Mother Earth Living

Small Eco Houses: Solar Home on the Oregon Coast

This small, energy self-sufficient home can withstand harsh climate conditions and geological instability.
By Cristina Paredes Benítez and Àlex Sánchez Vidiella
January 2011 Web
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The local vegetation has been respected, with the exception of some lavender planted next to the rear facade.
Photo By Obie Bowman

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The following is an excerpt from "Small Eco Houses: Living Green in Style" by Cristina Paredes Benítez and Àlex Sánchez Vidiella (Universe Publishing, 2010). "Small Eco Houses" features more than 50 small, green homes, such as this off-grid, energy self-sufficient home on the Oregon coast.

This small, environmentally friendly, and off-grid cabin with views over the Pacific Ocean was designed as a guesthouse and studio. It is energy self-sufficient and its frame responds to geological instability, harsh climate conditions, and exposure to the sun. The house is built on a foundation designed to withstand earth movements and is steadied by four pairs of beams that can withstand winds up to 90 miles per hour (145 km/h).

Solar panels on the house and others some distance away provide the electricity the house requires. Water for domestic use comes from a shallow well and from collected rainwater and is stored in tanks located up the slope.

The cladding materials were chosen for their strength and ease of maintenance. The featured material is locally grown Port Orford cedar, the planks arranged in horizontal rows to allow for seasonal shrinkage and expansion. The composite roof is essentially inert.

This home features:

• Rainwater collection; water tanks

• Recycled, locally sourced, and certified materials, such as cedar; low-maintenance materials

• Integrated and remote photovoltaic panels

• Size: 325 square feet

• Location: Gold Beach, Oregon

See the photo gallery for more images of this home!  

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