Welcome on our Indiegogo Page. We soon will start a funding campaign at indiegogo.com. 

Read here our presentation:



Nature Retreat - lively and living Houses

Providing lively living space, wealth and income generation, environmental protection and social peace - worldwide.


Imagine a house for you to live in.

  • A house which you can plan and create and build - or with some craftsmen who help you or construct it for you.

  • A house which can be big or small, simple or with a lot of luxury.

  • A house with outside and inside surfaces which you can change in material and shape and color.

  • A house which grows with you and which rooms you can change according to your and your family’s needs again and again.

  • A House which is rigid and can withstand the weather and earthquakes and will last hundreds of years.

  • A house which fits in any surrounding and area and culture, in developed and developing countries. You can build it on solid earth without foundation, into a hill like a hobbit house, or even on a boat or on poles over the water.

  • A house with a low impact to the environment, consisting mostly out of natural materials from your surrounding.

Yes, this house is available, and you can order it - for prices much lower than any conventional house. Read how it started.

The Story

I always loved old or natural houses. Originally being a building locksmith and German master car mechanic, about 25 years ago I started to live in and to work with old German timber framework houses (Fachwerkhaus). When l lived in Africa, I learned a lot of natural houses - good ones and not so good ones. Back in Germany I had another Fachwerk-Haus and I started to renovate it and to try out every thing which I thought it would be fine and valuable.

The Process

During this process the idea of a new kind of house started to grow. I took the time-honored Fachwerk and shaped it in an all-surrounding, self-supporting space structure, connected by an invisible, state-of-the-art linkage system. The space between the beams I filled with various material from the surrounding to get a mass heat storage. The outside was plastered with clay or limestone mortar. On the inside I put a reflective insulation membrane, covered with wooden or gypsum panels. Of course, many more materials can be used, even straw bales.

Getting it real

I talked with some friends about it - and after planning and ordering the necessary material we built a model home within a few weeks. Very soon an artist asked us to rent it to work and live in it. Step by step we found out how valuable and universal this design was and that it can be adopted for nearly any situation worldwide.

The advantages

The NatureRetreat house, as we named it, seems to be an egg-laying wool-and-milk pig, as we Germans call such universal problem solvers. Here are some more advantages:

  • The framework structure can carry a lot of load, so it can bear an earth roof with plants on it, or can be built into a hill. And you can make it up to four storeys high, so it fits in urban areas.The rigid structure makes the houses earthquake-proof. Small houses can be carried or mounted on a trailer.

  • According to a recent study, in the next 15 years more than 1 Billion new houses are expected to be built worldwide according to Western Standards. Our houses will save a lot of energy and raw materials and help the environment to be a better and more natural place.

  • The house can get any shape and design e.g. a German Fachwerkhaus or a  bungalow or a luxury maison, thus fitting nicely into the surrounding and to the needs or expectations of the customers.

  • For construction one needs only a few tools and little man power - nearly every part can be carried from two persons. No big construction companies are needed.

  • All additional parts can be prepared from the original supplier and brought directly to the site which saves additional transport.

  • There are no load carrying walls inside the house, so you can change the room size and shape as you like. The flexible walls include cabinets and shelves and alcoves - and are replacing a part of the furniture, thus saving space for living purposes.

  • The owner can design every detail as he likes and planners can put it into construction plans and building guidelines. From the plans an assembly kit is made and brought to the site. Trained craftsmen from the region can build them and earn a living from it.

  • The prices for ready-built NatureRetreat Houses are about 50% of conventional houses. The price for the framework assembly kit only is about 10%. The value somebody  will get in many aspects is much higher than that of normal houses. In developing countries the prices are much lower, as the materials and the labor costs are cheaper as well.

More advantages you will find on our website.


Who am I and who is our team?

My name is Johannes Herbst. I am married and have five children. Originally being a Building Locksmith and a German Master Car Mechanic, 25 years ago started to live in and to repair old houses. I founded and run a handicraft school for Renewable Energies in Tanzania for seven years and there we designed and constructed environment friendly houses. Back in Germany I started to restore an old Fachwerkhaus and changed it into a building research house.

My daughter Florimel is an artist and a cabinet maker. She makes most of the research and she is also the team leader of the construction team. We always have some people around to work and to try out various things. Everybody in our crew has several skill and abilities - from construction skills to garden planning, forestry, bees keeping and some funny things like fire-eating and sword-swallowing.

How far have we gone?

The last five years I invested several 100’000€ in my research house and the NatureRetreat Idea. We already built a small house and it showed to be all right. Of course, we found out some things to improve. Now we are ready to construct Houses according the NatureRetreat System from tiny house size up to medium size within 8-10 weeks after getting an order. We have all tool and machines, and our suppliers are ready to send materials upon request. We have a lot of sketches and made already a number of 1:10 Models of Natural looking houses.

What is our goal?

Starting in our country, we would like to spread our idea worldwide and enable everybody to get affordable, healthy and blessing living space.

How to spread the good idea

The NatureRetreat Project is the outflow of 40 years working as a environmentalist, craftsman, vocational and handicraft trainer, development worker and builder. My goal is not to invent something what I think it would be suitable for people on places far away. According to my experience, this approach doesn’t work. I want to provide housing of western living standard (but not necessarily appearance or design), which can be adopted to the needs of any person in any place on our planet.

If somebody sees people living in a wealthy and healthy  house he will aim to get one as well. We will start in Germany and aim for a healthy growth of our idea. We have no aim to start a big construction enterprise. The role of NatureRetreat is to ensure good quality of planning, materials and construction. By combining this in a strong brand or trademark, people will be ensured to get what is promised to them. Local entrepreneurs will get this service for a small franchising fee.


What are the next steps?

Our goal is to establish a market in Germany reach out for the surrounding Countries. Each country needs a certain investment, not only for the language translation of all documents, but also for the local building laws and the regional house designs. Craftsmen have to be trained, architects and planners must understand our Idea. In general we will go where the demand is.

The planned Schedule looks like this:

1st year: Preparing to start in Bavaria, making medium size buildings as model homes.

2nd year: Achieving a Market and get franchising partners in Bavaria.

3rd year: Expanding services to whole Germany

4th year: Reaching out for German-Speaking Countries

5th year: Other European Countries with high demand on affordable houses.

Parallel to this, we are looking for partners worldwide to get in gear in their region - possibly to run a planning office or to be a construction team or a producer. Please contact us and tell us what you like.

Possibly a special program could be started with developing countries to build up a market there and to get cheaper materials.

For every new step we need training and documents for planners and craftsmen, model houses in the region, proper legal advice and problem solving as well an appropriate promotion campaign. What is missing in Bavaria as our first step, is a bigger model house and a good marketing campaign. Possibly we could combine this with a touristic project to get more attraction and some income generation.

What do we need from you?

For developing a market in Germany as a first stage we need about 200’000€ to 500’000€.

Micro Budget A, Bavaria


  • Investment 200’000€ for two years
  • salaries and office costs
  • Research & Development
  • legal advice and promotion
  • building plots and construction costs for medium size houses 


Micro Budget B, Germany


  • Investment 500’000€ for three years
  • salaries and office costs
  • Research & Development
  • legal advice and promotion
  • building plots and construction costs for medium and large houses or a residential estate for like-minded People

What will be the outcome of the investment?

The physical outcome for that investment will mostly be larger NatureRetreat houses which give financial security through income for us and our investors and supporters. Another outcome will be more experience and a much better advertisement. People will see what we are able to do. We will also have the chance to make videos, construction manuals and calculations to get the best prices for the customer. We will develop an appropriate accounting system for financial security of the enterprise.


What will be the risks?

NatureRetreat is a project we worked on for a long time, and many problems we have already solved. Surely there will be more. This and more could happen:

  • Too much requests and thus a work overload - Possibly we must concentrate on few standard houses first. And we have to set up a proper management according to our work load.
  • Quality problems with material or construction work - We need seminars for producers and workers - and agreed quality standards.
  • Someone could like to copy the idea -Somebody may copy, but it would be difficult to get the whole picture of NatureRetreat and to do the work with the same quality and at the same price. Our contractors will have so much support and advantages, so it is easier to work with us instead of copying.
  • Legal problems may arise when moving the business into another country - We will use local knowledge and experience and try to find the right partners there.
In any case it necessary to keep everything under observation an to react quickly if something is happening. One other point ist to reduce the risks by doing only steps we can make.
What will our supporters receive from us?
  1. For a small support (but really welcomed by us) our Supporters will get thanks from the bottom of our hearts and gifts like it can be seen in the perk column on the right.

  2. For more support people can stay in one of our NatureRetreat Houses in the lovely Franconian Switzerland Region near the historic Reichsstadt Nuremberg in Northern Bavaria. One Guest house is already there and for 100€ you can stay there one night with up to four Persons. For a longer holiday, just take more perks.

  3. Investing supporters will get a payback after successful start-up (after about two years) with an interesting interest.

  4. You can also get a share from one of our houses and you can participate in the profit from rent or sale.

What will happen if we do not reach our funding goal?

This will not stop us. We have already gone a streak, and the project may go on a bit slowlier.

  • Still we will aim to make a new larger building as a model home.

  • Still our supporters will get their perks

  • Our NatureRetreat Guest house is already built, so starting from summer 2016 be our guest by picking a perk for it.

If you can or will not contribute money, what else can you do?

A lot of things can be done from you:

  • Help us to make some videos and manuals.

  • Give us some hints or help us to improve our social media contacts, our website and our communication.

  • Share our project with the community.

  • Use the indiegogo tools for sharing

  • Do translation and proofreading work in your language

  • Come and work with us for some time and get some experience

  • Start to be a owner of a NatureRetreatHouse by contacting us and starting to plan your living future. Even if you are far away, Don't hesitate. Possibly it will be a living for you.

  • Sleep it over one night. Maybe tomorrow you will know...