Joe's House is a completely off-grid house that is nestled in the woods, located off the coast of British Columbia. The style of the cabin building is similar to that of a fort or outpost or fort. They designers made the cabin building narrow so they wouldn't have to cut down any trees and with the elevated cabin floor plan, you feel as though you are walking amongst the trees. The cabin building is 500 square feet in size, with a water catchment system, power through solar panels on the roof and heat is supplied through a wood stove. One of the best features of this off-grid house is the bedroom. The end of the bedroom opens up completely to allow the entire wall to disappear; this offers a large deck with beautiful views of the water. The rest of the floor plan is designed to completely open up and bring the outdoors inside, with great views and plenty of fresh air.
The owner as a teenager had the dream of having a treehouse, and Joe's House is the realization of that dream. The off-grid cabin is part of a larger compound with shared services, with the cabin building providing the basic requirements of daily living. This private island getaway has a minimal footprint that rises amongst the trees of the building site. The cabin building allows access into the tree canopy and provides a scenic view out to the water.
The interior floor area is only 500 square feet in size, but when the end walls on both floors of the cabin open up entirely, it creates seamless indoor and outdoor spaces. Upstairs in the cabin building, the bedroom rolls out onto the deck with a bed that is on tracks for sleeping underneath the stars. Downstairs, the living room in the cabin building spills out onto a covered patio, offering cover from the elements when you are enjoying the view. Joe's House is the winner of the 2006 North American Wood Design Award.
One of the most obvious benefits of living and staying in an off-grid cabin is the environmental advantages. The environment is significantly impacted by the current energy usage rates, especially with the use of fossil fuels and other pollutants that are known to cause long-lasting problems. When you go off the grid, and live an off-grid life you help to reduce water pollution in your area. Coal-fired power plants are a major contributor to water pollution, so you make a big difference when you switch to solar power. Other environmental benefits of living an off-grid life is in the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and hazardous waste.
A vacation cabin building that is off grid is a good way to reduce your monthly costs associated with the cabin. Having solar power at your off-grid house is just one less thing to worry about, as it will help lower your monthly energy bills. There is the initial investment to install solar, but once it is installed, you can start saving money. Another way to go off grid is to combine solar panels with a wind generator to use the wind on the days when there is more wind than sun.
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More about this story can be found at: Osburn Clarke