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A Home Off the Grid

By Berit Griffin, Marvin Windows April 15, 2010

“Off the grid.” The phrase brings to mind quite a few things. For some people, it brings to mind survivalists living in mountain cabins. For others, it’s a way to lessen their impact on the earth.

Here’s a real-life example of an “off the grid” house” (Inhabitat via World Architecture News).

Known as the Cliff House, this Ontario house by Altius Architecture is designed to blend in with the landscape. It’s built into a cliff overlooking a lake and self-sufficiency was the goal from the beginning.

Stone, wood and large expanses of windows make the Cliff House beautiful. But this house has more than just a pretty face. To make it off the grid and sustainable, the house also features:

  • A “green” roof to control temperature and runoff
  • The house was built to take advantage of solar power
  • Contra-flow masonry heaters the provide powerful supplemental heat
  • Tube solar collectors heat the house’s water
  • Photovoltaic panels and battery banks give the house electricity

It’s an altogether impressive package! What can you do to go “off the grid”?

Photos courtesy of Altius Architecture.