Off the Grid Home

March 9, 2017

On a remote hillltop in Vermont's "Northeast Kingdom," this self-sufficient cabin is a retreat from urban life.

A busy Brooklyn couple sought refuge from their New York City high rise life in a remote, beautiful corner of Vermont.  Having owned the property for more than ten years, they found Geobarns after a long search for unconventional and affordable solutions.  This exemplary rustic cabin is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Bringing their own research into off-the-grid living, they worked with Geobarns to develop a highly insulated 26’x34′ two story building to accommodate master suite, kitchen and sitting areas, with an upper story sleeping loft. The home can be largely heated with a woodstove, and PV panels provide carefully calibrated service.  For these clients, indoor air quality was as important as performance, and the home is built of the simplest materials, with sharply limited use of foams, adhesives or manufactured components. The compact mezzanine plan allows “hunkering down” inside for winter, but encourages opening into the expansive landscape in fair weather.  Just as difficult as the lifestyle was the off-the-grid construction period.  Building even a small home, without electricity, lodging or cell service was one of the toughest undertakings in Geobarns history.  The result is an intimate and quiet place that transforms this parcel into a retreat from the cacophany of modern life.