This off-grid, owner-built home is located in a remote poplar forest near Bancroft, Ontario. To accommodate the project’s rural site and to save on time and cost, the house was designed to enable simple construction techniques. Easily accessible and transportable off-the-shelf materials were used whenever possible.
The house is constructed with Durisol ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms), a versatile product that is both structure and insulation, made of 100 percent recycled cement-bonded wood fibre with a rigid mineral wool insulation insert. In addition to the house, the property has a ground-mounted photovoltaic solar array with battery bank and a backup propane generator, allowing this one-storey home to run fully off-grid.
Our clients, a couple previously located in Brampton, moved to rural Ontario after retirement, where they could enjoy the outdoors and live off the grid. They purchased a 40-acre property rich with delicate poplar trees and un-serviced by electrical, gas or water and sewage mains. They decided to act as their own general contractors and build their home themselves, hiring Solares to design, plan, and oversee the project. The house is sturdy and long-lasting, and able to survive the harsh Bancroft winters with little upkeep. This suits our clients well, as they often spend months away travelling in their refurbished Airstream trailer.
For a view into how our clients are using their Solares-designed, passive solar home as the centre of their modern-day, off-grid homestead, watch this 17-minute documentary produced by Exploring Alternatives.