How one family bucked traditional living for a sustainable life in a giant geodesic dome.

The Hjertefølger family has been living a sustainable lifestyle on Norway’s Sandhornøya Island since 2013. The family embarked on a sustainable living journey and have created a literal oasis in an environment most would be reluctant to stay in.

Benjamin and Ingrid Hjertefølger were inspired by a design they saw with a home enclosed in a solar dome, and it motivated them to build their own “Nature House.” The home is a cob house, built by hand from a mixture of sand, clay, and straw, which is mashed together until it becomes a solid mass to create bricks.

geodesic dome
Courtesy of Ingrid Marie Hjertefølger (Facebook)

The glass solar dome was designed by Solardome Industries, a company that specializes in geodesic eco-friendly domes.

The home is rustic and spacious, giving the family plenty of room to grow. The house is 2,583 square feet and has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lounge area, a dining room, a garage, and a deck at the top of the dome to look out from. Materials were repurposed and reclaimed throughout the home, and the family grows their own food inside the dome. Theirmgarden is irrigated with a system that uses wastewater from the house.

The couple paid about $403,000 to build the home, however, due to the solar power and off-the-grid natur, they now live almost for free. The family’s story was so popular that they soon built a second smaller dome that serves as a yoga and meditation studio, and can be rented for special occasions.  

This family has carved out a life for themselves that is different than most, and inspiring to all. They share their adventures in sustainable living on social media and share how their home works with anyone who asks. Check out this TedTalk that the Hjertefølgers made about their home and the process of building it:

This family’s story and their incredibly unique home show us that home truly is where the heart is. 

What do you think about this unique home? Would you want to live in a home that you built with your very own hands? Sound off in the comments.