«An off-the-grid home can be as slick as any city dwelling, with the added bonuses of sustainability and nature on your doorstep», writes Sophie Davies in her article in the online magazine luxurydefined by Christie’s International Real Estate and continues:
«For true seclusion, you may need to go off the grid. Building a home far from urban infrastructure often means generating your own electricity, sourcing your own water, and dealing with other amenities. Luckily, you don’t have to camp in a tumbledown shack to achieve this goal, with architects delivering desirable off-grid houses that are sustainable and stylish.
Living off the grid means disconnecting from mainstream gas, electricity, water, and waste networks, relying instead on self-sufficient alternatives such as geothermal heat pumps, solar or wind power, wells, and septic tanks. It’s a growing trend; the off-grid solar industry alone is worth an estimated $1.75 billion a year globally.»
According to Davies there are currently more than 250,000 people in the United States living off the grid, and an estimated 150,000 off-grid residents in the United Kingdom. Some are keen to do their bit for the health of the planet by reducing their consumption and carbon footprint. Others just want to jettison hefty utilities bills for a more controllable energy supply. Her examples cover an Australian project, where off-grid services have been carefully concealed to combine beauty with green tech, a californian Off-Grid Guest House, situated in a wildlife preserve overlooking the Pacific Ocean with green roof, which insulates the home and helps save water from being wasted, an artist retreat on the Bahamas and many more.
To see if living off the grid is for you, why not try before you buy? The mantra of eco-conscious Mexican resort Playa Viva is “where your vacation meets your values.” Its six new bamboo treehouses by the beach were designed by Nomadic Resorts studio to resemble manta rays. Run by off-grid solar power, the 18-room hotel eschews air-conditioning, conserves water, composts, and promotes local farm-to-table dining. “Off grid is about being immersed in the luxury of nature,” says resort owner David Leventhal.
Anyone who would like to become more independent from global energy production, from rising energy prices and at the same time contribute to a more ecological development of our society, will find plenty of material for reflection in the many examples described in the article.