Chalk Hill Off-Grid Cabin getaway retreat

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Chalk Hill Off-Grid Cabin is a straw-bale getaway home for a San Francisco couple and their two active boys, located at 4,300 feet elevation in the wilds of Nevada County. Designed by Arkin Tilt Architects, the 872 square foot residence mediates the northern edge of a forest glade, with driveway access and entry against a steeper slope to the north. The entry/mudroom, bath and mechanical space are located in the wood-framed, wood-sheathed piece. One open living/dining/kitchen/bed room is half a level lower, accessing a terrace at grade, opening to the glade and sun from the south. One sleeping space is located in an open loft above the kitchen which provides additional sleeping space for kids and guests, and the other is a more intimate queen bed sized sleeping bay along the opposite edge of the living room.

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The metal roofs, earth-cement on bale walls, and fire safe perimeter aim to survive a wildfire,

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Solar hot water collectors provide domestic hot water as well as space heating by flowing the heated fluid first through a heat exchanger and then into tubing buried in a 3 foot bed of sand beneath the floor slabs.

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Queen-sized sleeping area in bay.

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P.V. Panels on the roof harvest electricity, stored in batteries at the house, powering the well pump and other domestic needs.

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One sleeping space is located in an open loft above the kitchen.

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Photos: Eric Millette Photography

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10 years ago

Identity Crises House, is it a straw or is it wood?

10 years ago
Reply to  ergodesk

This is a straw bale house.