A portable smart home powered by wind and solar energy can house two people off-grid for a year.
Alternative housing solutions don’t come more promising than the egg-shaped Ecocapsule, recently unveiled at Pioneers Festival by Slovakian group Nice Architects. The portable, self-sustaining, mini apartment is powered by wind and solar, and has extensive off-grid capabilities — it could provide housing for two people anywhere from the mountains to the sea.
The low-energy house is small enough to fit into a standard shipping container — making it relatively cheap to transport to any desired location. Inside however, clever design has maximized its eight square meters of interior. It has a folding bed, dining area, en suite bathroom, kitchenette, storage and two windows. A roof-full of solar cells and a retractable 750w wind turbine provide green energy, and a high-capacity battery can be used for back up power for inactive periods. The spherical shape also optimizes rainwater and dew collection, and built-in water filters mean the inhabitant can live off their local supply.
The designers envision the Ecocapsule being used in urban settings as well as rural — providing housing for anyone from researchers and huminatarian units, to campers and city-dwellers. The Ecocapsule is expected to launch in 2016 and pricing will be announced later this year when pre-orders open. Are there other forms of alternative housing that could appeal to the mass market?