Sustainable shack
Photo by Broadhurst Architects

This sustainable shack proves that bigger isn’t always better

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Now this is how you go off the grid.

Surrounded by 27-acres of West Virginia wilderness, this cozy, one-room shack is the perfect step between tent camping and a weekend cottage.

Designed by Rockville, MD-based Broadhurst Architects, The Shack – as the firm has dubbed it – is completely sustainable. There’s no electricity, septic system or running water. Oil lamps provide light, a small wood stove provides heat and water is collected from a rooftop rainwater collection system. Rainwater gathers in a barrel and then with help from gravity, feeds into the kitchen sink and the outdoor shower.

Sustainable Shack

To keep away mice – and other larger pests like rattlesnakes and bears – the shack is built atop four wooden posts with rodent barriers. While the design is reminiscent of the stilt houses in flood-prone areas, the architects were actually inspired by local corn cribs.

Sustainable Shack

Made of locally milled pine, the exterior and interiors of the shack are painted white, creating a stark contrast to the shack’s beautiful, lush surroundings, which you can get a perfect view of on the cantilevered wood deck. When it rains, a canvas awning extends for shelter.

Our favourite part of the space? The large garage door that opens up the entire back of the shack, offering a breathtaking sight of mountains and forests without even having to get out of bed.

Eventually, the owners want to build a larger cottage on the property. But until then, they have a charming shack that proves bigger isn’t always better.

Sustainable Shack