What is an Eco-Cabin?
If you're interested in tiny homes and sustainable living, an eco-cabin could be for you! Eco- refers to all of the cool features that help the cabin live lightly on the earth. Cabin refers to its small footprint of only 18 by 24 feet. Scroll below to learn more about this energy saving powerhouse of a tiny home.
Eco-Cabin Vital Statistics
Dimensions: 18 by 24 feet
Square Footage: 432
Attic?: Yes, above the bathroom and entranceway, about 100 square feet of usable space that is open to the great room. Depending on your preference and local code, this could be a usable sleeping space.
*Passive Solar Design with highly insulated concrete slab below the house and large south facing windows
*Highly insulated with ultra tight building envelope
*High efficiency on demand propane water heater
*Off-grid propane range
*Off-grid back up propane wall-mounted heater
*Off-grid gravity fed septic system
How do these Features Save Energy and Help our Planet?
*Smaller home footprint means less to build, saving building materials
*Less area to heat, along with high levels of insulation and tight building envelope, reduces fuel required to heat the eco-cabin
*Passive solar design features allow the warmth of the sun to travel through the large south-facing windows and heat the insulated concrete pad, which stores the heat. This further reduces the energy required to heat the eco-cabin.
Do these features work? What's the proof?
*Winter of 2021-22 was a cold winter here in Eastern Ontario, Canada with a number of stretches of minus 30 degrees Celsius weather. The total heating costs for the entire winter? Approximately CA$100 worth of small 11-inch logs, less than two face cords of wood!
*My current propane use? Approximately one tank of propane PER YEAR - at a cost of approximately CA$300
*My electrical bill is generally less than CA$50 per month, with most of that being the delivery cost.
You describe the eco-cabin as "off-grid ready": What does that mean?
The eco-cabin is designed to work well with or without the grid. No grid? No problem!
*Septic system is gravity fed and needs no pump or electricity to function
*All major appliances require no electricity to function:
-Back up propane heater
-If there is no electricity, the propane range or woodstove can be used to heat water
-An innovative hand pump was installed along with the traditional electric pump so that water from 100 feet down at the bottom of the well can be accessed easily without electricity
-The passive solar design reduces the amount of wood needed, especially during the day. Even on a cold day, an armful of small 11 inch logs is enough the heat the eco-cabin to a cozy 70 degrees or more
Here's a nice computer-generated image of the eco-cabin from the plans that are available to buy. You can see the spacious great room, tons of counter space, the beautiful windows and the attic space above the entranceway and bathroom.