Since our family started restoring the cottages, respecting the original outlines, its harmony and the integration in the landscape is our goal. Defending the environment is a big concern for us.
The father, Eleutério, loves to bring life to antique houses and objects and as he is a house builder, his expertise in choosing the correct materials and techniques to revive the traditional art of dry-stone cottage building was crucial in recreating the classic country style.
All of the works were made in proportion and in typical character to the traditional madeiran stone house. The position of the swimming pool and the new structures were carefully thought to avoid any impact with the country surroundings. They were built, predominantly in stone, steel and wood and are naturally decorated and integrated on the landscape with hedges and trees.
We tried to have the maximum of green areas and on them we have local flowers and indigenous plants. As we have some natural springs in our garden, all the water is collected and accumulated on a well. All the plants are irrigated with this water, so we don´t need to spend potable water on our gardens.
As the water well is always filled, it is also the natural habitat for our singing frogs and quiet fishes.
Calhau Grande has a wonderful solar exposure and to take advantage of that the most facades of the cottages have ample sliding glass doors, providing natural light and warm temperatures as well as good views over the ocean. As they are also origin made with basaltic stone, it insulates the interior area from any climatic changes outside, so there is no need for any air conditioning devices.
Here are some eco-friendly measures that we practice in Calhau Grande:
We use as many natural products as it is possible and employ materials with fewer chemicals - like paints or varnishes for wood.
We collect our organic waste, treat it ecological and after, we use the compound as fertilization of the plants in our orchard and garden.
All the garden furniture is in wood.
We produce our own electrical energy and hot water. We use solar and photovoltaic panels, at this moment we are auto sufficient.
We use low energy appliances and low wattage lamps.
Concerning to the laundry and as we are situated in the country side, with clean and fresh air all the linen and towels dry at the sun exposure. The cleaning products are also eco-friendly.
All of the wooden furniture of the houses as cabinets, wardrobes, tables and chairs were made by hand by Eleutério, recycling old wood of good quality. The most of the decoration elements are antique and restored by us.
We hope to transmit you the essential of Calhau Grande. It is a family project where wish to transmit to you the tranquillity of the rural life in Madeira, the importance of respecting the environment and specially, giving you a part of our dream!
We hope that this small action helps to promote and continue stimulating the local community and our visitors to protect the environment and the natural resources of Madeira.
You are welcome in Calhau Grande! Come and visit us… ;)