The Eco Vida Homes Concept

We believe that everyone should have a thoughtfully designed, energy efficient, home.

We also believe that the home building industry in Spain simply isn’t responding to the needs of the Northern European who wants to build a home in Spain.

“If you want a smart looking home, with modern layout, which is comfortable and energy efficient, you have to build your own because there are hardly any there.”
John Wolfendale

Who Are We?

We are a team of architects, surveyors and contractors, with a reach across most of Spain, who are committed to high standards. We are a Design & Build company with a difference (see below).

We apply a consistent methodology across all our projects that assures quality control, great communications and a smooth ride: one company working hard to make your vision come true.

We operate under the leadership of John Wolfendale. John is a British Chartered Surveyor with 30 years’ experience living and working in Spain. Before that he spent ten years in the commercial property investment market in London working for Postel (now Hermes), Chartwell Land (Kingfisher) and later in Madrid for Continente (Promodes).

We are proud to include amongst our clients a number of property professionals who have chosen us to design and build their private villas in Spain.

What Makes Us Different?

It’s simple. You are the hero of the story not us. You are the one with the vision to transform your lifestyle. We can show you a clear pathway from where you are now to make your vision come true.

We are with you all the way helping you make informed decisions and navigate any hazards.

You are the one whose lifestyle is transformed by this journey.

Our Mission: to make your experience of building a villa in Spain a smooth and enjoyable one.

Take a look at these real Eco Vida Homes lifestyle transformation stories

Here are our brand promises:

  • We’ve got your back. The business environment in Spain is different Eco Vida Homes is your guide on your journey of building a villa in Spain. We’re seasoned professionals and have done it hundreds of times before, with many architectural projects in Marbella and beyond under our belt. We know where the hazards are and have a method for avoiding them. Take a look at what our clients say about us.
  • Your vision inspires the design  We design. You decide. It’s a collaboration. After all, this is not just about designing and building a villa in Spain – it’s about lifestyle transformation. Many of our clients are themselves architects or professionals in the property industry. They know that what they need is someone who gets it and who cares. Our job is to make YOUR vision a reality.
  • You’re in charge of the costs: We have a method for staying on budget. Ask us for our guidelines on how to calculate your back-of-the-envelope costs for building a house in Spain (based on real-world projects by expert architects in the Costa Del Sol and nationwide). We have a METHOD for staying on budget
  • You lower your carbon footprint All our buildings are energy certificate A. We take advantage of the beautiful climate in the Costa Del Sol, Costa Blanca, Costa de la Luz, Costa Tropical, Madrid (wherever your dream villa in Spain might be). Your energy-efficient home is also more comfortable, more valuable, and has lower running costs.


Where We Operate

We operate in Andalusia where we have projects between Salobreña in the East to Sotogrande in the West. That’s the Costa Tropical, the Costa del Sol and the Costa de la Luz, Marbella, Benahavis, Estepona, Sotogrande, Nueva Andalucia, Elviria, Mijas, Fuengirola, Malaga, Rincon de la Victoria

We are strong on the Costa Blanca (Valencia to Alicante): Cullera, Denia, Javea, Altea, Benidorm where we have a number of innovative projects including under development a luxury pre-designed, fixed priced, modular villa that has all modern conveniences and is entirely off-grid.

We can look after you in the North of Spain, on the Mediterranean the Costa Brava, and the Costa Dorada.

In Madrid we are have a fabulous near passive house that will comfortably deal with the climate extremes so if that’s where you are based get in touch.

Design & Build or Design-Bid-Build which one are we?  

well, we’re a bit of both…………

Using one company to both design and build your house is known in the industry as Design & Build. However, you can get a more competitive price if the detailed bills of quantities are put out to tender. This is called Design-bid-Build. At EVH we have a cutting edge hybrid model which means you get the best of both worlds.

We work closely with a contractor partner and this can begin from the moment we start looking after you. We are used to working together and everyone understands the importance of a great final outcome because our businesses depend on it.  This means problems are solved quickly and collaboratively and standards are high.

We have an established methodology for all our communications, quality control, and budget management which we apply throughout Spain. Just ask if you’d like to go over this when we speak on the phone.

If you work with us you will sign a separate contract with the contractor and also you get all the advantages of this collaborative way of working: one company Design & Build.

There are two innovations that we have added:

  1. The contractors pay some of the professional fees. This reduces the costs to you.
  2. We send the project out to a competitive tender. The contractor we collaborate with, who has helped us through the design phase, competes in the tender and has to win your business. It’s a genuine tender. You nominate the other candidates and we are open to working with other contractors. The competitive tension is important for transparency and cost control. This way of operating is called Design-Bid-Build in the industry. It puts you in control.

Step 1 Finding the Land 

……….if you haven’t already and making sure you can build want you want on it legally and within your budget.

See Get Started for how we can help.

Here we give you our 5 steps to a custom designed villa.

Step 2 The Design of the Villa

Five Steps to a Custom Designed Villa

Locally this is called the anteproyecto which might give the impression that it’s some kind of pre-design. In fact, the way we do it, we expect to make all the important decisions at this stage working hand in hand with you. The design includes: the solar orientation, the precise location of the building on the land, the design of the villa, the internal layout, are all decided in this phase. We kick off by sending you some drawings and we may have several meetings going over them making adjustments until we have a design that matches your vision, makes the most of the views, and is within budget.

Before we proceed to Step 3 we check in with a quantity surveyor on the costs. They are still estimates but now we have real measurements, we have a good idea what the strength and type of foundations must be, and we have gained a lot of knowledge whilst working with you. If necessary our construction team can help us because they have a thorough understanding of costs. Should we be outside the budget we can make adjustments before going to Step 3.

Step two starts with a geotechnical survey and a topographical survey if you don’t already have one. Step two finishes with us checking with the planning officer that what we propose conforms with the planning regulations for the plot.

Step 3 The Building Licence Application

Five Steps to a Custom Designed Villa

In Spain this is called the proyecto basico. We prepare the detailed drawings and elevations that will form the building licence application. They have to done to a certain standard and illustrate how the design complies with the planning regulations.

Having finalised everything at Step 2 we do Step 3 on our own. Before we submit the building licence application we send it to you for your approval. We handle all the bureaucracy for you.

This is the point of no-return for the size, shape, and precise location of the house.

Step 4 The Detailed Specification & Working Drawings

Five Steps to a Custom Designed Villa

in Spain this is called the proyecto de ejecucion. We work hand in hand with you to decide all the finishes and the mechanical and engineering systems. We do the structural calculations. We do the technical and working drawings. We do the bill of quantities. This document may be used in a competitive tender.

We often do this while we are waiting for the building licence to be approved.

When it is finished we sent it to the College of Architects for their stamp of approval.

Step 5 Tender & Procurement and Supervision of the Works

Five Steps to a Custom Designed Villa

The detailed “execution” project is sent out to a competitive tender. Our friendly contractor, who has helped us through the design phase, competes in the tender and has to win your business. It’s a genuine tender and you nominate the other candidates and we are open to working with other contractors. We help you evaluate the offers and you can compare each item line by line in the spreadsheet. It’s your decision.

We provide the technical team to supervise the works (the direccion facultativa in Spanish) comprising the architect and the technical architect. Every month the contractor issues a certificate of value stating the amount of work, chapter by chapter, that has been completed. This certificate is signed off by us. There is a meeting with you to cover any clarification needed, the progress being made, any changes that need discussion or approval, any decisions perhaps on the finishes that have to be taken by you. Following that the contractor issues his monthly invoice.

Normally 5% of each invoice is retained by you to be released one year after the building is finished when the snagging list and any other issues have been resolved.

We handle all the bureaucracy for you. Key formal moments are the signing of the contract with the contractor, the start of the works, the end of the works (certificado final de obra) the reception of the works by you (acta recepcion de obra) and the licence of first occupation (licencia de primera ocupacion) and the building book that is signed at the Notary so the new property can be registered.

Get in touch
Contact us to discuss building your villa in Spain.