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Welcome to SARCO Architects Costa Rica

Download Our Free Informative Guides

Our Free Guides Offer Invaluable Information to Make your Project a Success

The Complete Guide to Building your Home in Costa Rica

Avoid the pitfalls of building a home away from home!

In this informative downloadable PDF guide, you’ll discover:

  • Important things to know about owning property in Costa Rica
  • How to put together a successful design brief
  • What are the steps of the design process
  • How to properly select a builder
  • and much more!

15 years helping international clients create their dream home in Costa Rica

I prepared this guide after seeing so many people struggle with understanding the process for building your home in Costa Rica. Building a residence abroad can seem like a complex and frightening roadblock for those who haven’t been through it before.

You may be wondering: Will my project get approved? What preparation do I need to take in order to not end up as some of the horror stories around? How much time will the house take? What do I need to do to make sure my project gets approved in the shortest amount of time possible?

And most importantly: what are they key, critical steps I need to take to ensure that my entire project is a success?

In this 2-part guide, you will discover the answers to these questions – and more.

I hope you enjoy this guide and look forward to your feedback.

Design Tips for your Vacation Home in Tropical Climates

Learn the best practical strategies for your home in tropical areas!

In this informative downloadable PDF guide, we will show you:

  • Tips for choosing the best exterior window and door systems
  • Evaluating passive cooling vs. active cooling for your home
  • Tips on materials for ceilings, floors, etc.
  • Tips on air conditioning systems and ceiling fans
  • Insulation in tropical climates

Design Tips for Building in Tropical Areas

The product of years of experience in Tropical Home Design

I prepared this guide since over the years I have noticed over and over several misconceptions about the best practices of how to design a home in tropical areas. Many people make the mistake of designing a city home and building it near the beach.

Proper tropical home design can create a home that you can enjoy for years to come is an entirely different frame of mind.

Tropical areas, even though beautiful in its natural setting, have some of the harshest weather and natural conditions for building materials.

Understanding this and making the right decisions will go a long way in making sure your experience of ownership of a home in tropical areas the best possible.

In this guide, you will discover smart, practical strategies to provide years of trouble-free home enjoyment.

Over 14 years ago we started working with people from the USA that wanted to make Costa Rica their new home, for vacation or retirement residence.  During this time, we’ve heard the challenges that international clients face when considering building abroad: everything from poor design, bad plans, shotty construction, irresponsible or dishonest contractors, projects running out of budget halfway through, you name it, we’ve seen it!

This would hurt tremendously since this all gives our countries (as we’ve worked internationally it’s the same story) a bad reputation. Furthermore, the sum of all these horror stories actually would discourage people from building their dream home in paradise.

Coming from Scandinavian roots and being a perfectionist at heart, our firm principal, Roderick Anderson embodies the complete opposite of all these bad practices. Roderick knew he would build a company where the most exclusive and demanding clients would find a resource at the best international standard, if not better.  An international design firm, SARCO Architects works in high-end residential design and resort developments, we help clients realize their dream home projects in Costa Rica, Panama, & The Caribbean.


Costa Rica has unparalleled natural beauty.  Modern tropical designs by Sarco Architects Costa Rica captures nature as the main player in your new home

Our region is rich in natural wonders.  Lush jungles, breathtaking beaches, amazing wildlife and magnificent sunsets make it the ultimate getaway destination.

Our familiarity with tropical climates and challenging terrain enables us to design environmentally responsible projects that blend beautifully with their surroundings.

As the region’s international appeal increases, more foreigners become interested in building their vacation home or investment property but are wary of how to navigate the process of building abroad. We design tropical, modern, eco-friendly homes, embracing amazing visual tools, virtual building and web-based communication platforms to help build their dream home without the hassle. Our clients keep on with their daily life and business without adding stress when making their dream abroad a reality.

The SARCO System™

Solutions for the Costa Rican Paradise Challenge

The SARCO System™

The SARCO System™ provides foreign clients a way to feel comfort and peace of mind.

The problem with building a luxury home in Costa Rica is that you are going to be based offshore. Traditional project planning methods don’t really work when the client is so far away.

This is why Roderick created The SARCO System™.  The system is specifically designed to allow international clients build a dream vacation home in Costa Rica. The system removes the traditional obstacles and pitfalls normally associated with building a project away from home.

The SARCO System™ is a workflow to make SARCO Architects the best architecture firm for international clients.  It is a complete company philosophy based on excellence, efficiency, communication, expertise, knowledge and technology. Backed by over 20 years of construction experience, Roderick instills the core of the SARCO System™ with the knowledge and practicality of a Master Builder and ensures the homes SARCO designs are technically resolved and built problem-free.

The SARCO System™ was created to provide our clients with an incomparable customer experience in providing the best in architectural design and building solutions for international clients.  The SARCO System™ ensures that your project is designed and built to exceed your expectations, with unique attention to detail, and with a straightforward and successful project development. Our ultimate goal is to create projects so enjoyable for our clients that they actually return and hire us again!







We have limited spots for a free 45-minute consultation with Roderick Anderson, our CEO & Design Director.  Have any questions about how to get your project started?  Click here to select a suitable time and book your call.



Thinking of your next project? Our project planning pack will give you a firm roadmap of how to get your bearings together and plan your next successful project. Click here to download your free planning pack.

Roderick is a rare combination of a true artist with the capabilities of an engineer and manager.  The whole process of building the house was a pleasure, we loved the client/architect collaboration and it was as smooth a process as it could be.  Roderick’s use of technology from the design and computer modeling to the progress report and billing is world class (way better than what our architect and builder in NY is using)!  During the whole project we may have visited Papagayo 5 or 6 times but always felt that we had a good sense of all aspects of project status.

Ruediger Adolf· New York, NY

Over 20 years Construction Experience

Every project we build makes us better Architects. Hands-on experience continually improves our designs

SARCO Architects is a design-build architectural firm.  For select projects, we offer a turnkey experience in which we take responsibility for the home from initial concept until the final nail is hammered and the welcome mat placed by the front door.

Our building experience helps us to be better designers.  It forces us to be pragmatic and to think ahead to the construction stage.  We anticipate the technical matters involved in executing our designs.

Ultimately, our goal is to design quality homes that combine architectural beauty with functionality and will provide their owners with many years of happy, low-maintenance living.

Our construction expertise improves our design talent and allows us to know what  truly works and what doesn’t 

Our clients come from all over the world including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Dubai, Canada, and multiple locations in The United States.

They have widely diverse desires but share one common desire: to own a modern, luxury vacation home or investment property in a beautiful, tropical location like Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and The Caribbean.

If you are looking for an honest, professional and highly skilled architectural firm, and you are currently in the process of doing your research, you need look no further.  Let me spare you the painstaking time and effort my staff and I experienced before we found Sarco Architects.  The firm offers a highly skilled team of people and level of technology needed to get the job done.   As a very satisfied customer, I will continue to use Sarco for my future development endeavors.

Ebinette Nicholson· New York, NY

Leading Experts in 3D BIM Design

Considered one of Latin America’s 10 best Architecture Firms using Graphisoft ARCHICAD

You may not have heard about the term BIM before, and that’s fine, because it is a technical term that is usually only talked about in the architecture industry.  BIM stands for Building Information Modeling, but even this is still a rough term for people outside the industry to grasp. The quick explanation is that BIM is a work philosophy for architecture where an entire project is developed by creating a highly detailed 3D model of the project, to which a high degree of specification and detail is embedded. The drawings created come from this live model, and ensure absolute precision and coordination, which for the owner means efficiency and money saved.

The typical nightmare created in 2D CAD where several drawings show different ways to build the same thing are eliminated.  Here is where your money is wasted by a set of drawings that create problems, uncertainty, and mistakes.  All of this take money to fix once they pop up during construction, and still some things cannot be fully fixed. Today, your home should not be drawn, it should display the real-life conditions and solutions.

Projects fully developed in BIM are clearer, better communicated, better resolved, are much more efficient than those from other design tools.  The owner can fully visualize and understand the project in the design process, the builder can better execute the construction since they can see the project in full detail and they learn to trust the level of detail and development in the design.  Cost projections are better and more complete, since every detail can be fully understood and analyzed.

Sarco Architects Costa Rica has been recognised as a leader in BIM technology use in Latin America.

From the beginning until today, SARCO Architects has set a worldwide example of how to apply 3-D technology to design and construction processes. The firm is an outstanding representative of best practices with ARCHICAD.

Sergio Rodriguez· Graphisoft Regional Director, Latin America

SARCO Architects is Costa Rica’s leading expert architects in BIM technology. Working exclusively in BIM for 14 years, our firm principal, Roderick Anderson has been a featured speaker at several international conferences in Mexico City, Santiago Chile, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, and has been proposed for the upcoming World BIM Conference in Munich, Germany on November 2018.

Communication is Key to Project Success

Enabling our clients ease of checking in anytime, from anywhere

Communication is a key element to anything in our lives, from ordering your favorite latte at Starbucks, telling your stylist how to cut your hair, and making sure the gardener trimmed the bushes like you wanted.  Design is no different!

Communication’s importance is scaled tenfold in any design and construction project.  Projects involve a team of people to make them happen, and it is essential for everybody to stay current and fully aware of what is going on.  I don’t need to mention what happens as a result of poor communication: things are lost in translation, details are not executed, and things simply turn out wrong.

Easy Project Management and Communication from Anywhere in the World

Efficient and synchronous communication between an architect and client is very important, especially during the design phase of a building project. Although I am internationally based, Roderick and his team have managed to ensure effective and consistent forward workflow by utilizing organization tools that facilitate instantaneous updates and dialog on each phase as it takes shape. I am impressed with the SARCO team’s extensive knowledge and intelligent use of communication technology, which truly facilitates an effortless real-time two-way mechanism for management, feedback, and progress of my new build, even while I am traveling abroad.

Marc D’Souza· Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Our custom web platform provides for tools and apps for clients to access from any computer or any smartphone or mobile device.  Our clients stay in the loop and can comment and provide any feedback at any time, from anywhere around the world.  All information is documented, we eliminate miscommunication or unanswered questions. Every aspect of your project has a designated place online where it can be discussed with team members and referenced as needed in the future.

We speak Spanish and fluent English, so you never have to worry about anything getting lost in translation.  We make extensive use of video conferencing for client calls, project presentation, discussion and review.

Our Commitment to the Environment

Designing Energy-Efficient Homes and bringing you closer to nature

At SARCO Architects, in keeping with Costa Rica’s eco-friendly stance, we believe in designing environmentally responsible homes.  We pay careful attention to factors such as a home’s solar orientation, placement of windows, and specification of building materials to minimize future energy costs and reduce a home’s carbon footprint.

We use state-of-the-art technology to measure a design’s energy efficiency before construction begins and make adjustments as needed.

Environmentally-Friendly Designs to Reduce your Home’s Impact on our Environment.

Roderick and his team at Sarco Architects have been working with my boyfriend and me to design our retirement home in Panama. From the moment we engaged them, they have done a superb job. First, they took the time to understand our needs and preferences. Then they provided a phased timeline and gave us various options on how we could work with them. This approach put us, the customer, first and gave us a sense that Sarco was a consultative designer and not a transactional one. Once we signed the contract with them, they met all key milestones with professionalism and excellence. The renderings and the virtual tour of the house were beautiful. We did make various iterations of the interior design and they were patient and open as we provided feedback. We love the design of our home and can’t wait to see it from virtual to reality. We thank the Sarco team for their outstanding design and customer service.

Alex Evans & Geoff Heekin· Chicago, IL

Multiple Award-Winning Architects

The region’s only six-time winner at the International Property Awards, in London, UK.

SARCO Architects Costa Rica is the only architectural firm in the region with now a total of Six Design Awards by the coveted International Property Awards, in London, UK. The three most recent awards were received for our design of a luxury residential resort project in the Dominican Republic.

Amongst these new accolades we received a nomination to the World’s Finals and were recipients of the “Best Leisure Architecture Caribbean 2017-2018”, as the best project in the entire Caribbean region. Our awards include “5-Star, Best Architecture Single Residence Costa Rica” in two occasions, and most recently awards for “5-Star, Best Leisure Architecture Dominican Republic”. We have now received design awards for our work in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, being award winners in two different regions. These awards represent international recognition to the talent, quality, and attention to detail that we dedicate to every one of our projects and gives us great pride and motivation to always improve what we do.

We don’t design projects for awards.

We design homes for people, and the experiences we create for them.

Contact Us

If you’re considering a custom-built home or investment property in Costa Rica, Panama or the Caribbean, let us explain our architectural design process and answer your questions.  Contact us today. 

Address: Apartado 2098 2050 San Pedro, San Jose , Costa Rica 11501-2050

Phone CR: +506.2283.4107 | Phone USA: 1-646-712-9299

Email us at:


We have limited spots for a free 45-minute consultation with Roderick Anderson, our CEO & Design Director.  Have any questions about how to get your project started?  Click here to select a suitable time and book your call.