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We are part of the masterplanning team for this new development in Cuba, providing engineering and sustainability services. The development will be the first of a new wave of investment into the country. The aim is to raise the quality of tourism Cuba offers and to be an exemplar sustainable development.

The site has a number of technical challenges, not least responding to flood risk in the event of a hurricane and construction within the unusual karstic ground conditions. We have developed engineering solutions that respond to the local context, balancing risks and value for the development.

Working with a local engineering partner, our role includes:

  • Developing briefs for background studies, including site investigation and flood risk assessments;
  • Technical advice in relation to civil and structural engineering aspects;
  • Water strategy for supply, surface water drainage and foul systems;
  • Energy strategy, including a first for Cuba with integration of PV systems with the local grid;
  • Sustainability strategy, particularly focused on integration with the local village of Carbonera and improvements in the environmental performance of buildings; and
  • Transport Strategy (working with SDG) including internal movements and the interface with the main road.


Our recommendations include an infiltration drainage system integrated with swales for pollution control, use of treated effluent for irrigation of the golf course and an energy strategy which reduces carbon emissions by around 60% when measured against current practice.

The development also has tremendous potential to provide much needed opportunities for local employment during construction and operation. In addition to training programmes, the masterplan includes spaces for local businesses to trade in flexible retail areas and a pop up market area.

The project has been submitted to the Cuban Tourism Board for the equivalent of planning permission.

Judith Sykes
Daniel Raymond

Carbonera, Cuba