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Tiny Off-Grid Cabin in Maine is Completely Self-Sustaining

Posted By Andrew Michler On March 20, 2014 @ 3:50 pm In Architecture,carousel showcase,Sustainable Building | 38 Comments

green building maine, maine retreat cabin, off grid retreat, off-grid, rain catchment, Solar Power, sun mar, sunfrost [1]

A project 30 years in the making, this tiny off-grid retreat on a coastal island in Maine [2] is almost entirely self-sufficient. Designed and built by Alex Porter [3] for her father, the project features a shed roof and is wrapped in a distinctive blue-grey corrugated skin. Dwell [2] recently profiled the home, which is the only solar-powered [4] retreat on the isolated island – its sustainable power source actually makes life a lot more leisurely, as the family does not need to schlep in fuel to run a noisy generator. They didn’t give anything up, as they have all the conveniences of a regular home — but with a view you don’t get in an everyday residence.

green building maine, maine retreat cabin, off grid retreat, off-grid, rain catchment, Solar Power, sun mar, sunfrost [5]

The house is situated on a tiny sleeve of rock tucked close to the water. The sturdy steel cladding was chosen for a good reason: the northern squall can be relentless. The cabin [6] has a series of rolling storm panels that ward off the elements. When the sun shines, a small solar-electric panel mounted to the southern facing roof feeds 12v DC to the batteries, which in turn powers lights, a super efficient Sunfrost Refrigerator [7], and a small water pump. A large rainwater catchment tank provides more than enough water for the home, and a small on-demand water heater supplies an outdoor shower and the sink.

Photos by Eirick Johnson [8]

green building maine, maine retreat cabin, off grid retreat, off-grid, rain catchment, Solar Power, sun mar, sunfrost [9]

Given the remote location of the property and the site’s lack of power, the design made careful use of all materials so that everything is spaced on 24-inch centers. Most of the finishing materials were sourced locally and floated in. One big question remains — what to do when you need to use the loo? A Sun-Mar [10] composting toilet does the job, transforming the waste into fertilizer. While none of the systems are ground-breaking, the design is a transparent example of how well off-grid living can work, and how we can live in nature without polluting it.

+ Alex Scott Porter Design [3]

Via Dwell [2]

Photos by Eirick Johnson [8]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/tiny-off-grid-cabin-in-maine-is-completely-self-sustaining/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/tiny-off-grid-cabin-in-maine-is-completely-self-sustaining/new-1-120/

[2] off-grid retreat on a coastal island in Maine: http://www.dwell.com/articles/Worth-the-Wait-otg.html

[3] Alex Porter: http://alexscottporterdesign.com/

[4] solar-powered: http://inhabitat.com/category/solar-power/

[5] Image: http://inhabitat.com/tiny-off-grid-cabin-in-maine-is-completely-self-sustaining/new-19-13/

[6] cabin: http://inhabitat.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=196642

[7] Sunfrost Refrigerator: http://www.sunfrost.com/

[8] Eirick Johnson: http://www.dwell.com/people/eirick-johnson.html?tab=photographs&c=y

[9] Image: http://inhabitat.com/tiny-off-grid-cabin-in-maine-is-completely-self-sustaining/new-20-21/

[10] Sun-Mar: http://www.sun-mar.com/

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