Your natural home | Elke Cole

By: Elke Cole  09-12-2011
Keywords: House

  • it offers you shelter from the elements
  • it keeps you connected to Nature
  • it supports your health through superior indoor climate
  • it provides plenty of daylight for all your activities
  • it helps keep you grounded
  • it supports your personal flow of daily actions by design
  • it gives you pleasure through its beauty
  • it is energetically aligned with you through your participation in the building process
  • it is easy on your bankbook through smart space design
  • it stimulates your creativity through organic form

A house serves our needs in many ways- starting with the very basic: providing shelter. Depending on the climate of your site you may need shelter from rain, snow, winds or heat.

As much as you need to be sheltered you are also part of Nature and need the ability to stay in touch. Let in fresh air, cooling breezes, warm sun in winter. Enjoy views of natural beauty and the continuing change of weather.

Your house must be well fitting: not too big and not too small- designed for the people who live in it. What do you do in your house? And how would a house support what you do?

Let’s find out what’s special about you and build a home for especially you. We will look at what makes your heart sing and how you interact with your environment.

Of course you’ll want your house to be as sustainable as we can achieve.

A sustainable house is

  • timeless
  • small environmental footprint
  • healthy and non-toxic
  • energy efficient
  • affordable

Most of my designs today are using local, natural materials. All of them use passive solar design principles and natural ventilation. I believe that houses need to be simple and beautiful and uniquely suited to owner and site.

It actually doesn’t stop there- the house is part of a larger plan for your land. The plan for your home will be part of the overall development of your land and consider all existing and as much as possible all future relationships.

One past client wrote:

“what we are really looking for is to build a home, not a big expensive storage unit for all of our stuff.
We are trying to bring family together and teach our children and grandchildren that a big house filled with expensive stuff does not make a home and we’re hoping that these next two generations and many to follow will realize the beauty of a simpler life, of family, friends and community. We have been sucked into the consumerism lifestyle ourselves but we have been realizing  a change in our lives over the last several years and want to start breaking free of a cycle we put ourselves in. Our goal is to hopefully teach our children and their children that there is a better way.”

Another realized:

“I’ve had a realization that I’m not designing a house…I’m designing a life and the house is meant to support that life…I knew this before but hadn’t felt it as deeply defined before now.  I’m really feeling the truth of that more deeply in me now and it’s changing my approach with the way I’m thinking and so probably the way I communicate with you about it….I’ll first practice the communicating with my husband”

Keywords: House

Other products and services from Elke Cole


Natural Homes designed by Elke Cole

Is a hybrid building featuring dry stone foundation, cob and straw bale exterior walls, light clay interior walls, earthen floors and natural plasters. Recycled materials compliment the natural choices: reclaimed 2×6 T&G boards for the floors, 1×6 ceiling boards and galvanized metal siding. This home is situated on a steep south facing slope which became key to the design. The Art Studio has three distinct components.


Project Support for you | Elke Cole

This is a good time to call for a site visit to explore the design possibilities and realities of your site. You are considering the purchase of a piece of land and need help evaluating good building sites. Advice on materials, detailing and scheduling, answering how-to questions and what’s next. You have your plans and you are ready to go into the construction of your natural home.


Services | Elke Cole

Could your project benefit from a handful of enthusiastic learners. Does your school or organization teach about sustainability. Are you looking for team building in a fun and engaging way. Are you building a natural home.


Natural Homes by Elke Cole

2010Natural Home and B&B, Mayne Island, BCNatural Family Home Errington, BCCob Bath House, O.U.R.Ecovillage, Shawnigan Lake, BCEagleyew, Shawnigan Lake, BCKitchen building for Baobab Home, Bagamoyo Tanzania. 2006Residential Development plan, O.U.R. Ecovillage, Shawnigan LakeBrocklehurst Residence, hybrid, Gabriola IslandStraw bale residence, Pender Island.


Inspire your audience | Elke Cole

It is my pleasure to share stories, insights and images with your audience: schools, public events and university classes will gain insight and inspiration. I will be traveling in Europe during the Fall of 2011, and in Tanzania during the winter 2011/2012 and welcome opportunities in these areas. Natural Building, including Earth building and Straw bale construction.