2015 - Our latest Hempsteads Homestead, Ecostead Versant, is moving gracefully through the design process. A Hempsteads Home utilizes a hempcrete wall system as the building's envelope. Hempcrete will be utilized for this project at the owners' requests, as it fulfills their design objectives and energy performance requirements.This will be the largest, and most multifaceted, hempcrete design that Alembic Studio, LLC has undertaken to date. Aside from a hempcrete wall system, this design boasts an attached greenhouse, four-seasons room, certified commercial kitchen, and an integrated landscape design for food production and leisure. Gable cantilevers and well-planned terraces give way to additional outdoor spaces where long-range views and water features can be taken in.
With cool temperatures, fertile soil, and amazing mountaintop views, this site offers a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the rich history of fruit orchards and mountain agriculture in Western North Carolina. The Ecostead Versant concept is intended to provide a narrative that reinforces and enhances the initial Permaculture systems approach while potentially providing some additional order, form, and refinement to the planning and design of this unique project. This mountain orchard/agrarian concept intends to reinforce a strong identity and the “look and feel” of a mountaintop setting.
Our hopes for this project is a truly sustainable, multi-generational legacy.
Following are a few key elements for consideration in this initial Ecostead Versant concept:
- Heritage - The rich history of agriculture and orchards in the mountains of Western North Carolina is a significant
precedent to explore and consider
- Environment - Showing restraint and sensitivity for protecting the surrounding eco-community while restoring and enhancing the site to become a more efficient ecosystem
- Education - All visitors, from the owner’s friends to community guests, will be able to learn more about the systems based Permaculture approach in addition to having opportunities to contribute and engage with the site and landscape
- Artistic - An approach of “landscape as art” with a cohesive blend of texture, style, form, function, and intrigue
- Productive - Responsive to all four seasons with productive yields of food and for owners and their guests throughout
- Connectivity - Both vehicle and pedestrian linkages throughout the homestead are critical in connecting owners and guests to the various amenities and offers varying opportunities to connect to nature and the tranquility of the site
- Wayfinding - Opportunities for focal points and landmarks in the landscape contribute as visual points of reference to help visitors gain a sense of direction and navigate from entry to destination
- Adaptable - Flexibility to respond to short term seasonal changes, shifting weather patterns, and longer-term climate related changes
- Phasing - Careful consideration to how the plan can be implemented in the short-term as well as future phases