Read the German version

Ecological Living Module: Self-sufficient home redefines off-grid living

The global population is growing and people are flocking to settle in urban spaces. This shift is turning living space in towns and cities into an increasingly scarce resource, which is driving up rent costs and fuelling the development of megacities of over ten million residents – with all of the infrastructural and utility supply challenges that a city of such a scale brings.

It’s little wonder that architects and town planners are increasingly turning to concepts that seek to redefine how we live. One answer could be self-sufficient homes, which run off-grid, eliminating dependence on public energy or water supply networks. Size matters, too: These tiny homes are just large enough for two people to live comfortably in the absolute minimum of precious urban space.

Self sufficient home: The Ecological living Module can be seen in New York

What actually is a self-sufficient home?

Self-sufficient living is a living concept that is not reliant on public supplies of drinking water, energy or fossil fuels such as crude oil or natural gas. The idea is nothing new: Before the industrial revolution turned our thinking on its head, we designed and built our homes to function as entirely independent entities. Today, we get the utilities we need from an external supply network, via in-home connections and supply points – and we tend to consume far more resources than we actually need.

Self-sufficient homes might be just the impetus we need to rethink how we live.

Ecological Living Module: 22 square metres of self-sufficient living

A prototype self-sufficient home was recently unveiled in New York as part of a joint project by the UN and Yale University. The 22-square-metre “Ecological Living Module” – a sustainable wooden eco-home – shows what affordable accommodation in urban spaces could look like in the future.

Self sufficient home: The house offeres smart technologies ahd high comfort despite its small size

Sustainable self-sufficient living

The self-sufficient home, which is equipped with a solar façade, is not only constructed from local and sustainable materials, but can also be run entirely on renewable energies. Natural daylighting, plant-based air purification and passive cross-ventilation are just some examples of the smart systems concealed within the walls of the home. Even the drinking water is sourced from rainwater and moisture in the air. In spite of its small stature, the multifunctional building can house up to four people.

The three exterior walls have also been turned into an ecological design feature, with built-in planters in which residents can grow their own fruit and vegetables.

According to studies, the global housing sector consumes 40 percent of our planet’s resources and accounts for more than a third of our greenhouse gas emissions. A self-sufficient home like the Ecological Living Module may seem like a faraway vision for today’s property owners and tenants – but concepts like this will be key to combating the decline in natural resources at some point in the relatively near future.

Self sufficient home: The three exterior walls have also been turned into an ecological design feature

Is your home equipped with systems to help you achieve energy self-sufficiency? Or do you have any ideas for a new living concept of your own? Tell us about them in the comments.

Energy efficiency Living Concepts Smart Living Sustainability
Comments

Start a discussion about this article

This will also interest you

This page uses the Tracking-Pixel provided by Facebook for marketing- and analytic-activities. It transmits partially personalized data to Facebook USA. Only if you agree on its usage, it will be activated. Further information to the pixel, how you can deactivate (out-out) it and what data are collected, can be found in our cookie policy.