By Danny Baggott @dan_baggie
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Videographer / director: Benjamin Hjertefolger
Producer: Danny Baggott, Ellie Winstanley
Editor: Joshua Douglas
Benjamin and Ingrid Hjertefolger have spent £340,000 constructing their dream home, which is made entirely from all-natural materials such as sand and straw - in order to live sustainably.
Located on Sandhorney Island, north Norway, the 7.5 metre high dome is made up of 360 glass panels and shields the entire house with a diameter of 15 metres allowing the family to grow their own fruit and vegetables inside.
Benjamin, 31, said: “The dome is made out of toughened glass and aluminium. It provides shelter from the Arctic Circle, it gives us a longer and warmer growing season for our fruit and vegetable garden and it allows us to use less energy to heat our house.
“The inside is made of cob – which is a mix of sand, clay and straw.
“We even have a water treatment system where all the water we use circulates in tanks and is pumped out into the greenhouse where plants clean the water and also take nutrients from it.
“We were inspired by the hundreds of all natural buildings around the world.”
The project started back in 2012 and one and a half years later, Benjamin, Ingrid and their four children, Julia, 11, Gabriel, nine, Aron, six and Alvin 10 months, moved into their unique abode.
Ingrid, 34, said: “We needed a house and a regular one was never an option for us. It’s in our own and everybody else’s interests to protect, support and love the planet that sustains us.
“We don’t buy much stuff as we are organic vegans so we grow some of our own food and we collect wild herbs and plants in nature.”
Many of the Hjertefolger’s friends and family are consistently positive about the dome structure and some of them helped out with building certain parts.
“Our three oldest children were very much apart of the building process,” Ingrid said.
“They helped us build the walls of their own rooms - they love the house and they say that they never want to move, they want to grow old here with us.”
Translated from Norwegian, Hjertefolger means ‘heart followers’ and this was only adopted as the family name a few years ago when they wanted it to reflect their life philosophy.
Ingrid said: “When I look back at our creation now I get a deep sense of gratitude and joy for all the people that helped us and wished us well for our achievement.
“I am proud and very pleased by the result. We worked so hard in the process of building it and it was well worth it.”