Whether living, working or taking a weekend getaway off the grid, this lifestyle is no longer meant for the conventionally once thought "back country" idea. Whether the self-sufficient structures house a community or part time use, they will become more and more common the world over.
The architect shaped these compact, self-sufficient portable shelters into capsules to maximize the rainwater collection.
Despite the small size, each Ecocapsule can comfortably fit two people due to its efficient layout. Another notable efficiency implemented into each unit is the hybrid energy source generated from wind-turbine and solar cells. By this dual system, this shelter can provide enough power for almost an entire year.
Providing shelter consisting of bare necessities, the two modest elegant cabins are constructed using charred plywood, the interior being different in finishes. One is finished with light plywood and the other is all black to add contrast.
Each cabin has two openings - one large picture window to capture the view and the other, the entrance. There are wooden hatches to allow ventilation of natural air, with skylight to let in sunlight and to create night time view where one can star gaze up in the sky. The architect oriented the cabins to capture the best views in both landscape and the sky.
Don't let the size fool you as it is the smallest of all their buildings, however in many ways, it is the most inventive in its self-sufficiency. Vitra's new campus building can be used as a great backyard office, a retreat or a working studio. This 2 meters by 2 meters beautifully fits in a bed, chair and a coffee table, housed in an aluminum clad pitched roof volume.
This off the grid structure comes with its own photovoltaic cells, solar panels, a rainwater tank, bio-toilet, natural ventilation and triple glazed windows.
The husband and wife architect team built this off the grid cabin for themselves in the mountains of Vancouver Island. With the changes in the forest, the views created by huge windows encourage the freedom and adventure the architects seek for themselves and their children.
This home uses local lumber where the exterior clad is in cedar and interiors is finished in planed fir to add elegance and warmth. The house heats itself by wood burning stove and water is fetched from nearby natural sources.
Built by one of the architect's client who used to be a carpenter, this structure is completely self-sufficient with its own solar power, rainwater tanks and a wood-burning stove to meet all the energy and fuel needs.
Also, this semi-permanent, portable and compact structure uses affordable materials such as plywood, corrugated sheeting and rough-sawn timber in order to keep construction budget low, reminding us that homes do not have to be extravagant and sometimes simplicity is the best solution.
This net-zero energy affordable housing for seniors uses 98 photovoltaic solar panels and 6 hot water panels to power and provide hot water for all the units. When it is cloudy, the stored surplus energy absorbed by the building's panels are used. Other sustainable features include low flow toilets, 100% handicap accessibility, energy star appliances and high performing double glazed windows.