When you live in a colder climate, winter can be excruciatingly cold, and expensive.
While most people simply slip into some comfy socks and a thick sweater, one Swedish family took things to the extreme.
Environmentally conscious engineer Charles Sacilotto and his wife Marie Grammar decided to build a greenhouse around their home. Not only they did increase the temperature of the house, they also now have the ability to grow food year round.
The 4mm-thick glass around the home keeps it at a steady temperature of 15 to 20˚C (60-68), even when the mercury goes below -2˚C (28F).
The greenhouse, which was built 10 years ago, cost about 80,000 euros to complete (88,000 USD), but the investment has paid for itself in the cost of heating they’ve since saved.
Charles didn’t entirely work on his own. His mentor Bengt Warne, a Swedish eco-architect, inspired the project and offered guidance throughout.
The house, dubbed Naturhus (Nature House), is safe and sturdy too. “It’s security glass. So, in principle, this can’t break. If it ever does, it will break in tiny pieces to not harm anyone.”
The greenhouse absorbs heat during the day and the residual heat keeps it warm throughout the night. If there’s no sun, the inside of the house can end up as cool as the outside. However, all it takes is a few hours of sunlight to heat it back up.
All in all, the greenhouse addition extended the use of the family’s summer home was much cheaper than buying a new plot of land and building an all-season house. If it ever gets too hot, vents on the roof and 2nd floor, as well as sliding doors on multiple levels, let out the extra heat.
Plus, the structure has created the perfect environment to grow grapes, herbs, cucumbers, figs, and tomatoes early all year. These crops don’t just provide fresh food, they also improve the air quality of the house.