“The nautilus was designed by Flo Kroll, architect Helene .v.d.Merwe, and Helena Wagener during the preparation of the Sustainable Built Environment conference 2005.
The Nautilus integrates various earthbuilding methods, including sandbag, cob, adobe, and straw bale. Biomimicry – the application of evolutionary design intelligence to human needs, suggests that natural patterns can be usefully applied to the design of buildings and settlements.
The Nautilus design uses a universal natural pattern, the spiral, as its aesthetic and functional point of reference. The spiral allows wind catchment and climate control, optimal orientation, passive solar gain in winter, economic rainwater harvesting, and ergonomic flow of everyday activities using a minimum of building material.
The Nautilus also applies evolutionary design intelligence by the use of different surface areas on different sides of the building. Where a large surface area is desired – in this case to maximise northern solar mass exposure during winter, crenellation is used to increase surface area. Where energy exchange is less desirable, a minimal surface area is presented.
The building and its inhabitants are designed to form a coherent bio-system that is to be largely autonomous in terms of its use of energy, water, and biomass by integrating a variety of renewable energy sources, water catchment and filtration systems, and waterless ecological sanitation systems with the immediate environment – the Synergy Gardens.”
Source: Nautilus Earthbuilding