Here’s a home that is built with no non-recyclable residue or plastics, utilizes solar energy (not only to heat the water but to produce energy as well) and looks incredibly fabulous. Sound like a fantasy of the eco-chick’s distant future? Not so – it exists today thanks to Germany’s WeberHaus.
According to Ann M. Requa, the WeberHaus Representative of Catalonia, Spain, “Germans demand good wood” and good wood they got. All the wood used in the WeberHaus construction comes from the Black Forest, which is replanted and within 100 years will grow 2-3 times its original amount. The wood is then fabricated to include insulation of mineral wool, recycled glass, soda and sand. This creates a wall so strong a VW Beetle was hung from one of their showroom walls for months.They are even fire-resistant.
Every house utilizes alternative energy solutions including solar water tanks that reuse rain water to hose the garden or run the dishwasher. Not to mention the coolest eco-feature; the construction of the walls allows for the gathering of energy that the inhabitants give off to be used in the circuits around the house.
This all comes at a price. With houses averaging between $400 – $500,000 they aren’t the most affordable housing option. Though as Mrs. Requa pointed out the energy costs are so low (only 10% of a “normal” house), over a 30-year mortgage the initial cost for the house will pay off, and they do offer 3 different models (Individual, Lifestyle and Twin) which vary in price.
Building a WeberHaus is a total experience. They send the entire family to the headquarters for a 3-day seminar to learn all about the extremely ecologically sound house the family will soon be inhabiting. While there, the family can visit the WeberHaus theme park – World of Living, which takes them through an interactive journey through the history of construction. Not your average Builder´s added bonus. It can only be our hope that in time WeberHaus will eclipse the McMansion to provide an ecologically sound living environment for every home buyer.
Over the past 45 years since WeberHaus’s inception, they have constructed 27,477 houses, averaging 8-9,000/year. Headquartered in Rheinau Germany, it now boasts offices in Austria, France, The UK, Switzerland and Spain.