RB Cabin 


This retreat north of Crescent, Iowa, borrows the local agrarian style, creating a sense of a community market.  The owners seek to teach cooking with organic produce and vegetables, offer lessons in sustainable eating, and eagerly invite guests to explore the home’s sustainable features.  Every nook and cranny within the cabin has a purpose, from a water heater and boiler for radiant floor heating hiding underneath winding tread stairs to the apartment loft cleverly fitting a sink, small kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom and small work desk.  Large windows on the south allow passive heating on cold days as a long overhang blocks out the summer heat; the house is partially buried into a hillside to retain the earth’s protective insulation, helping keep it a constant temperature.  An underground concrete bunker with 14-18 inches of earth and greenery on top on provides storage of fresh produce between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  The triple sink, oven and range and three compartment refrigeration systems make up the kitchen.  Ten inches of foam from sustainable insulated panels are on the roof, and huge beams made joists unnecessary.  Skylights on the second level vent the home in summer and release in even more natural light as an outdoor deck overlooks nearby farmland and bluffs in the distance.