The house-in-a-greenhouse probably wouldn't play very well in say, Arizona, where enclosing your house in glass shell would be folly. But Bengt Warne, a Swedish architect, starting designing what he called the Naturhus (Nature House) in 1976 to work with Scandinavian nature. Warne put up his own Naturhus before he died in 2006, but two other Swedish families have now designed their own versions of an enclosed house.
Greenhouse on the outside, energy-efficiency on the inside
Here in Sweden, where the dark drear of winter drives many of us to depression or worse, a clear greenhouse on the outside of your wooden house as insulation promises two months more of growing season on the porch and indoor gardens (fed by the houses' grey water, compost, and black water systems) and keeps your heating bills low. Plus an extra feature dear to Swedes' hearts, Naturhus lets you start using the decks in your house a lot earlier each spring.
Naturhus ecohouse small by U.S. standards
The houses are around 150 square meters, a fairly small family house by American standards, with the outside greenhouses total area at 300 square meters. Around the houses are extensive Mediterranean-style gardens that grow many plant varieties that couldn't survive the Swedish seasons without the protective glass covering - figs, kiwi, peaches, wine grapes, etc. The houses are heated by wood-burning ovens and a "hot water masonry heater."
Best of all from a day-to-day living standpoint are the houses' under-glass roof decks. Though the climate is somewhat different in one of the houses up in Northwestern Sweden, with the other one quite close to the Baltic in Stockholm, they both are expected to save about 50 percent on a traditional house's electric bills. Via: Ecorelief and Ecosole
Read more on Swedish house design:
Swedish Flatpack Homes In Large, Medium, Small and XXS
IKEA BoKlok Flatpack houses spread Swedish gospel
Friggebod Fun: The Mini House by Jonas Wagell
Villa Näckros Swedish Floating Prefab