2009 – The Nauhaus Prototype was made possible by a private venture of highly passionate and driven building professionals and volunteers. The Nauhaus Prototype is a building system born from a simple thought: a whole systems building design approach that combines the best of cutting edge modern building science with the advantages of traditional building materials and techniques.

Through a combination of passive solar design, a super-insulated building envelope, interior thermal mass, high performance windows and doors, and careful construction detailing, the Nauhaus Prototype was designed to be 80% more energy efficient than present code mandates, creating a healthy, comfortable indoor environment without need for a furnace or air conditioning. This substantial decrease in energy use allows renewable energy systems to be downsized. The consequent reduction in price brings self-sufficient power production and even carbon neutrality within reach. This “state of the art” building science is combined with site-harvested materials, rainwater harvesting, greywater irrigation, extensive outdoor living spaces, a lush edible landscape, small scale animal husbandry, and wildlife habitat to make sustainable homesteads a possibility even in densely populated urban neighborhoods.

 Natural Building Features
  • Passive solar design
  • Superior insulation: exterior walls constructed of Hemcrete®, a mixture of industrial hemp chips (shiv) in a lime-based binder.
  • Interior floors and walls constructed of compressed earth blocks made from subsoil excavated from the building site.
  • Earth plaster interior walls (also from site subsoil) and lime plaster exterior
  • Natural non-toxic paints and sealers by Earthpaint, a local company
  • Abundant edible landscape and wildlife habitat
  • Rainwater catchment and greywater irrigation
  • 3 bedroom, 2 bath; configured to allow for separate apartment in lower level
  • 1,375 square feet of interior living space with 300+ square feet of covered outdoor living area

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