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This beautiful little cabin also happens to be Colorado’s most energy efficient house

If you’re going to build your own off-the-grid cabin, you might as well make it the most energy-efficient home in the state. Or at least that’s what Andrew Michler thought when he decided to build himself a getaway in the Colorado Rockies.

Michler is a certified passive house consultant and decided he wanted to put the principles of passive housing to the test in an extreme winter environment. Passive houses, if you aren’t familiar with the concept, are buildings that conserve and trap heat and energy so efficiently that they need hardly any external power to function. They make use of everything from solar exposure to the shape of the building itself to conserve energy.

Michler’s cabin is built to trap heat: its windows are triple-paned, its walls are thick, and it has a sophisticated fresh air exchange system. Like most passive houses, it is heated at least partially by the sun, using windows to let in sunlight. It’s also extremely airtight to avoid losing this heat once it’s collected.

On Inhabitat, Michler writes that he did manage to make the cabin as efficient as he’d hoped, but “the biggest surprise is how comfortable it is.” These photos show not just an environmentally friendly cabin, but also a modern, comfy space that feels exactly at home in the midst of the snowy Rockies.

Check out the photo gallery to see the attention to detail that makes this cabin truly one of a kind.