Despite being surrounded by electricity pylons, this hillside cabin in Japan by San Francisco firm Anderson Anderson Architecture generates all its own energy and heating using photovoltaic panels and a ground-sourced heat pump (+ slideshow).
Named B-House, the single-storey building is positioned on a slope overlooking Kumamoto, so¬†Anderson Anderson¬†added a wall of glazing to the rear facade that gives residents a view out across the city from the living room, study and bedroom.
The house was built on a tight budget and sustainability was key to the design. "The extremely modest budget required a close collaboration of the architects and builder to achieve a high quality, off-site fabricated timber frame construction meeting high sustainability standards," explain the architects.
The edge of the roof is tilted southwards to maximise sunlight to the photovoltaic panels, while integrated¬†channels collect rainwater so that it can be reused.
There is no air conditioning, so when the temperature increases residents can slide open the¬†glazed north-facing walls.
There are only clerestory windows on the southern facade, which allow hot air to escape and prevent the unnecessary¬†heat gain that would occur with larger windows.
The¬†whole¬†house sits on a thick concrete base, while the walls and roof were constructed using locally sourced timber.
The house was¬†completed¬†in 2009, but hasn‚Äôt been widely published.
Other sustainable houses we've featured include a pavilion-like house in Germany that generates all its own power, as well as a concept for a house that is entirely self-sufficient.
Photography is by Chris Bush.
Above: floor plan - click to see larger image
Above: section - click to see larger image
Above: south elevation - click to see larger image
Above: west and east elevations - click to see larger image
Above: north elevation - click to see larger image