Tiny homes are still all the rage, especially in remote areas as people seek a life off the grid. As such, the team at ZeroCabin created Krul, a prefabricated cabin kit that can be erected anywhere. While leaving a minimal site impact was important to the team, the project’s emphasis is on educating consumers and encouraging a change in consumption rather than accommodating every possible comfort of the inhabitant. As ZeroCabin says, “We are not selling a tiny looking good cabin, we sell a lifestyle.”
To drive this idea home, the team at ZeroCabin works with consumers to identify and make the most of available resources on the location site. If there is limited sunlight, they focus on ways to reduce the need for light. If the build location is short on water, the goal becomes finding ways to reduce water consumption. ZeroCabin believes the real answer to sustainable architecture is in adapting human behavior. “We aim to transform how our civilization lives, changing the question, ‘What do I want to buy to live comfortably?’ to ‘What do I have available here to live comfortably?’” the company explained. Its designs are inspired by trees, which adapt to the resources they have available.
Cabin Krul stands as an example by relying on rainwater alone, which is filtered to become potable water. After use, the water is again filtered so it can return to the surrounding landscape free of contaminants. The system also converts black waste into fertilizer to benefit nearby plants.
The heating system serves several purposes by allowing owners to cook and bake in the oven while also heating water in the natural hot tub. The stove is powered by wood gathered in the surrounding area, eliminating the need for external fuels.
The passive design limits the need for heating through the use of building orientation to promote natural light throughout the interior. Carefully situated vents provide another passive system that supports temperature control. In addition, the entire timber-frame structure is wrapped in SIP panels, which are filled with pulverized cardboard insulation, and the thermal windows are high-efficiency.
Designers Felipe Lüer and Alejandro Otero said, “We aim to transform how our civilization lives…[by building quality homes that are] built for that precise [location]. Our team first studies the land, the wind and sun, latitude, orientation and slope and according to that a design emerges, and once the design is considered perfect for that land, the human requirements are integrated.”
Even with a small environmental footprint, Krul provides plenty of comfort with three rooms, two bathrooms, a third-floor loft, kitchen, living room and deck, which are all slightly elevated off the ground.
The team is clearly passionate about living a more sustainable lifestyle, which they feel won’t be achieved solely through exchanging one energy source for another but instead by changing the way we think about resources. ZeroCabin suggests buying and growing local foods rather than sourcing from another part of the planet, reducing energy needs to meet what the sun, wind or water around you can produce, and paying attention to the impacts of commercial fishing, palm oil production and destruction of the Amazon that damage the planet in an effort to cater to human consumption.
Images via ZeroCabin