top of page

Expando – off the grid

Aditi Raj, Tapan Kumar Sabar & Sparsh Ruhela

As residential-scale renewable energies continue to drop in price, the number of families going off-grid is rising. Concern about our electricity grid becoming increasingly vulnerable due to the effects of climate change has led thousands of families to go off-grid to increase the resilience and autonomy of their homes. Alternative off-grid house appliances such as cooktops, refrigerators, and solar appliances are designed to consume less energy while still offering the comforts of modern-day homes.
‘EXPANDO’ is a Tiny House designed to adapt to its natural and warm environment and at the same time be easily disassembled and transportable. The floors of the rooms are expandable and slide with the use of rails and anti-friction wheels. The sliding floors allow natural air to flow freely and open the interior space to its external environment. The sliding floors create a space in between the rooms that is open and covered by light textile structure. Thus, one is protected from the sun and at the same time in a ventilated and flexible space. The limit between outside and inside becomes blurred and the house merges with the surrounding nature. The furniture is also mobile which adds flexibility to the space and creates more arrangements adapting to the needs and situations of the inhabitants who have the freedom to compose their space.
The location selected for the project is in Thekkady, Kerala, India. Situated in the coziness of the western ghats, Thekkady experiences a very pleasant average annual temperature of 23-degrees Celsius. At an elevation of 1337 meters above sea level, it experiences moderate rainfalls in the monsoon. Thekkady has stable temperatures throughout the year and the weather is generally predictable.

The tiny house is located in such a place that isolates us from the nuisance of the city and brings us closer to nature. Because of the balanced temperature in Thekkady one can easily stay off grid using hybrid solar panels and batteries with minimal use of electrical appliances. Along with the rain water harvesting, the site is located near the Thekkady lake so water supply will never be a problem. The use of a rocket stove is an alternative to heat water which will reduce the need of a geyser. Biodigester has been provided to cook food is the most environmentally friendly technique as it uses food wastes and garden scrapes to produce methane gas which does not affect the surrounding and is a sustainable approach. A self-made natural treatment system has been established to treat grey water and direct it to gardens.
This project uses sustainable procedure and adds dynamism and flexibility to the unique lifestyle by offering different layouts and configurations. It is a place that is both enclosed and intimate, but also open and communicative.

bottom of page