The idea of living without electricity, cable, and a white picket fence is horrifying for many people. Modern homeowners are so accustomed to modern convenience culture that when there’s a minor power outage, they panic. No lights. No TV. What are they supposed to do? Spending the night without the Internet is like spending the night in a prehistoric cave. In fact, chances are back-to-the-land living brings to mind straw houses, mud-thatched yurts, tepees, and other forms of rustic, Swiss Family Robinson-like dwellings. However, an off-grid, alternative abode can be just as stunning as a modern home. With these easy additions, your off-grid home will be a modern marvel.
A modern, eco-friendly home should blend into its surroundings. It doesn’t matter if the off-grid house is built on a rural prairie, with a modular design mimicking the surrounding barns and reflecting the Big Sky, or is constructed with a sod roof, a design that’s been around for centuries in Scandinavia. In fact, some homeowners in Scandinavia grow flowers, trees, and herb gardens on their roofs. A sod roof with lush greenery not only helps stabilize and warm the home, but it also makes the dwelling blend into the surrounding landscape.
Solar energy is the best way to fight the big power companies. Harnessing the power and energy of the sun was once a fringe concept. Today, solar energy threatens the entire utility's model. If you’re going to take back energy from the power companies, then your off-grid home needs to be outfitted with a wide range of cost-effective solar products. For example, Renogy, an innovative renewable energy company, is known for high-quality solar panels. Meanwhile, in 2014, Tesla Motors committed to an increase in battery production, the goal being to bring down the cost of energy storage capacity by over 50 percent.
An off-grid home should be constructed with repurposed materials. From recycled modulars to old shipping containers, reusing material is the greenest way to build a house. Going off-grid is one thing. But going off-grid and using salvaged debris to build a home adds an additional layer of conservationism to your project. An off-grid home isn’t just about harnessing wind power, using LED lighting, and heating water with a geothermal system. What the walls of your home are made of is equally as important.
Low cost, low impact homes don’t need to look like something out of Swiss Family Robinson. With a few additions, your off-grid home can be an architectural marvel.