More than a century ago, Henry David Thoreau asked, “What’s the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” He might not have been pondering climate change or green design, but his wise words – and his cabin on the shore of Walden Pond – inspired this simple and modern prefabricated dwelling located in West Texas.
Designed and built by Urs Peter Flueckiger and a group of students at Texas Tech University, the Sustainable Cabin was also inspired by Le Corbusier’s Cabanon, a manifestation of the Swiss architect’s ideas on minimalist living. Currently, the structure is stationed in Wichita Falls where it is being used as a laboratory for students to study and test sustainable design. Flueckiger told Mocoloco that one of the studies will involve collecting data about the performance of the cabin’s solar panels and comparing it to the performance of competing products.
The Sustainable Cabin presents several architectural solutions to ecological issues relating to water use, energy production, and resource consumption – including water harvesting, composting, natural ventilation and solar power. The structure was built with a reclaimed double-wide chassis and boasts a slew of ecotastic elements: a composting toilet, a battery for energy storage, solar powered electricity, cedar and corrugated iron exterior, recycled denim insulation, bamboo flooring, and an energy-efficient Morso stove.
Images © Urs Peter Flueckiger