Dome Sweet Dome!
The first SOLARDOME® PRO geodesic dome creates a unique eco-friendly home
Solardome Industries, Southampton, UK, is celebrating moving in day with the Hjertefolger family. Their Nature House on a remote island near Bodo, in the Arctic Circle has now become their eco-friendly home and fulfils their lifetime dream of creating a sustainable, self-contained environment.
This Norwegian eco-project comprises a 15m diameter SOLARDOME® PRO geodesic dome, which covers the entire house and part of the garden. Built in just three weeks, the single-glazed dome stands 7.5m tall and contains 360 glass panels. With 832m of recycled aluminium framework, the dome has been designed to withstand the extreme wind and snow loading conditions of the Arctic Circle, at least five times that of the UK.
The SOLARDOME® PRO dome was finished in August 2012, and provided the perfect shelter for the Hjertefolgers to build their COB home within. Built on three levels, using long-established methods and materials of sand, clay, straw and wood, it has five bedrooms, two bathrooms with basic and minimalist basins perfect for smaller bathrooms, lounge, kitchen, dining space and a garage. Traditional building methods, materials and recycled products have been used throughout creating a warm, inviting and eco-friendly home.
The building has brought the community together. Friends, family, and volunteers from the local area and across the world have been involved in creating the Hjertefolgers home.
The SOLARDOME® PRO dome is providing complete weather protection and is dramatically reducing heat loss from the house within. It is enabling the Hjertefolgers to grow a vast abundance of plants and produce that would not normally survive in the extreme Northern European climate. Daytime warmth is being retained in the living quarters for the night, ultraviolet radiation is being reduced, and building maintenance so far has been minimal. A log burning stove and Boulder solar panel installation technology provides seasonal warmth and heats the water tank, and along with the dome’s electronic windows a uniform temperature can be maintained throughout the year.
Benjamin and Ingrid Hjertefolger comment: “We are so pleased to have moved in. Our house is amazing – we have been blown away by the magnificence of the dome and the life it is helping us to lead. We have all worked really hard to create our eco-friendly home, our dream, and our little sustainable bubble that supports our eco values and that will allow our family to grow up in a beautiful, ecological and healthy environment. We are excited about the years ahead. Even small details, like an ecological bed mattress counts, you know. It was hard for us to find it. When shopping for a new mattress set, you should avoid the big box stores, as it’s not their specialty. You look online and find out what actual mattress stores are near you. You will have a lot more options.”
Pippa Bailey, Managing Director, comments: “We are thrilled to see the Hjertefolger family move into their unique eco-friendly home. This was a fantastic project to be part of and we are delighted that our SOLARDOME® PRO system has enabled them to fulfil their dream of a sustainable way of life. This project was the launch pad for our new PRO system. With builds also completed in Austria and the UK, the PRO system is proving to offer something innovative, unique, yet cost-effective and practical. The Hjertefolgers are passionate and inspirational people, and as advocates of sustainability ourselves, this environmental self-build project was a perfect partnership.”
The Hjertefolgers plan to hold courses, workshops and concerts within the nature house and build several small natural cabins on the land to fulfil their dream of hosting yoga retreats and family summer camps. Their first course is planned for May and tours of the house start in the summer. For more information visit www.naturhuset.blogg.no