An architect named Clinton Cole of CPlusC is creating incredible beautiful, modern designs that are not only stunning, but functional for people who want to "live off the grid" in style. New Atlas reported one of his most recent projects, the Aqua Perma Solar Firma located in east Sydney, Australia. According to the architects, it's their most sustainable building to date, and they've got the awards to prove it. The house's design won the 2017 International Green Interior Awards, the 2016 Sustainability Awards for a Single Dwelling, the 2016 Master Builders Association National Luxury Alterations and more.
The building was initially commissioned by a young couple who wanted features that would reduce their carbon footprint and create an environment that incorporated nature as much as possible. The building heats water with an evacuated glass tube solar system, stores rainwater underground for use inside and in the exterior garden. And what an external garden!
The owner's are deeply interested in permaculture, and wanted their own mini-space to grow and cultivate their own food. It includes an aquaponics system for harvesting fish waste, plus compost bins, chickens and a worm farm that all support the productive vegetable garden.
"Combined, these elements have meant that the house surpasses the clients' desire for a sustainable home and is virtually off grid for most the year," Cole explained. But there's also a social component to all the life in the house:
"The garden acts as a social hub, with visitors being drawn subconsciously through the home and outside to sit among the plants and the chickens. Productive gardens are always changing and somewhat unpredictable but this adds to our enjoyment,"one owner said. "Somewhat unexpectedly, a papaya grew out of our compost last summer and has given a tree burgeoning with ripe fruit!"
"Our garden feeds us and we feed the chooks with scraps, which in turn gives us eggs and fertiliser for the garden," said the owner. "Similarly, the fish deposit nitrogen in our pond, which feeds the bacteria on the clay beads in the vertical garden, which in turn feeds the plants, which filter the water in a continuous cycle."
The garden is apparently so productive, they have to give away food that most people are generally driving to the grocery store to pick up. You could go for months without looking elsewhere for sustenance, and honestly, where would you want to go? If you're going to live off the grid, this house proves you can do it in style.