This small, shell-shaped villa — made using local wood, rammed earth and traditional techniques — is located in the forest of Nagano Prefecture in the center of Japan. Known as the Shell House, the project request came from a client who wanted a contemporary and unique home that could blend into the surrounding forest with minimal environmental impact. To blend the Shell House into the surrounding environment as organically as possible, the designers chose a rounded, shell-inspired shape and constructed the structure using locally sourced natural materials . Local, FSC-certified wood and earth went most into most of the building, with additional sustainable elements including hand-built construction and the elimination of petrochemical materials. The entire structure was built per passive house principles to Japanese standards. The home satisfies the environmental assessment’s primary energy consumption requirements, and then some, with 11% less energy consumption than the country’s standard. Windows and doors are made of aluminum and resin composite with double- and triple-paned glass. The outside roof is made of asphalt, and the fireplace inside is also made of rammed earth. The earthen walls are combined with 180 millimeter wool insulation to complete the energy-efficient package. Interior rooms are finished with […]

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