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WEIRD WEDNESDAY: The Great Indoors

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Construction & Renovation, Environment, Interiors

Tagged: , ,

Published on November 25, 2009 with No Comments

With the growing interest to “bring nature indoors” into buildings and homes, increasingly we see measures like expansive natural daylighting and an abundance of plants inside new and existing structures.

A real estate developer incorporated a less common natural element into his home in the Catskill Mountains in New York State after harboring his idea for several decades. He just had to find the perfect rock… if that’s what it can be called. In fact, the bluestone boulder that graces his living room is 8′ high, 15′ wide, and 22′ deep.

Inspiration for a dream house?

Inspiration for a dream house?

Among other construction issues, a major question was: Would they be able to waterproof the house against the stream of water than ran underneath the boulder’s edge?

To address the water issue, workers waterproofed the rock against the stream before building the house. After completing a foundation that reached half the height of the boulder, a concrete slab was poured at the base of the boulder. Then workers applied a sealant over the slab and the rock. Radiant heat tubing was installed and a second concrete slab was poured. Thus far, according to the owner, the boulder has not leaked. It also maintains a temperature of 68 degrees throughout the winter, which the homeowner measures using a thermal imaging camera.

With some ingenuity (and a healthy project budget, no doubt), you really can bring Great Outdoors in! A New York Times story on the house can be found here…

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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