By moving into a well-insulated, smaller house, you easily conserve energy and reduce your footprint. Even in very cold or hot locales, it’s possible to live comfortably and save money.
Exterior: Let’s look at the EDGE house, which stands for “experimental dwelling for a greener environment.” Built several years ago, this AIA-award winning house in Bayfield, Wisconsin costs only $30/month to heat.
Here’s the exterior of EDGE, a real energy-saving house. It starts with 480 sq. ft. of living space and north/south facing windows. (Revelations Architect)
Interior: You’ll discover room to sleep, dine, bathe and hang-out inside EDGE. One reason is all the built-in and multiple-use furniture pieces. To get a sense of the house, we suggest watching this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel video.
The interior is sheathed in plywood, a popular look. See the great room, which opens up the space, along with one of two lofts and the bathroom hidden below. (Revelations Architects)
Floor plans: There are two levels, including a 320 sq. ft. main floor and 160 sq. ft. upstairs. We appreciate the large amount of glass which creates views and invites nature into this shared space. As a tiny house, there is some storage though downsizing is a must-do.
The house is well-designed to maximize space, placing the kitchen and bathroom on either side. Upstairs lofts sleep four, with access by staircases. (Revelations Architects)
Energy savings: In a Northland News Center video, architect Bill Yudchitz says the EDGE house has geothermal heat, air-to-air heat exchange, radiant floor heat and two barn-like doors that insulate by covering large windows.
What’s missing here? The windows have disappeared from view, as heavy sliding walls now cover them and provide insulation for cold nights. (Revelations Architects)
Water savings: The EDGE house also uses a rainwater catchment system, where water gets collected on the roof and channeled into reservoirs adjoining the home. Rainwater services both the bathroom and kitchen here.
See the butterfly or V-shaped roof, on top, almost ready to collect raindrops. Below, the roof gutter is getting installed as part of the system. (Revelations Architects)