Springboard Design’s ‘Off-Grid House’ house is a weekend escape, quite literally off the beaten path and off the energy grid. No power, gas, or public utilities run to the site – all energy is acquired or generated on-site making it a truly off-grid house. A single system with two energy sources provides the power: a solar photovoltaic panel array is the year round energy source coupled with a propane tank for supplemental heating. The solar panel array, located in the clearing – not rooftop mounted – gathers energy to be stored in a large battery bank in the house. Electrical devices like lighting, television, cell phone chargers, and stereo equipment draw power from this bank of solar collectors. Propane fuels the forced-air heating system for the whole house, with additional built-in capacity for a planned air conditioning system in the future.
The structure itself is designed as energy-efficiently as possible. The wall and roof assemblies include dense continuous insulation, which prevents heat-loss to the exterior during the winter. During the summer, the high sloped Great Room ceilings draw hot summer air away from the occupants at floor level.
Flanked by sleeping quarters on either side, the home’s Great Room, with Russian fireplace, anchors the design. Our open-concept central space unites kitchen, dining, and living room functions that overlook the site’s clearing and the riverbed below. The property’s natural beauty is probably best appreciated from the porches, both covered and uncovered. Lower level storage accommodates the owner’s ATV for cruising around the rugged property.