About Better Natural
Better Natural was founded from a desire to build better, natural houses. Armed with a $400,000 startup investment, we spent more than two years developing and refining our technology to press clay bricks in our specific (patented) shape so that they can be used in combination with a standard lumber frame.
Currently, we are in negotiation with venture capitalist funds for a second investment round of $10 million, which will be invested in creating construction companies across the US. We expect to finalize this in spring of 2019.
As soon as we have a region where 50 people are interested to have us build their house, we will start a construction unit in region, though it will be on a first come, first serve basis.
About the founder/CEO
Joachim Claes has a lifetime of experience in construction, coupled with a passion for green technologies. From a young age, he was already helping his father build houses, after school, and during weekends and holidays, learning every aspect of construction.
Joachim was also an inventor and an entrepreneur. He started his first company, a network to trade videogames at age 19, while getting his business degree from university. By age 22 he had a $5M company with 13 retail stores and 30 employees. After this experience he went in a complete opposite direction, spending two years as a monk in deep meditation and doing volunteer work for the Transcendental Meditation organization.
In 2005 he started an experiment with an alternative construction technology that consisted of a 12″ wide lumber frame filled with sandbags and then covered with a clay plaster. When people entered these houses, they were blown away by the deep feeling of silence. Sand absorbs sound like a sponge, there is nothing that got through these walls. The other benefit they found was that the temperature in these houses always stayed comfortably cool, even in the middle of a hot summer, due to the thermal inertia effect of all the mass in the walls. By the time all that mass in the walls finally started warming up, towards the end of the day, it was time for them to cool down again.
This was a clear way to build a better house, but placing sandbags and then putting on a clay plaster was a lot of labor, which would be too expensive, so Joachim set out to find a system where he could have the same effect (silence and thermal inertia) with a system that was much quicker to build. This is where the current Better Natural system came from.