like porch roofs can be seen as sacrificial unless they are reinforced somehow. Straps and wire turnbuckle systems saw some success.
WHAT BUILDINGS SURVIVED?
Lavina: Buildings which used properly installed high velocity
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hurricane zone rated window and door assemblies were often able to maintain a sealed envelope even where wind and debris shattered the glass. This prevented uplift pressure on the roofs and protected interior walls and contents. This is important as in many cases the wind ripped away hurricane shutters and then smashed through the ordinary windows behind. Cortez: Buildings that were structurally designed by certified structural engineers and built by certified general contractors. These homes were properly inspected to insure all material components and installation were done to the specifications of each design. Debi: I saw that many homes designed by Alan Smith survived. Hendo’s on Jost Van Dyke which is a timber structure, but well designed and built to the structural engineer’s specifications is an example of a structure that stands when others around it failed.
Dana: We noticed that buildings with rafters that were closer together survived better. 16” on centre rafters or less fared better. Concrete buildings survived better too. Wooden homes tended to suffer more damage. Buildings that were well boarded with plywood survived well. Everyone should be prepared to board up completely in addition to hurricane shutters. When installed properly, the plywood adds an additional barrier that will save your doors and windows.
WHY DID THESE BUILDINGS SURVIVE?
Lavina: I think I covered that pretty well in my answers earlier. In addition, some older (even wood framed) buildings with steep hipped roofs did well as this roof form tends to break the force of the wind, and the more vertical slopes resist suction pressure much better than shallower sloped roofs. Cortez: Again, buildings survived because they were properly designed and built.
If your roof survives then your home will be liveable after the storm. This is critical. Make sure your roof is very strong
calculations to ensure the ratings for sustainability against wind loads. Dana: If your roof survives then your home will be liveable after the storm. This is critical. Make sure your roof is very strong.
CONCLUDING, WHAT SHOULD BUILDINGS LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE TO WITHSTAND CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANES?
Debi: In some cases, buildings survived through ‘luck.’ In cases where buildings survived that were well constructed, we saw that it was due to following structural engineer designs, specifications, and manufacture instructions as to installation methods. Structural engineers and product engineers do mathematical
Lavina: Many jurisdictions adopt a proven building code such as the International Building Code and where necessary introduce modifications or enhancements for local conditions. A combination of properly built traditional framed roofs along with flat concrete roof areas over living spaces can provide ‘safe-zones’ and divide the framed roofs into smaller areas which resist uplift more easily. For example, we
can use hipped roofs to accent living rooms and master bedrooms, while using concrete roofs for kitchens, bathrooms, secondary bedrooms etc. Cortez: Buildings can be architecturally designed to suit the taste and personality of the home owners. It is then placed in to the hands of the certified structural engineer to strengthen that design to withstand the forces of ‘Mother Nature,’ whether it be category five storms or earthquakes. The concept is then placed in the hands of a certified contractor to bring it to life. Debi: Buildings should be constructed and inspected by licensed structural engineers. Dana: Make sure to have a single level concrete bunker with sacrificial external components. ■
Our paradise is not lost As your neighbours, friends and local architects, we are committed to rebuilding alongside you. To help get started, we’ve combined homeowner resources that may guide you in the process.
Fireproof Building, 181 Main Street
| Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
LEFT TO RIGHT:
Cortez Forbes with father Rufred Forbes
CONSTRUCTION WITH RUFR ED FOR BES AND ASSOCIATES
Over 40 years of construction experience that withstood the hurricane WO R D S BY ST E P H E N L F R A N C E P H O T O G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F R FA C O N S T R U C T I O N
THE BVI’S DISCUSSIONS on construction processes is one of the significant current affairs of the day. Following the destruction that hurricane Irma wrea cked, the question is how the BVI will progress
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with building processes to create structures that can stand the test of future adversity. Based in the Territory, Rufred Forbes and Associates (RFA construction) is a company operating
with over 40 years’ experience in the construction industry with the tangible boast that their structures and roofs weathered September’s catastrophe well. Founded by Rufred Forbes, RFA is based on his core values of being involved in each stage of the building and design process, insisting on delivering the highest quality product. The success of RFA continues to grow under his vision and leadership with Rufred being described as a genius and master of his craft. The principles of his methodologies, and ‘seeing the unforeseen’ have been passed on to his son, Cortez Forbes, who is the present RFA Managing Director. Cortez spoke to VIPY about his company, what they offer, and what the storm means for the construction industry.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT RFA constructed
properties that survived Irma, RFA Team working with Adopt the Roof BVI, replacing hurricane damaged roofs
“Due to the outstanding quality and durability of our work, none of the structures or roofs we built sustained major damages”
RFA take pride in the fact that they are meticulous in their construction procedures; although this is something that most individuals would anticipate of a company building properties, we have all witnessed that there is opportunity for improvement with construction works in the BVI. However, RFA show a uniqueness in their duteous devotion to the specifics. “We pay attention to every detail to ensure the production of the best possible version of a structure,” said Cortez, describing how RFA have operated since their inception. Such
an assertion is easily supported by the astonishing fact that their buildings remained very much intact after Irma. “Due to the outstanding quality and durability of our work, none of the structures or roofs we built sustained major damages,” said the Managing Director. “As such, moving forward we plan on continuing our practice of delivering a high standard of work for a reasonable cost and will adhere to any change in the building codes or new laws introduced,” said Cortez. It is clear that there will be a
transformation within BVI building practices and this upgrade will factor all the challenges faced during Irma’s aftermath. RFA are assisting the relief effort with charitable work. “With the devastating hurricane damage sustained by many structures in the BVI, our company has partnered with the ‘Adopt the Roof BVI’ charity,” said the RFA Managing Director. “We donate roofing and the construction of it for the many residents that lost their roofs and are not capable to rebuild on their own.” Moving into the future, RFA will be consistent in their high levels of service said Cortez. “If any building codes were to change, we will adapt to that.” ■
RFA Cortez Forbes 1.284.440.3045 email@example.com
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LAND / PRODUCTS AND PRACTICES FOR A STORM
Best Most Sustainable Products and Practices for a Storm A concise look at what we need for safety and security WO R DS BY ST E P H E N L F R A N C E
WITH CURRENT AFFAIRS revolving around the recent devastation of hurricane Irma, what property products and practices should a resident consider going forward? Receiving input from Interior Designer (NCIDQ ) and Artist Debi Carson, Clarence Thomas Managing Director Michael Thomas, and Rufred Forbes Associates Construction Managing Director Cortez Forbes, we’ve put together several points for you to contemplate in the structure or re-structuring of your home/business.
BUILDING BLOCKS FILLED WITH CONCRETE AND STEEL – foundation is crucial like all details in construction and these blocks need to have the proper rings tying them together to make a firm, immovable force to be reckoned with
IMPACT RESISTANT GLASS – when it is damaged, impact resistant glass won’t become additional flying debris to cause injury. Be certain that the glass is rated and the structure surrounding the glass or opening is manufactured to the fullest specification. Then confirm proper installation that will withstand the forces of a storm
HURRICANE SHUTTERS – these aid further protection of windows. They can be integrated so the shutter choice is installed flush to the building. Appropriate securing mechanisms are needed as we experienced winds getting behind the shutters, which were not secured to the structure
ROOF STRUCTURE ENGINEERED PROPERLY – improving a roof or building a new one, make sure the sheets are screwed down securely with the appropriate spacing. In the ridges and at the edges where additional forces might be an issue, there are recommended spacing for all clips and screws given by your engineer TREATED PLYWOOD, ICE AND WATER SHIELDS, GALVALUME, HURRICANE CLIPS, AND TENSION STRAPS – this is strongly recommended by those in the know. Use them in the rebuilding process of your roof and property as they offer added protection against extreme weather conditions
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BUNKER SPACE – this is a concept that needs to be a staple in the construction of a home. The bunker would need to be provisioned with alternate power sources and resources that will be useful to withstand the event itself and survive in early aftermath days A STRUCTURAL ENGINEER – in one’s list of hired experts, they are a crucial part of structural design. They’re a specialty to the architectural team and should be included in every part of a residential or commercial project. Omitting such a member of the team for cost purposes can be an expensive lesson later on ■
IDS Project – YCCS Welcome Pavilion
The collaboration between the architect and Structural/Civil and MEP engineering is necessary in today’s technical driving world.
Horticultural IDS have worked withCraftsmen local architects on many in the BVI sinceand 1991 residential, commercial industrial projects in Our engineering service ensures that • BVI. Landscaping consultations theand client’s project is designed to code and helps installations provide efficiency during the construction phase. • Plant nursery • Irrigation design and installation • Hardscaping and landscape design • Heavy equipment rentals and contracting •firstname.lastname@example.org Estate and property maintenance
INNOVATIVE DEZIGN SOLUTIONS: WE ARE HERE 284 541 1120, 547 9940 or 442 5834
LEFT TO RIGHT:
David Thomas – Chief Operations Officer and Michael Thomas – Managing Director
THE AFTERMATH WITH CTL HOME CENTER A post-hurricane Irma reflection from CTL Home Center Managing Director Michael Thomas P H OTO G R A P H Y BY CT L CONSIDERING WHAT WE JUST went through, I think the Territory’s buildings fared well; even though they lost windows and roofs, the actual structure stayed intact. Some of the older homes suffered greater structural damages, but then again, nobody built for what we just experienced. I think this changes the whole game plan in terms of how we build moving forward. Personally, I’m an advocate of concrete—I love concrete.
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CTL Home Center is a steel structure wrapped in 10 inches of reinforced concrete around the entire building, so we were very fortunate that the building stood up well. We knew the weak points for us would have been the roof—which we lost— and the doors, because we have some huge roll-up doors. Our doors were rated at around 139-140 mph winds so I literally panicked once we hit 150; I knew we’d lose them and we did. Moving forward in terms of home construction, I think in addition to using steel, building blocks need to be filled with concrete; they require proper ring beams that actually tie the blocks together because in most cases, you’re building two floors so you can’t use blocks alone. I believe wood roof structures need to be engineered and embedded
properly in the concrete. The most important thing is to fasten the roof down correctly. The sheets on the roof must be screwed in tightly— I just remodeled my home and the contractor thought that I was crazy for having them use so many roof screws to hold the sheets down; once you secure the vulnerable points which would be the edge and the ridge caps, I believe it will sustain. The other issue is the windows that we’re using and how we’re actually embedding the windows in the structure as well as the doors. I think all those things need to be reviewed. I recommend impact windows which I know some people aren’t fond of; many are going toward shutters which I think make sense, but I also believe impact windows do what they’re supposed to because on all of our buildings, we have
CTL Home Center
impact windows and doors. We lost doors that were impact, but they did their job. Whatever hit them, shattered the glass but they stayed intact; now we just have to change the glass which is the same thing with the windows. How you anchor the windows to the structure is critical—the type of screw mechanisms that you use to make sure that it’s fixed properly. Hurricane shutters help to protect your windows even more—what style shutter you use depends on where you’re putting them and how they’re going to be installed. On one of our buildings, the shutters and the windows are integrated meaning the shutters are actually built into the window frame. There is nothing protruding with everything fitting well. Keeping all this in mind, CTL Home Center is a full fledge building supply store that can assist in getting us back on our feet. We sell impact windows, regular windows, doors, security doors, roofing, plumbing materials, electrical supplies, home goods, house wares, furnishings with high end appliances, furniture, tubs, toilets, basins, wooded floors, and tile floors.
We like to say that we sell everything from the foundation up; the only thing we don’t source are sand and gravel because we don’t have the space to store them. Even in the commercial area, we sell ceiling tiles, the grids for ceilings, carpet tiles—everything from the foundation to the turn key finished product. CTL will continue to offer advice to anyone who needs it. Many of the things not seen in our store we source through our specialorder department. We’re working with people as much as we can—we ask customers to compare prices and we’ll try and acquire the best product for the best price. We will replace just about everything that you lost even down to the pots and pans that flew out with the hurricane. My advice—since we’re now going into a whole new realm regarding building construction—is we have to ensure that homes are re-engineered and designed properly. Personally, I think that residents should take a part of their home and
make it a safe, secure room similar to ‘storm cellars’ in the US—even after the event is over, at least you will know that you have a comfortable, dry, and safe place to retreat to.
ABOUT CTL HOME CENTER CTL was officially registered in 1967 by my father and mother, Clarence and Mabell Thomas although the company was functioning long before that. My dad was a trained plumber and two of the first hotels he worked on were Fort Burt and Treasure Isle. CTL started off as a plumbing supply company and in the 70s, developed over the years into the plumbing hardware store that BVI residents became familiar with. It has since evolved into a fullfledge hardware store and home center, selling every category in the hardware/home ware business: plumbing, electrical, tools, hardware, home goods, furnishings, and small and large appliances. ■
Clarence Thomas Ltd. ctlbvi.com 284-494-2359 (Office) Email: email@example.com
D E C /J A N 2 0 1 8 | 43
LAND / OFF GRID SOLUTIONS
OFF-GRID SOLUTIONS Reconstructing the future for British Virgin Islands’ energy resources WO R DS BY ST E P H E N L F R A N C E P H OTO G R A P H Y BY DA N A M I L L E R AND SHAKTI SEGURA
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN a more apt time to reform the British Virgin Islands’ energy resources than now. The Territory has experienced an obligatory ‘reset,’ and the most productive action of the tragic conditions of hurricane Irma, is to prepare as best as humanly possible for ‘survivability’ through any future storms and power outages. Residents should be thinking about the design of their properties and their backup power supply, so that both remain steadfast during adverse situations. Contemplation on the future of construction and our power needs should be put into practice, even if it means engineering at a slightly higher cost. In this month’s issue, we have seen what buildings survived and in the accompanying Q&A editorial with alternative energy company aTec, we witness how renewable energy power systems assisted residential and commercial entities during and after the hurricanes.
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Such progression reveals the advancement and benefit that battery-based renewable energy systems bring to primary and backup power systems. Now that we are experiencing storms of this magnitude and extended power failures, the financial benefit of renewable energy systems is undeniable. Renewable energy systems offset the cost of fossil fuel, fossil fuel transport, and engine maintenance. For those unaware, off-grid and backup solutions in the energy industry are systems designed to help people function without the support of a utility like the BVI Electricity Corporation. Speaking to aTec Managing Director Dana Miller, he explained that the best option available is generally, “automated renewable systems with integrated generators that reduce your operating cost and make managing energy easier. We also have various battery types available to store excess solar energy for use at a later
time—effectively a free fuel source.” The managing director relayed to VIPY that the ideal time to move to off grid solutions—a power supply that can keep running through an adverse condition like a hurricane—is now as duty cost has been waived, but will likely be reinstated at the end of 2017. aTec advise that any individual who seeks to build their home or business in a remote location, can create their own power at an initial cost that has a reasonable payback period. The system fee can be added to a mortgage and eliminate their electricity bill—the loan repayment will likely be less than their current electricity charges and energy will generally be stored in the latest battery technology. Moving off grid doesn’t mean an individual or family must cut themselves off from utility power. There is flexibility to integrate a solar power system or hybrid renewable/ fossil fuel with the standard power supply for those who are not ready
to make the complete transition to alternative energy. Perhaps one of the greatest aspects of alternative energy—aside from protecting the world—is that it makes a resident’s life easier: “Alternative energy will reduce the time and money you spend on generator fuel and generator maintenance. It reduces your expenditure on your primary or backup power. Particularly primary.” Also, one does not have to continually refuel. It comes to the individual from a massive nuclear reactor in the sky— the sun. The BVI could realistically aim for becoming a global pioneer and advocate in the Caribbean region for decreasing reliance on fossil fuel energy. “All residential and commercial customers should consider the use of a renewable energy system,” said Dana when discussing this aspect of the BVI’s future positioning on an international scale. “We could offset one third of the BVI energy load without considering grid instability.” The challenge for residents to go off grid has always been the initial financial cost. Realistically, people as a movement will not prevent reliance on fossil fuels until Government makes some infrastructural changes regarding energy. When asked about the future for off-grid solutions and alternative energy in its entirety, Dana simply said that, “renewable energy is intuitively the superior energy solution. It reduces cost while reducing pollution. It’s like comparing the candle to the laser beam. One is ancient and reliable and the other is modern and efficient. When we combine the two, we have the perfect power solution.” In pondering the British Virgin Islands’ future as well as its geographical location, climate, and the prospect of the annual hurricane season, the prudent question should now be: what do we do next to facilitate the transition to natural resources as our power supply? ■
OPPOSITE aTec hard
at work with renewable energy installations THIS PAGE ’The Power Revolution’ continues with aTec
“SURVIVABILITY” WITH aTec Q & A with aTec Managing Director Dana Miller I N T E RV I EW BY ST E P H E N L F R A N C E P H OTO G R A P H Y BY DA N A M I L L E R A N D S H A KT I S E G U R A
“SURVIVABILITY” IS THE current industry term being used by alternative energy pioneers. After Irma, the grim yet transparently honest question has been, “how does the BVI survive if another storm of that category hits?” aTec—a locally owned business with employees native to the Territory— possess a clear vision to “facilitate the transition to renewable energy systems in the BVI and the wider Caribbean region,” as professed by Managing Director Dana Miller. With this ethos at the foundation
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Although the equipment and initial installation can seem expensive, it is important to factor in the utility cost savings over many years, the convenience of having your own power source and the fact that you are helping your community become energy independent and less reliant on dirty fossil fuels. As Irma so graphically demonstrated, global warming is not an abstract concept that will affect ‘future generations,’ but a real and present danger, here and now B E N B A M F O R D , R E S I D E N T I A L H O M E OW N E R
OPPOSITE aTec client
Ben Bamford at his property post Irma
of their commitment, aTec were instrumental in quickly restoring many companies and residences to full power with the sustainable energy sources and generators they utilise, following Irma. Such organisations as renowned international offshore law firm Harneys, Caribbean communications giant Digicel, and savvy residents who have converted to alternative energy, relished the benefits that aTec have been promoting since their launch in 2013. I spoke to Dana about the arduous time of Irma and titbits of the interesting story of aTec’s assistance in the aftermath.
WHO ARE aTec? I founded the company in 2013 with the goal of bringing renewable energy systems to the BVI and the wider region of the Caribbean. Our team is friendly and professional and we make the client experience with us a top priority. We want clients to be satisfied and happy with their power generation system and our service response time. All of our staff are NABCEP and EGSA qualified with our team stationed in the BVI, which is a huge benefit for efficient service. WHAT SORTS OF PRODUCTS ARE aTec OFFERING AT THIS
POINT IN TIME THAT ARE MOST POPULAR? The most popular products we offer are our solar electric units with battery backup. This is because of the obvious benefit; you can store energy and it will save you lots of money over the diesel alternative.
WHAT DOES aTec OFFER IN LIGHT OF THE CAT-FIVE STORM? We offer survivable system installation; systems specifically designed and engineered to withstand hurricane force winds. After Irma, aTec were working 24 hours a day, seven days a week with our clients both with generators and renewable energy, and many of them had continued power access with little or no interruption. I think it’s also important to note that our solar panels survived the 180mph plus winds.
THE BIG QUESTION —HOW DID aTec HELP IN THE RECOVERY EFFORT AFTER IRMA? After the storm, we got up and running as soon as we could. We sharpened the chainsaws and got to work. A local farmer friend of mine showed up in Shannon and he turned out to be a chainsaw master. He had lost his home so he lived with me from that point out. We secured our own community and base of operations with power by keeping all generators running. Then, we hired
a cook from Myetts to consolidate food preparation and refrigeration. In this way, we were able to get our crews up and running immediately after the storm by providing them with shelter, food, water, and a little spending money. We evacuated all of our team’s family that needed to be evacuated. The crew was up and running right away keeping the Digicel cell towers powered up so that communications did not go down. I have to give a huge thank you to the aTec team members who worked tirelessly to keep critical infrastructure up while also looking after their own homes and families.
[aTec] have been with us 100% of the time and continue to be my goto team in the BVI, they are very friendly and professional. The new system is functioning very reliably at this point and we continue to push for a 100% renewable energy resort in the near future A N DY M U R R A N T, G E N E R A L M A N A G E R , CO O P E R I S L A N D B E A C H C LU B , B V I
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ABOVE Cooper Island continually relish the benefits
BELOW AND RIGHT Solar power and backup batteries are the future
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I would recommend…aTec for any electrical contracting work, particularly systems that are more difficult and need technical expertise from the best in the business
G E O F F M A N C H E ST E R , D I R E CTO R O F E N G I N E E R I N G , P R I VAT E I S L A N D I N THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Call for satellite internet services via VSAT, Inmarsat, Iridium, Globalstar & 4G.
HOW DID YOU FACILITATE ALL THIS? We brought in Shakti as a marketing and personal assistant and she has been a God send. She took over many of the managerial and administrative duties that needed to be done. We also housed a young lady who had just started working for the Beacon and had been displaced by the storm. We had to start a form of triage for power production where the highest priority took precedence at any time. This was a real emergency scenario. It was hard for our clients to understand that we had to redirect their generators to more important positions within the island while trying to keep them happy as well, but the main point about all this was that natural alternative energy resources—renewable energy— was still working throughout a time when fossil fuel energy was failing us. This is why it’s so important that people realise the potential and security of alternative energy —it is reliable, safe, secure, and dependable even in the most difficult case scenarios as we have seen with Irma. ATEC WERE INSTRUMENTAL in returning communications to the BVI through Digicel only two days after Irma. They kept neighbourhoods running; those who had installed solar power at their homes. Within approximately two weeks, Harneys also had power at their offices using a generator installed/ managed by aTec If you are interested in the possibility of alternative energy resources in your home or business and would like to discuss the options, please contact aTec ■
atecbvi.com facebook.com/atecbvi Mobile: +1 284 340 3409 Office: +1 284 495 0005
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS t +1 284 494 2400 f +1 284 494 5389 firstname.lastname@example.org
VIBRANT BEAUTY WITH BEACHSIDE LIGHTING
How to weather the elements for the long haul WO R D S BY SA R A S H E R M A N P H OTO G R A P H Y CO U RT E SY O F B E AC H S I D E L I G H T I N G
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THE BEACHES OF THE Caribbean look different after hurricanes Irma and Maria. But as the British Virgin Islands and neighbouring isles look to recover and rebuild, doing so in a way that can better stand up to Mother Nature is in everyone’s best interest. Beachside Lighting has been creating beautiful, functional, and weather-resistant lighting products since the 1990s. Started in Honolulu, Hawaii, they understand the unique environmental conditions of outdoor spaces near salty oceans and their products have been used all over the world, including Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas and St. John. The company’s long and vibrant history began as they produced kerosene and gas tiki torches out of spun copper and machined brass fittings. The torches were and are used for both resorts and private homes in oceanside locations, and the product lines expanded from this foundation. Beachside Lighting is committed to using only corrosion-resistant materials like copper spinnings, brass castings and machinings, and stainless-steel fasteners. While some of their early designs may be considered visually ‘clunky,’ most of those early models are still functioning in Hawaii today. In addition to using high-quality materials that can stand up to oceanside elements, they moved away from mass-produced parts in order to begin designing and fabricating all their own components. This commitment to quality, allowed them to not only keep the material standards
LEFT Lighting can make all the difference to the setting
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Ocean Modern by
Unobtrusive Durability Made from Solid Brass
The Beachside Lighting family has a long history of listening to their customers and incorporating feedback
high, but gave Beachside Lighting the freedom to create aesthetically pleasing fixtures. Value is not always in the lowest price, but actually receiving the good quality you’ve paid for. By sticking to what they know and do best, Beachside can provide a top-grade product that has stood the test of time and Mother Nature in hundreds of resort locations and homes around the world. When considering how to choose a new outdoor lighting fixture, the materials make all the difference. Most fixtures in the marketplace today are made of aluminum, which will get eaten away by the salty air. Aluminum fixtures—when combined with stainless-steel fasteners (which is common)—will corrode more quickly due to the different metals reacting poorly in the salty and humid environment. “We don’t have these issues with our brass and copper components on their own, or when our stainless-steel fasteners are secured to a brass or copper components,” said Beachside Lighting founder Rick Benedict. Rosie Nichols represents Beachside Lighting in the US and British Virgin Islands and is committed to offering top-notch customer service in order to bring their quality products to its residents. Her local connections allow her to handle inquiries quickly and coordinate site visits. She can also facilitate collaboration with the factory during the design process, thus allowing for expert recommendations on products that will stand up to weather events and be perfectly suited for their applications. This personal touch makes the Beachside Lighting experience one-of-a-kind. The Beachside Lighting family has a long history of listening to their customers and incorporating feedback into improving their designs and products. Many new designs are inspired from landscape architects and lighting designers, but the real-life applications of the products and feedback from customers, is what has kept Beachside Lighting in business over 20 years after it first began. ■
Kailua, Hawaii BeachsideLighting.com Rosie Nichols, USVI & BVI Rep. (340) 642-8981 Local installations include: Cooper Island, Peter Island, Saba Rock, Oil Nut Bay, and residences on St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda.
Beachside Lighting – Rosie Nichols 340-642-8981 RosieNichols@gmail.com BeachsideLighting.com
GROUNDWORKS BVI Horticultural Craftsmen in the BVI since 1991 • Landscaping consultations and installations • Plant nursery • Irrigation design and installation • Hardscaping and landscape design • Heavy equipment rentals and contracting • Estate and property maintenance
Call (284) 494 0814 or 494 6199 email@example.com groundworksbvi.com
Colonial Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! The management and staff at Colonial extend sincere seasonâ€™s best wishes to you and your family. HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS Early closing: 22nd December - noon 29th December - noon Call Tortola 494-8450 / Virgin Gorda 495-6403 or visit www.cgigroup.com
COLONIAL INSURANCE (BVI) LIMITED Palm Grove House, P.O. Box 2377, Road Town, Tortola, VG1110 Tel. 494-8450 Valley, Virgin Gorda, VG1150 Tel: 495-6403 www.cgigroup.com A member of Colonial Group International Ltd. : insurance, health, pensions, life
WHEN YOU'RE ON VACATION, SECURITY AT HOME ISN'T
DIGICEL iSEE, THE AFFORDABLE CLOUD-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM FROM ONLY $49/MO.
Digicel iSee allows you to view live and recorded video that is safely stored in the cloud from your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Let us customise a solution to protect your home. Contact us at (284) 300-BEST or BVIBUSINESS@DIGICELGROUP.COM DIGICELBUSINESS.COM Complete solutions for your needs
R E C O N S T R U C T I O N & R E N OVAT I O N G U I D E / PA I N T I N G & D E C O R AT I N G
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Biodegradable Food & Beverage Containers
Fully compostable food and beverage containers available in wholesale and retail quantities. An extensive range of products including soak proof sugar cane food boxes, sturdy cutlery, paper straws and PLA cups.
Call: 284 340 1835 | firstname.lastname@example.org | greentechbvi.com #BVIStyrofoamBan
lose power, lose out... ...at home Authorized dealers
Powering the BVI
...at the office
RTW - Biwater - Scrub Island - Nail Bay BVI Government - banks - trust companies private homes ... and many more
“When it’s mission critical, call Caribbean Technology” Call or email for a quote - T 494 6782/3150 - F 494 5389 email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org - email@example.com www.caribbeantechnology.com
Architect AIA E firstname.lastname@example.org P 1-284-542-4521
boutique firm offering professional service through all phases of design and construction • • • •
luxury residential single family commercial interior architecture
We offer comprehensive structural engineering services that are fully coordinated with the architectural design intent. We have years of global and local experience in multiple project types at all scales.
CONTACT: Phone: +1 284 542 5442 Email: email@example.com
Palm Ridge, SOLDIER HILL, TORTOLA
Suffered storm damage – reduced to $3.4M
On the Rocks, LITTLE TRUNK BAY, VIRGIN GORDA Eternity, WEST END, TORTOLA
Bay Watch, SOLDIER HILL, TORTOLA
$950,000 Storm survivor – no damage!
Bay House, CROOKS BAY, VIRGIN GORDA 2
$3.6m Storm survivor – no damage!
For more information on these listings or additional offerings, call 284494 2446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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TORTOLA Britannic Hall
VIRGIN GORDA Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour
SOL Y SOMBRA VIRGIN GORDA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS STEPS AWAY FROM Little Trunk Bay, this classic and timeless British colonial beachfront villa has five suites, each furnished with custom-made teak furniture. A great room, office/library, dining room and fully-outfitted kitchen offer spacious and elegant entertainment areas. A 45-foot ocean-front infinity pool, observation deck and lighted tennis court are set within over an acre of tropical gardens. The property is proximate to The Baths, Virgin Gordaâ€™s famous destination, and two unspoiled beaches, Little Trunk Bay and Valley Trunk Bay. A private movie theater, daily maid service, exercise equipment and gym and a chef (upon request) complete the villaâ€™s offerings.
Smiths Gore (BVI) Limited T 284.494.2446 E email@example.com W solysombrabvi.com
Enduring Beauty, Resilient Community
Join Us This Season REOPENING DECEMBER 2017
In a community like Virgin Gorda, people display compassion and perseverance during times of recovery. Our commitment is to the people who call Virgin Gorda home as we offer continued support to restore our beautiful islands. Oil Nut Bay’s home ownership opportunities are available to showcase a distinct combination of quality, art and science—displaying the Caribbean’s natural beauty that will last for generations to come.
Contact us to make a dining reservation or to schedule a tour. VIRGIN GORDA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS |
1 284 393 1000 | oilnutbay.com
Published on Dec 18, 2017
Published on Dec 18, 2017
Editor-in-Chief – Stephen L France. Design and Layout – Sally Fullam. Sales Director & Project Manager – Erin Paviour-Smith