Benjamin and Ingrid Marie Hertefølger have built a unique all-natural house completely covered by a glass dome, on a plot of land on Norway’s Sandhorney Island, in the Arctic Circle. They were inspired to find an eco-friendly way for their family to live on this planet.
The Hertefølgers wanted to live in an eco-home that was made of only natural materials, namely cob (a mixture of sand, clay and straw), wood and glass. The home also had to withstand the harsh weather conditions of the Arctic Circle. They contacted Solardome Industries about a bespoke dome to cover their new house. This dome could withstand heavy snowfall of Northern Norway, maintain a uniform temperature inside it, reduce ultraviolet radiation, minimize maintenance costs and act as a greenhouse for the organic vegetable and fruit garden.
It was the perfect opportunity to really test their SOLARDOME PRO technology for Solardome Industries. The Hertefølgers’ project took just three weeks to be built on site as a protective shield around their house and garden. It has no deep foundations that makes it environment friendly. It is 15 meters wide, 7.5 meters tall and is made up of 360 glass panels and 832 meters of recycled aluminum, requiring very less maintenance.
But the protective dome is just one part of the Hertefølgers’ awe-inspiring residence. Their true bio-dome features a recycling system that allows them to reuse all waste as irrigation water and fertilizer for their garden, and solar panels that provide all the energy for their daily needs. They also grow their own food all year round. They changed their surname to Hertefølger which is Norwegian for “Heart Follower” because this is what they wanted to do, to follow their hearts.
“We built what we wanted to build,” Ingrid said in a recently released documentary aptly named The Heart Followers. “We have only listened to ourselves and what we wanted to do, we went all in. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, there will always be someone who disagrees and who thinks what I do is wrong. I believe that the recipe for failure is to try making everybody happy, because it’s not possible.”
So instead of worrying about what people may think, the Heart Followers just follow their hearts. Their goal is to give their four children a great childhood and to give them the insight they need to manage life on Earth. Instead of spending their time in front of a computer or at a mall like normal kids of today, the Hertefølger’s kids swing in hammocks, play in the garden, shoot bows or roam the surrounding forests in search of mythical creatures like fairies and elves. They grow up with a deep sense of appreciation for nature.
The total cost of this home is $490,500 which is quite a lot and most of us do not have the Arctic Circle to live in, but their story is a very inspirational one. Take a look at their documentary below: