Off The Grid Prefab Retreat
Those yearning to unplug from urban life will love the Premaydena House, a stunning off-grid prefab set in the wilds of Tasmania. Eco-conscious architect Misho Vasiljevich of Misho+Associates designed this stunning 818-square-foot prefab retreat that boasts Japanese-inspired elegance and the necessary ruggedness to stand up to the untamed landscape. Built as ‘a box within a box,’ this sturdy self-sustaining home is a powerhouse for sustainable technologies, from its 100% recyclable low-impact steel frame to its 5Kw PV solar system.
Located southeast of Hobart on a 19-acre north-facing site, the Premaydena House modular retreat is protected from the strong winds from the Great Southern Ocean by a dense eucalyptus forest to the south but is left exposed to cold and salty northeasterly winds. To protect the home against the harsh winds, Vasiljevich enclosed the home in a ‘box inside a box’ system, in which red and orange galvanized metal panels shield an inner verandah and the internal modular units enclosed in wood. The sliding panels and division of space are inspired by the architecture of a Japanese teahouse and shoji paper screens.
The inner modules comprise two separate plywood-clad cubes, one containing an open-plan living area and the other housing the two bedrooms. Large south-facing clerestory windows pour natural light and cooling breezes into the interior, even when the outer steel panels are closed. Thanks to the double façade comprising steel and local plantation-grown timber, the Premaydena House boasts an insulation rating of R8 that’s bolstered by aluminum double-glazed windows and optimized solar orientation.
In addition to its photovoltaic system, the off-grid retreat minimizes energy usage with an evacuated solar tube hot water system that works throughout the year. Brightgreen LEDs are installed throughout the home and rainwater is collected in three 10,000-liter tanks. An Envirocycle grey/black water system irrigates re-vegetation planting around the home.
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