Thursday, 9 December 2010


OK so not always practical, I know! But as the UK shivers behind its brick and block walls it occurred to me: isn’t snow just one of the best sustainable building materials out there?

It is an ancient building material used by hunters to create temporary shelter in vast arctic wastelands. Igloos were able to be constructed quickly with simple tools and construction techniques and most importantly out of a plentiful natural resource. So no transportation, fast track construction and renewable material; the ultimate eco-build!

Ice has in fact in recent years become the new cool! From the infamous ice hotel to the fabulous Iglu-Dorf ( chain of igloo villages there are various options now for a chilly vacation. Methods of construction have even developed from the traditional snow block method to inflating giant balloons and covering them in snow using a snow plough. Once compacted the balloons are deflated and beautiful snow clad spaces are revealed. N ice!

Obviously the key flaw to this sparkly glittery material is the temperature required to sustain it, which means it’s unlikely to be cropping up in the next Grand Designs episode unless Kevin McCloud relocates to the northern hemisphere. 

Iglu-Dorf Engleberg Igloo Hotel