Escape the stresses of city life with the off-grid Into the Wild cabin

August 8, 2018 by  
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Slovakian architecture studio Ark Shelter has recently unveiled the latest iteration of its beautiful Ark Shelter—a tiny, self-sufficient unit that can be placed almost anywhere you please. Dubbed the “Into the Wild” cabin, their newest off-grid shelter typology embraces the outdoors from all sides with large walls of glass. Developed from three years of research and development, the Into the Wild cabin offers modern comforts with minimal landscape impact. Prefabricated in a factory offsite, the Into the Wild cabin encompasses nearly 431 square feet of living space. To recede the tiny cabin into the landscape, the architects used black-stained spruce for the exterior cladding. In contrast, the interior is lined in light-colored spruce and fitted out with lacquered oak furnishings and surfaces with a beige finish. Ark Shelter custom-designed the table, dining table, couch and lamp while the drawing and conference table was sourced from Croatian manufacturer Prostoria. Punctuated with glazing on all sides, the light-filled cabin features an open-plan living area, dining space and kitchen, as well as a bathroom, storage space and bedroom space with a concealed Jacuzzi beneath the bed. An extra module added to the top of the cabin creates space for an upper loft that can be used as a second bedroom. The cabin is equipped with solar panels, batteries and rainwater collection systems for off-grid living. Related: 7 charming off-grid homes for a rent-free life “The Shelter, with its low-tech outlook facade, is created so that it attempts to blend with nature, while refining its complex and sophisticated system that automatically works with space and light,” wrote the architects. “Thanks to an automatic system the heating, cooling and shadings can be pre-programmed. The double bed goes up automatically in the ceiling and beneath the bed there is a hidden jacuzzi, creating a new relaxing area.” + Ark Shelter Images by Jakub Skokan and Martin T?ma / BoysPlayNice

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Escape the stresses of city life with the off-grid Into the Wild cabin

Glass elements dramatically open up a solar-powered Sydney home

July 16, 2018 by  
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In Sydney’s affluent suburb of Kirribilli, a contemporary solar-powered home stands out from its Victorian manor neighbors. Local design practice Bijl Architecture reworked an existing semi-detached home into the Doorzien House, a two-story home that takes full advantage of its sweeping Sydney harbor views. In addition to floor-to-ceiling glazing installed in the rear of the house, glass elements are used throughout the home — in the form of skylights, flooring, highlight panels and balustrades — to fill the interior with light. The clients tapped Bijl Architecture to design a home that pursued a modern typology. To satisfy the project brief and comply with local heritage expectations, the architects restored and preserved the home’s traditional street-facing facade while inserting a contemporary zinc -clad addition to the rear side of the house that draws inspiration from the neighborhood’s naval and industrial history. The back of the property is opened up to the outdoors and overlooks views of Careening Cove, Neutral Harbor and Kurraba Point. “To embrace our clients’ desired openness and connectivity between the floor levels and surrounding context, we dismantled the existing plan,” the architects explained. “The broad Sydney Harbor view and neighboring vistas are exploited by the hybridized living spaces, while each room retains its individual focus and remains intimate and warm through the material palette and layered lighting. We oriented living spaces to the rear; multiple interior viewlines serve as a counterpoint to the expansive harbor views. This approach continues to the rear garden, with bleacher-style steps moderating the level change, extending the study and sitting room interiors to form a third living space.” Related: This self-sustaining Australian home harvests its own food, energy, and water A 3.5kW system of Nu-Lok solar roof tiles was the first approved installation for a NSW conservation area. The solar system and Redback Technologies’ Gen II inverter and battery are part of the clients’ plan to eventually move their home off-grid . + Bijl Architecture Images by Katherine Lu

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Glass elements dramatically open up a solar-powered Sydney home

This off-grid, lunar lander-inspired tiny home is out of this world

July 12, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of going to outer space, prepare to swoon over this spacecraft-inspired tiny home  perched on the edge of the Columbia River in Central Washington. The holiday home — named the Lunar Lander — was designed and built by Kurt Hughes, a naval architect of Kurt Hughes Sailing Designs , who applied boat-building techniques to make the unique structure habitable, comfortable and environmentally friendly. Elevated off the ground on steel pillars, the off-grid, geometric abode measures only 250 square feet and weighs 3,000 pounds. Inspired by the image of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, Hughes sought to create a tiny house with futuristic features, both in appearance and in function. Drawing on his years-long experience with boat- and home-building, Hughes used the latest marine composite technology to construct the dwelling, which is waterproof, airtight  and resistant to vermin, mold and insects. An air-to-air heat exchanger provides comfort and ventilation. The Lunar Lander has neither roofing nor siding, and it is primarily built of plywood, epoxy and fiberglass . Related: Subterranean fridge pod: keep food cold without electricity “The Lunar Lander is not only an interesting configuration, but an homage to a time when people did new things,” explained Hughes of his desire to push the envelope. “Innovators were prized, not feared. And what’s more, the actual Apollo astronauts trained some 25 miles from where this project is sited. The Lunar Lander can rest comfortably on drastic, uneven terrain, with virtually no environmental footprint .” Related: Sail your worries away on this solar-powered floating tiny home Topped with a transparent geodesic dome that fills the tiny home with natural light, the interior features external modules for the bathroom, galley, dining space and storage. A stairway leads down to the sleeping space. Solar panels are affixed to the top of the structure, and the unit is optimized for minimal maintenance. Hughes has also expressed the possibility of making larger models of the Lunar Lander in the future. + Kurt Hughes Sailing Designs Images via Kurt Hughes

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This self-sufficient tiny house is designed to pop up anywhere

July 3, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of living off the grid without giving up contemporary comforts or style, you’ll love Petit Place, a sustainably minded tiny house designed by Dutch architecture firm RoosRos Architects . Created to follow the WikiHouse principle, the Petit Place concept was conceived as an open-source solution that will be available to everyone and easily customizable thanks to its modular design. Powered by solar energy, the tiny home is designed to pop up anywhere and follows sustainable principles from energy self-sufficiency to its use of healthy, natural materials. Petit Place can accommodate the full suite of home essentials—including a bedroom, storage, bathroom, kitchen, dining area, living space, and outdoor patio—in a compact footprint that still feels airy and spacious thanks to access to natural light and outdoor views. The tiny house’s customizable floor plans range between 25 square meters and 1,000 square meters. Although owners are free to choose their own material palette, RoosRos Architects’ 40-square-meter prototype integrates a LOCI solar roof, tripled-glazed windows with Velux roof glazing and sustainable Irroko wood frames. The firm also insulated the permeable exterior, floor and roof with ISO flax, a natural product made of old linen with an RC of 7+. To protect the tiny home against the elements, breathable Gore-Tex foil is used on the exterior. The solar roof can generate approximately 9,000 kWh annually—three times more energy than the house is expected to use. Related: WikiHouse is a CNC-Milled Home That Uses Zero Bolts (Video) “Sustainability often feels like ‘giving up life’s little luxuries’: eat less meat, drive less, consume less,” says architect Stefan de Vos. “The Petit Place aims to create sustainability which ‘gives something back’. This can be seen in low monthly bills, the fact that surplus energy is created and in the creation of a healthy living environment thanks to breathable cladding and ‘good’ materials. Living in a Petit Place is not just good for you; it’s also good for the planet.” + RoosRos Architects Images via Christian Fielden

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Sail your worries away on this solar-powered floating tiny home

June 29, 2018 by  
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For those wanting to sail away from the stresses of daily life, this solar-powered tiny house boat is the perfect off-grid escape. Built by Quebec-based boat builders Daigno , the floating home, which comes with a price tag of approximately $60,000, provides all the amenities needed for a comfortable life on the water. Daigno is well-known for its boat constructions, but the Le Koroc is a special model designed to be lightweight and efficient. Built with laminated white cedar beams and strong plywood, the floating home weighs just over 5,000 pounds. Related: The Tiny Sweet Pea is the first houseboat to be certified by Build Green Although a very compact tiny home at just 24 feet long and 8 feet wide, the interior of the cabin is equipped with all of the basics. A bistro table is located in the kitchen, and just off this space, the compact bathroom is complete with a stand-up shower. In the back of the boat, the a dinette table folds out into a bed frame, transforming this area into a cozy bedroom. Two benches on either side fold out to provide a mattress. Space-efficient storage is found throughout the tiny house. The front of the boat hosts the main living space, an open air deck built for passing the days by with a fishing pole in one hand and a cold beverage in the other. There is a dining table with seating for two, an area for barbecuing and a built-in fish tank for storing the day’s fresh catch. The metal roof is equipped with a 265-watt solar panel, which connects to batteries that power the boat’s lighting and refrigerator. Recessed LED lighting is installed throughout the tiny house to reduce its energy use. Daigno’s floating homes can be ordered with special composting toilets and other sustainable features. + Daigno Via Tiny House Talk Images via Daigno and video by Exploring Alternatives

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Sail your worries away on this solar-powered floating tiny home

US Forest Service allows Nestl to continue taking water from California national forest

June 29, 2018 by  
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The U.S. Forest Service has offered Nestlé Waters North America a three-year permit on water rights in the San Bernardino National Forest , allowing the company to continue to take millions of gallons of water from the site. Under the proposed agreement, Nestlé would draw from the Strawberry Creek watershed “when there is water available consistent with the forest’s Land Management Plan” for its various bottled water brands, including Arrowhead. If California returns to severe drought conditions, the Forest Service could further limit natural resource access. The Forest Service says it will work with the Swiss company to study the watershed and determine future management plans. The watershed is currently rated as Class Three “Impaired Function,” the worst watershed functionality class. An “impaired” watershed exceeds “physical, hydrological or biological thresholds,” with major changes needed to restore the watershed to functioning status. Related: The growing wine industry is threatening California’s Napa Valley “[The decision ensures] the water withdrawal and conveyance infrastructure is under a current permit,” U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Joe Rechsteiner explained to the Associated Press. “And it provides for protection of forest resources.” In 2015, the Center for Biological Diversity in Oakland, Calif. sued the Forest Service to block Nestlé from using the watershed, arguing the conglomerate was operating without a valid permit. A federal judge allowed continued water collection for bottling , while regulators considered a new permit. In its permit renewal application, the company cited 70 environmental studies to support its continued watershed usage. Arrowhead’s use of the Strawberry Creek watershed dates back to 1909, when the Arrowhead Springs Company was formed. Nestlé must accept the agreement within 60 days. In a statement to the AP, Nestlé noted they would “carefully review the specifics of the decision.” Via  Associated Press Images via John Heil (1, 2)

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8 tiny homes built tough for off-grid living

June 22, 2018 by  
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Many people mistake tiny homes for delicate structures that provide a minimal amount of space for simple living. But these modern tiny homes are proving that they can be just as resilient as any traditional home twice their size. Check out eight tiny homes that are built to withstand brutal climates and rugged landscapes while still offering residents the sustainable option of  off-grid living . NestHouse offers charm and energy efficiency Designed by Jonathan Avery of Tiny House Scotland , the beautiful NestHouse is a sustainable and energy-efficient tiny home. Hidden behind its endearing Scandinavian aesthetics, the home boasts impressive off-grid options like passive ventilation and solar. Related: This mini caravan with a telescopic roof is the stuff of off-grid dreams Payette Urban tiny home runs on solar power TruForm Tiny has made a name for itself by crafting made-to-order tiny homes, and the Payette Urban is one of our favorite models. The tiny home is as big on design and comfort as it is on energy efficiency. The house can utilize solar or wind power, offering residents more flexibility for their energy source. Father and son build tiny off-grid cabin in Wisconsin When Bill Yudchitz  and his son, Daniel, decided to bond over a tiny home project, they did not realize that the result would be so spectacular. The duo created a contemporary 325-square-foot home designed with minimal impact on the landscape. Installed with various sustainable technologies such as solar lanterns and a rainwater harvesting system, the light-filled home is a great example of tiny house design done right. $33K hOMe offers off-grid luxury on wheels It’s not often that a tiny home is considered luxurious, but this house is the exception. Built by Andrew and Gabriella Morrison , hOMe is a 221-square foot tiny house built to go off the grid with solar connections and a composting toilet . The structure can be mounted on a flat-deck trailer, allowing homeowners to tow and set up their homes virtually anywhere. Tiny flat-packed homes provide affordable housing Architect Alex Symes developed this flat-pack off-grid home as a solution to expensive city housing. Built with low environmental impact materials, Big World Homes are powered by solar energy and include rainwater harvesting systems. The homes can also increase in size with additional modules. World’s most active volcano harbors tiny off-grid home Located at the base of Mauna Loa volcano next to Kilauea, the tiny 450-square-foot Phoenix House — designed by ArtisTree — is a very cool Airbnb rental with some incredible eco-friendly features, such as solar power and a rainwater harvesting system. Built with recycled materials, the home is part of a local regenerative, off-grid community compound. Zero-energy retreat has a near-invisible footprint COULSON architects’ Disappear Retreat stands out for its ability to disappear from sight… and the grid. Built to Passive House Standards, the 83-square-foot mirrored home boasts a near-invisible footprint. According to the architects, the prefabricated retreat was strategically designed for “triple-zero living”: zero energy, zero waste and zero water. Old-fashioned caravan home is 100% self sustaining This hand-built caravan tiny home proves that sometimes state-of-the-art technology isn’t needed to get completely off the grid. Built by the father and son team known as The Unknown Craftsmen , the Old Time Caravan is crafted from reclaimed wood and relies on natural light to illuminate the interior. Images via © Jonathan Avery of  Tiny House Scotland ; TruForm Tiny ;  Revelations Architects/Builders ;  Tiny House Build ;  Big World Homes and Barton Taylor Photography; ArtisTree ;  COULSON architects and  The Unknown Craftsmen

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8 tiny homes built tough for off-grid living

IKEA and Little Sun team up to design sustainable, off-grid tools

June 13, 2018 by  
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Little Sun , a social business from artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, creates products to put “the power of the sun in the palm of your hand” — think portable solar lamps and solar chargers . Now, the company is teaming up with furniture giant IKEA to raise awareness for people living without electricity  by creating a series of sustainable, off-grid tools for everyday living. We are teaming up with social business Little Sun to explore new off-the-grid solutions to make everyday life more sustainable for the many people. Read more on www.IKEA.today #IKEAtoday A post shared by IKEA Today (@ikeatoday) on Jun 7, 2018 at 8:35am PDT IKEA x Little Sun will explore new ways to capture the sun’s power through design . The collaboration wants to create portable solar lighting and other off-grid solutions for IKEA customers as the two companies raise awareness for more than one billion people who lack access to electricity. “By democratizing great things, we can give many people access to products that make everyday life better, supporting and encouraging independent living,” said IKEA Range and Supply head of design Marcus Engman. “If we can create good, democratic design solutions, then living off the grid can become sustainable, low-cost and provide independence.” Related: Olafur Eliasson unveils his first building, a sculptural stunner in Denmark Both companies said the new tools will be functional and beautiful and will serve as an introduction to renewable energy . “Little Sun makes solar energy tangible and your world a little bit more sustainable,” Eliasson said in a press release . “We are excited to collaborate with IKEA, raising awareness for energy access and the need for global togetherness. Together, we want to connect the world by sharing the power of the sun with everyone.” Little Sun says it has brought solar power to more than 10 African countries, and as of December 2017, it has distributed 661,578 Little Suns around the world — and over 377,637 lamps have gone to places lacking electricity. Little Sun said it would also like to explore solutions in off-grid communications and water in addition to energy. + IKEA x Little Sun + Little Sun + IKEA Images via ©Studio Olafur Eliasson, ©Tomas Gislason and ©Little Sun

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This bold ship-inspired tiny house has a surprising minimalist interior

May 11, 2018 by  
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Designed by Brian and Joni Buzarde, the Land Ark RV is a tiny home on wheels that’s geared toward adventurers who prefer to travel in style. Not only does the RV’s design include a contemporary and sophisticated all-black corrugated metal exterior, but the interior boasts a well-lit living space, complete with all of the comforts of home. The sleek silhouette of the beautiful RV is inspired by the symmetrical front elevation often found in ship design. The sloped roof appears steeper from different angles, creating a sense of movement even when the tiny home is stationary. Related: Timber cabin on wheels lets you hit the open road in luxurious comfort In contrast to the sleek, all-black exterior, the interior is a light-filled oasis of strategic design. Clad in natural pinewood panels, the living space is large and airy. The kitchen and living room are subtly integrated, sharing a long shelf that pulls double duty as a dining area or office desk. A large sleeping loft is accessible by ladder and lit by various windows. For extra space on the ground floor, an additional “flex room” can fit a queen size bed or serve as an office. The tiny home ‘s bathroom, which comes with a 30 x 60 inch tub and Kohler features, is compact but has a long pine ledge to create plenty of shelf space. There are also several linen and storage nooks to help deter clutter. + Land Ark RV Via Dwell Photography by Jeremy Gudac via Land Ark RV

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This bold ship-inspired tiny house has a surprising minimalist interior

Zero-energy tiny home has a near-invisible footprint

March 12, 2018 by  
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COULSON architects designed Disappear Retreat, a tiny, mirrored house that not only appears to disappear into the landscape but also boasts a near-invisible footprint. Created for “triple-zero living,” this prefabricated structure is an off-grid dwelling that’s zero energy, zero waste, and zero water. Built to the Passive House Standard, the 83-square-foot home needs no active heating or cooling systems even in extreme weather climates. Disappear Retreat’s minimal boxy form and design open the home up for a myriad of uses from stargazing in the boreal forests to suburban backyard sauna. Mirrored glass walls allow for privacy and full-height views and are triple-pane insulated with R-values of 32 to minimize energy consumption. The walls will also have a UV reflective coating to protect against bird and animal collisions. COULSON Architects have developed three retreat models with different interior layouts, including: Bed+Bath with a built-in sofa/bed and bathroom; Basic with an open-plan layout for multipurpose use; and Sauna that’s equipped with a sauna heater and built-in benches. Each module can fit on a standard trailer. Related: Incredible glass home stays comfortably snug even in extreme temperatures The airtight and super-insulated homes are powered by solar energy and feature an integrated plumbing system with gray, black, and potable water tanks. The units are also equipped with rainwater collection and composting systems. The Disappear Retreats are open for preorder enquiries now. + COULSON architects Via New Atlas Images via COULSON architects

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