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Off-Grid Cliff House Harnesses the Elements for Self Sufficiency

Posted By Andrew Michler On April 5, 2010 @ 6:30 pm In Architecture,Sustainable Building | 3 Comments

sustainable design, green design, sustainable architecture, green building, integrated design, solar energy, solar electricity, passive cooling, local materials

Off the grid [1] means many things to many people. The Cliff House [2] on Muskoka Lakes, Ontario, interprets “off the grid” as grand self-sufficiency [3]. Designed by Altius Architecture Inc [4], the home’s form is both integrated in the landscape’s mass and floats above it using cantilevers and floor-to-ceiling glass. The Cliff House plays with all the elements — stone, water, fire, earth, wind, and sun. Read on to find out how!

sustainable design, green design, sustainable architecture, green building, integrated design, solar energy, solar electricity, passive cooling, local materials

Sitting [5] on a ledge above a lake, the mass of this 3200 sq. ft. home echoes that of the large granite boulder it rests upon. The local granite is brought inside to act as a thermal mass [6] for the two fireplaces that bookend the living space. In the summer, prevailing breezes and thermal vent stack, along with a green roof [7], keep the building naturally cooled [8]. The sun plays the key role of providing electricity thanks to a solar electric system, storage batteries, and a power inverter [9]. There is also a solar thermal system that uses evacuated tubes [10] to heat both the in-floor heating and solar thermal storage tanks.

There are a host of other sustainable features [2] but what is really striking is the home’s sense of relaxation on the land. Its sensitivity in integrated design [11] is accomplished by using design elements and materials that not only look exceptional but enhance the performance of the space.

+ Altius Architecture Inc [2]

Via World Architecture News [12]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/off-grid-cliff-house-harnesses-the-elements-for-self-sufficiency/

URLs in this post:

[1] Off the grid: http://www.inhabitat.com/index.php?s=off+the+grid

[2] Cliff House: http://altius.net/2009/11/cliff-house/

[3] self-sufficiency: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/09/underwater-skyscraper-is-a-self-sufficient-city-at-sea/

[4] Altius Architecture Inc: http://altius.net

[5] Sitting: http://www.inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=100206

[6] thermal mass: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_mass

[7] green roof: http://www.inhabitat.com/green-roof/

[8] naturally cooled: http://www.wbdg.org/resources/naturalventilation.php

[9] power inverter: http://www.outbackpower.com/products/sinewave_inverter/off_grid/

[10] evacuated tubes: http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/E/AE_evacuated_tube_collector.html

[11] integrated design: http://www.inhabitat.com/2006/09/13/gb101_conc/

[12] World Architecture News: http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=13020

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