Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
December 21, 2023 ·  4 min read

Couple Built Greenhouse Around Home To Grow Food And Keep Warm

Most houses use heating units to stay warm through the winter. However, this home is built within a greenhouse, creating a bubble of summer in Stockholm, Sweden. The residents of this environmentally-friendly abode are Marie Granmar, Charles Sacilotto, and their young son. The 4-millimeter surrounding glass cost about $84,000 to install.

This Home Stays Warm All-Year Round

The design was inspired by Swedish eco-architect Bengt Warne, a mentor of Sacilotto. Warne designed the first house within a greenhouse in 1974. His creation was called “Naturhus” of “Nature House.” The sunlight through the glass warms the home during the day, and the residual heat remains in the bedrock below the house. The balcony on the roof allows for year-round summer activities like sunbathing and playing with their son.

At the end of January it can be -2 degrees Celsius [28 F] outside and it can be 15 to 20 degrees Celsius [59 to 68 F] upstairs,” Sacilotto said.

However, when the outdoor temperature drops into negative numbers, the house can get cold. For this reason, the house does have more traditional insulation and heating units. These are just used much less often than in regular homes.

In addition to being, the house is actually self-sufficient. The family collects rainwater to water their plants and for their household needs. Plus, they use kitchen and garden waste as compost. Sacilotto, who is a self-taught engineer, built the home’s sewage system himself. This system “begins with a urine-separating toilet and uses centrifuges, cisterns, grow beds and garden ponds to filter the water and compost the remains.

Sacilotto explains that his home’s design isn’t centered on living in a greenhouse; it’s about maintaining a nature-friendly living. “It’s not just to use the nature, the sun, and the water, but it’s all a philosophy of life, to live in another world, in fact,” he said.

People in Glass Houses…

In the greenhouse, the family grows their own produce like cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, figs, and herbs. Many of these items would normally die during winter in Sweden. The family also saved money utilizing solar power. Plus, because their house doesn’t actually face the elements, they only used linseed oil to cover the wooden facade.

We’ve all heard the idiom about how people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but is it actually safe to live in a glass greenhouse?

It’s security glass,” Sacilotto said. “So in principle, this can’t break. If it ever does, it will break in tiny pieces to not harm anyone.” [1]

At first, the Granmar-Sacilotto family thought they would build their greenhouse home in an empty lot. However, they eventually found a small summer home in Stockholm. It was not originally built for year-round living, but the family worked to make their home comfortable throughout the winter. So they surrounded it with glass, leaving much room to plant a garden. [2]

And so, their summer (and now winter) home is surrounded by a 200 sqm greenhouse. Sacilotto explains that the biggest drawback to this home is that it can get really hot in the summer, easily reaching 40°C. To evade this issue, the family created an opening in the roof of the greenhouse to regulate the temperature. [3]

Read: 640-Square-Foot Solar-Powered Shipping Container House with Greenhouse for $25,000

Other Greenhouse Homes

This Naturhus was popularized on the Apple TV+ show “Home”. And it’s not the only one of its kind. 

The MacMillan greenhouse

In Rhode Island, Amy and Rob MacMillan created a cozy and eco-friendly home out of an old greenhouse. They custom-designed many items to make all of their furniture fit and keep the vibe. 

If you’re going to live in a greenhouse, you should really play up the light and capture that passive solar energy,” Amy MacMillan said. “That aspect of the house is great. If you use it to your advantage and embrace the landscape outside, you can really minimize your heating costs. … But when it comes to design, you should really focus on playing up the features that make your home so special. That’s true when you renovate a house or just move into a home.

Their kitchen still looks very much like a greenhouse with its bright living area and A-frame slanted roof.

“Camouflage House 3”

“Camouflage House 3″ is a glass greenhouse home designed by Tokyo-based architect Hiroshi Iguchi. It’s located in Nagano, Japan, a lush, forested area. Iguchi blended home life and the outdoors in this home that is also sustainable and environmentally friendly. While many houses would diminish the nature around it, this home actually helps to sustain plant life.

The home has two levels. The first has an indoor rock garden, with a living area, seating, area, and kitchen. Slat stairs lead to the second floor, which provides a stunning view of the sky and surrounding wildlife. White canvas helps control the temperature in the home while also softening the industrial greenhouse aesthetic. [4]

Keep Reading: She Has Been Living Off The Grid For Over 30 Years! This Is What Her Life is Like


  1. “Couple Builds Greenhouse Around Home to Grow Food and Keep Warm.EcoWatch. Lorraine Chow. November 30, 2015
  2. “Greenhouse Built Around A Home Is A Brilliant Way To Beat The Winter Blues.” HuffPost. Elyse Wanshel. January 28, 2016
  3. “Swedish family envelops home in greenhouse to warm up stockholm weather.Design Boom. Myrto Katsikopoulou October 21, 2021
  4. “5 greenhouses that are actually homes.CBS News. Ilyce Glink. September 27, 2014