[NPK] house

Snohomish County, Washington

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The [NPK]house is our winning 2nd place entry in the 2013 International Living Futures competition which challenged designers to design a 3000 sq. ft greenhouse under the guidelines of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) – meeting net zero energy, water and waste. Moreover, the project can not contain any toxic materials, had to include public meeting space and enhance and extend the growing season at the (future) Snohomish, WA site.

The [NPK]house design is a unique culmination of proven technologies (solar, compost and heating) and ‘natural building’ greenhouse designs developed over the past 30 years. The building exceeds the competition criteria and achieves a full-time, 4-season plant production facility by adding a vessel composting system, which injects heat, water, carbon dioxide and eventually nitrogen back into the food producing soil.

A composting toilet diverts urine into storage containers to be properly aged and then mixed as fertilizer for food crops. The building’s energy supply is completely derived by a solar, while clay infill walls provide passive heating and earthen floors cover the building’s finished rooms.  The entry was submitted near shovel ready and is the strongest contender for being built in 2014!

Jury Comments:

“One of the best from a functional point of view”

“Simply put the NPK house, which is naturally ventilated, is tall enough to help even out temperature fluctuations. Is has the industry standard height of nearly 30 feet.”

“Clever, simple utilitarian design”,  “Love the public urinal for fertilizer capacity”