Benjamin and Ingrid Hjertefolger
Bodo, Arctic Circle
Height: 7.5m, Diameter: 15m, Volume: 919m³, Floor Area: 177m²
Nature House Construction Materials
Sand, clay, straw and wood
The Nature House of Norwegian couple Benjamin and Ingrid Hjertefolger, enclosed with Solardome Industries’ patent-pending SOLARDOME PRO dome system, is located on a 7,000m² island near Bodo in the Arctic Circle.
The geodesic dome was designed and manufactured in the UK and it took roughly three weeks to install, completing in August 2012. The construction of the Nature House was completed in late 2013. A certain portion of the garden adjacent to the building is also enclosed within the confines of the dome.
The dome was installed primarily to shelter the eco-house and the garden from the region’s harsh winds and severe snow loading conditions. The project resulted in the development and applicability of the SOLARDOME PRO architectural system, which enables the construction of customised geodesic domes, ranging from 8m-25m in diameter.
Thanks to the PRO architectural system, Solardome Industries already received two Innovation Awards in 2014. In addition to being highly commended at the Federation of Small Business WorldPay UK Business Awards, Solardome are winners of a prestigious Green Apple award for the Built Environment & Architectural Heritage.
Details of the geodesic dome
The six-frequency geodesic dome covering the eco-friendly house and garden measures 7.5m in height, 15m in diameter, has a volume of 919m³ and covers a total floor area of 177m².
The dome is designed to withstand wind speeds of over 31m/s and snow loading of 4kN/m². It retains day heat for the night, reduces ultraviolet radiations, serves as a greenhouse and enables in maintaining a uniform temperature throughout the year.
It is made up of 360 single-glazed toughened glass panels and a total length of 832m recycled aluminium frames with a designed lifespan of more than 100 years. Each of the panels are 6mm thick and the dome features double doorways, five digitally controlled windows and six manually operated windows.
The fittings are made of stainless-steel to prevent rust and moss and the exterior metal components are given a polyester powder coating.
Hjertefolgers’ Nature House
The three-level house covers an area of 200m², with two levels covered by the dome. The adjacent garden covers an area of 80m² and the building features a 100m² rooftop garden. The eco-house is linked to the outside decked area by a large aperture in the dome frame.
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The COB house was built using traditional construction methods and materials including sand, clay, straw and wood. The interior wall surfaces are decorated with old recycled bottles, recycled pallets and old wooden planks and the bathroom floors are decorated with recycled tiles and stones collected from the beach.
The building features five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lounge, a kitchen, a dining room, and a garage on the basement.
A burning stove and solar panels provide warmth inside and heat the water tank for non-drinking usage and underfloor heating. Uniform temperature is maintained within the building with the help of the dome’s electronic windows which provide natural ventilation. The aluminium chimney flue from the burning stove protrudes the dome structure.
Natural ventilation is provided for the gardens by means of underground pipes and the electronic windows, while the plants further provide natural insulation and sound absorption.
Sustainability of the SOLARDOME PRO dome system
The geodesic design reduces the surface area of the dome and enables it to utilise 30% lesser materials for construction compared to conventional rectangular enclosures covering the same space. The materials used are recyclable and the dome’s installation requires minimum foundation works.