Since we started D-Build, I have been thinking, well dreaming really, of designing and building an off-the-grid “eco” cabin totally out of repurposed materials. In fact I have even begun stockpiling materials from some our example projects for this very purpose. Some day when this dream is realized, I will be referencing the work of architects like David Arkin and Anni Tilt of Arkin Tilt Architecture in Berkeley California. Their Chalk Bluff Cabin on the outer edges the Tahoe National Forest in California is an excellent example of what a simple cabin in the woods can be. The nearly 900 square foot home is partially constructed of straw bales and is completely off-the-grid:
The home is so remote that its location is well beyond the utility grid. The home harvests energy from the sun through a PV array on the roof and stores the energy in batteries to operate the well pump and other domestic electrical services. A Solar Hot water collector provides domestic hot water and heat for the small cabin. Along with the solar hot water collectors heating is accomplished through a 2ft deep Sand-bed heat storage system.
Though it’s tucked deep into the wilderness, the home sits isolated in a clearing to protect it from wildfires. The siding, metal roof and earth-cement on bale walls all contribute to the home’s wildfire resistance. – Rob Yagid, Senior Editor FineHomebuilding.com
The simple interior has everything one needs to get away from the trappings of modern life. All of the work done by Arkin Tilt has a connection to being environmentally responsible and should be an inspiration to all of us.