This sturdy steel cabin is off-grid, off-pipe, and self-sufficient, making it an interesting case study of sustainability and coastal design. The home was completed just over a year ago on Cusabo Island in South Carolina — an impressive feat given the remote site accessible only by boat. The owner was able to take advantage of prefab construction and had the parts flown in by helicopter (see below).
Cusabo Island Cabin was designed by architect Carter Woollen and built by EcoSteel. The 3,888 square-foot project has a steel, pre-cut frame made with 76% recycled content and steel insulated panels for the walls (3″, R24) and roof (4″, R32).
Built like a fortress, the cabin meets FEMA flood zone requirements and can withstand hurricane winds of up to 140 mph.
Large, insulated, sliding metal doors protect the cabin during harsh weather. These were mounted using Barn Door Hardware. At the same time, when the weather is nice and the sea is breezy, these doors and windows open up to take advantage of natural cooling.
The roof is slanted with a standing seam roof just right for harvesting solar energy. A solar photovoltaic array charges a battery bank in the home and evacuated solar thermal tubes heat water used domestically and in the hydronic radiant floors.
Cusabo Island Cabin has a water catchment system that filters rainwater for domestic use, while composting toilets process waste and the leach field takes gray water.
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Article tags: off-grid, off-pipe, residential