Anyone who lives in a big city may have dreamed of moving elsewhere and living isolated, in a house among the trees or on a deserted beach. During the pandemic and the endless months of quarantine, many more may have had this same idea. As romantic and seductive as this may seem, however, living deep in nature comes with some important practical challenges. Rarely would anyone give up the little comforts they are used to, like turning on a faucet or charging their cell phone. If the location is, in fact, remote, it may not have electricity, drinking water, gas, sewage, or solid waste collection. But there remain several possibilities for a life with comfort and without neighbors. What are the main solutions to enable this and how can an architectural project provide an off-the-grid life?

Living off-the-grid requires an awareness of everything that the house consumes and produces, an ecosystem that, preferably, should be a closed cycle. The balance can never be negative. In other words, if the house consumes more than it produces, there is no possibility of paying for the excess, as we are used to in cities. At the same time, if something is left over, it means it was underutilized and resources were wasted. Without the urban infrastructure that provides us with daily facilities, a self-sufficient house or community must be able to provide all the means for living locally.

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