YardEdge’s Karin Wilson interviews Giuliano Pignataro, whose company—Treading Lightly Developments—envisions a “green construction” project in Treasure Beach on Jamaica’s south coast. Both, Pignataro and his wife, Liz Solms, have a deep interest in sustainable building. Solms has worked for projects in sustainable agriculture in Jamaica for years. The couple has now taken up residence in Jamaica.
Pignataro says that he sees Treasure Beach as the final frontier in terms of development in Jamaica, stating that it is important “to learn lessons from the rest of the island for how development shouldn’t be done.”
The entrepreneur explains that the company is trying to set an example of building in a responsible way: “We want TLD to be known as a reputable builder of high quality and well-designed homes that take a practical approach to green construction and use of alternative energy,” adding that “When you come to Treasure Beach you spend time on the road. [. . .] You get coffee from a local woman roasting beans herself; you get your jerk from a little stand where you sit and reason with the woman that owns the shop next door as you stare over her son’s farm at the beautiful view of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the distance. You walk to the beach and along the beach for miles – not just back and forth between two walls and jetties. We would like to build homes that embrace those qualities and exist within this community, culture, economy, etc. We have tried to do that by choosing our location with pond and mountain views just a short walk from the beach, working with Ann Hodges to help us design homes that use traditional Jamaican architectural vernacular, the use of local labor, and the use of as many local materials as is practical.”