Off-Grid Emergency Response Studio

ERS South

I’m completely fascinated by this Emergency Response Studio.  The gist is that Paul Villinski created a solar-powered, mobile artist’s studio from an old FEMA-style trailer — it’s off-grid, sustainable, and an excellent example of eco-reuse.  But there’s more.  According to an article in the LA Times, apparently Villinski tried to buy one of the 143,123 FEMA trailers purchased by the government in the aftermath of Katrina, that is, until the government stopped selling them and began buying them back due to formaldehyde fumes from glues used to secure rugs, plywood, and other fixtures.  So he bought this one for $5,015 from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife through a GAO auction.  And after getting rid of the nesting rodents, he cleaned it up and pimped it out for an exhibit called Prospect .1 New Orleans starting early November 2008. 

ERS North

The 30-foot Gulfstream Cavalier has been gutted to get rid of toxic materials.  It’s now powered by a 1.6 kW photovoltaic system comprising nine panels.  The trailer also captures additional power from a 40-foot wind turbine and stores it in eight large batteries.  The batteries are in the sub-floor and visible through Lucite panels on a portion of the floor section. 

Here are some other interesting features of this Emergency Response Studio:

  • Large wall section cranks down to create a deck
  • Ten foot geodesic skylight provides natural light and headroom
  • A section of aluminum siding was replaced with clear sheathing
  • Reconstructed with denim insulation, zero-VOC paints, bamboo cabinetry, CFLs, reclaimed wood, and floor tiles from linseed oil

Emergency Response Studio

ERS with Wind Turbine ERS Kitchen

Geodesic Roof

[+] Prospect .1 New Orleans
[=] Emergency Response Studio
[+] Emergency Response Studio [Core77]
[+] Our trash is this artist’s treasure [LA Times]


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