With over two decades of implementing best practices in relatively conventional construction, I have always been inspired and taken cues from natural building techniques. At this point in my career, with a sense of urgency, I feel a call and responsibility to take my experience to address and adapt any appropriate natural building techniques into the mainstream. I have studied and experimented with alternative and natural building techniques at workshops and, most recently, on my rural property – a land trust called PrayerFarm, where we are developing the infrastructure for a food forest, creative water conservation and stewardship of the land, forest and animals. I see avenues for conventional building to learn about environmental awareness, resiliency, sustainability, and community collaboration that natural building inherently offers on all levels. Regardless of the “style” and aesthetic of many natural building techniques, its influence on me inspires a “course correction” in a way I think of designing and collaborating for the future.

This natural building workshop is a step in sharing my personal and professional endeavors.

Come join to share the experience of “all hands on deck” in the making of place and engage in philosophical and practical discussion about the creative and practical process of design and building.

There are a multitude of benefits for including a retractable glass wall in your home. They create a seamless focal point for indoor-outdoor living by taking advantage of unobstructed views and increasing airflow and natural light. By removing visual and physical barriers of fixed walls and windows, you can quickly be in a closer relationship with the natural benefits of the outdoors. Additionally, when outdoor living is taking place, there is often an overlooked benefit of the secure cozy feeling of being connected to the interior of the home.

These window walls are commonly known as NanaWalls, which is a brand name and is the pioneering company of these systems. Locally, there are companies like Sierra Pacific and LaCantina doors that provide great products with durable finishes while maintaining an eye on budget.

While French doors and sliders are certain viable options, and sometimes the best choice, they are limited to less substantial clear opening.

Important to Consider:

  • When the wall is open, the window panels have to live somewhere and typically the full stack of doors are either extending out into the exterior space or sit parallel to the plane of the door opening. One has to be aware of the look and feel of these as well as the practicality of moving around them.
  • It can sometimes be an effort to physically move these panels.
  • The reality is that nature will find its way through this opening, so you need to know that your lifestyle doesn’t mind a small amount of bugs, dust, leaves, wind, etc.
  • Screening is definitely an option, however these large openings provide a challenge and can be expensive. See screening cost example below.
  • Structurally, the header size has to be increased for that wide of an opening, which can add expense.


Cost Comparison

The cost of a retractable window walls can range from $1,000 – $2,000 per lineal foot.
French doors would be roughly half of that cost and sliding doors and pocket doors are less than that.

Screening can range from $3,000-5,000.

It would cost a minimum of $12,000 for a 12 foot wide opening as a retractable window wall as compared to $5,500 for typical French doors and $4,500 for sliding doors.

We have found that our clients that choose them, love them and they’re glad they have them. Although, some have reported that they don’t open the window wall to the maximum opening as much as they thought they would. Home owners considering the idea should explore whether a regular French door or sliding door meets their needs and budget.

If you’re considering a project that could include a retractable glass wall, give us a call, we’d love to explore options with you.