Norbert Hufnagl brings to each project classic German engineering, with an MS in both electrical and mechanical engineering. He was born and raised in Germany, and moved to the U.S. in 1989 while working in tech support and consulting for motion control systems for 15 years in Germany and Switzerland.
He began living his connection to the earth upon starting and operating a small organic vegetable farm in Northern New Jersey in 1994 and farmed full time for 6 years. Through the design of many innovative tools and methods he was able to boost the productivity of his 3 acres well beyond normal standards.
He moved to New Mexico in 2002 and worked on various building and carpentry projects in and around Santa Fe, using his skills and experience to help local organic farms upgrade their greenhouses, seedling production and irrigation systems.
As he migrated toward building construction, exposure to conventional materials and techniques lead him to look for healthier and sustainable ways to build. He encouraged the use of natural materials, paints and finishes wherever possible, from simple garage conversions or decks to the creation of a studio with radiant in-floor heat, and solar hot water systems.
His first straw bale home project occurred in Penasco, New Mexico where he was hired for the electrical and plumbing installation which shifted quickly into sharing the role of lead contractor.
Next he tackled adobe construction as lead contractor on a complex 2500 sq. ft. adobe home in Arizona in which he was the only contractor utilized, with the exception of one, for the entire project. From there he joined forces full time with Carolyn and they created Earthen Touch Natural Builders. Together they have mastered the natural building methods listed here and have perfected their roles as partners in building.
In the many projects he has managed since, his engineering background combined with a growing experience in natural building systems allowed him to solve many complicated problems and bring often unique solutions to the table which has saved clients much time and cost savings on many projects.
Norbert would be happy to give advice or serve as consultant for any part of a project, as he is always up to a new challenge.