This recently completed off-the-grid home in Sapporo, Japan uses a greenhouse-like enclosure to keep the heating costs down. It’s not really a novel idea, but the way it is incorporated into this modern home is pretty brilliant.It makes the home both eco-friendly and aesthetically appealing. The house was designed by the firm Yoshichika Takagi & Associates.


This two-story home measures 830 square feet, and is highly insulated to begin with. Apart from the insulation, it is also enclosed in transparent polycarbonate sheeting and plywood panels. The terrace is built like a sunroom and is positioned, so as to receive maximum sunlight year round. It is closed off, though not insulated and the heat that gathers in it is then diffused through the home.


This sunroom extension could easily be attached to any type of home, where it would also help offset the heating bills. What’s more, this space can be used as an extension of the living room in the warmer months of the year, while in winter it helps keep the cold out. The sunroom attached to this house is a gorgeous space with a double height ceiling and skylights to maximize the amount of daylight entering the home. Apart from helping to offset the heating bills, it also heightens the sense of spaciousness of this rather small home.


It’s always nice to see ideas of passive solar design taken to new heights, as this house design does. The greenhouse-like sunroom, coupled with the minimalistic aesthetic of exposed timber beams and the open plan design of the home, this dwelling looks very cozy and inviting. This type of design innovation is definitely worth considering when planning an off-grid home, or simply when looking for ideas on how to offset some of a home’s heating costs.