Echo's modular Eco Pods scale up from office to off-grid home
September 3, 2014
UK-based firm Echo has produced a new modular pod, dubbed Eco Pod, that measures 9 sq m (96.8 sq ft) and can be used for multiple purposes. As a standalone unit, the Eco Pod can serve as a small office or garden room, but it can also be joined together with other Eco Pods to make a flexible small home that's capable of operating off-the-grid.
Each Eco Pod module sports an interior finish and external cladding to suit each client's needs, and rests on adjustable legs, so it can be installed on relatively uneven ground. The pods are insulated with either wood fiber or sheep's wool.
According to Echo, the modular structures are legally defined as a caravan in the UK, so getting planning permission should be much easier than it would for a standard brick-and-mortar building.
Optional off-grid extras include solar arrays for electricity and hot water, which fit onto the roof. Electricity is stored in a battery array that, when charged, is good for up to five days of 12V DC, and runs efficient LED lighting and low-power appliances. Additionally, the units can be outfitted with a composting toilet, a log burner complete with back-burner and thermal store for hot water use, and a log-burning cooker.
The home featured in this article is the Brockloch Bothy, an off-grid holiday cottage in Scotland, but other projects by the company utilizing the same modular pod design can be viewed in the gallery, including another home and an activity center.
The Eco Pods start at £10,000 (US$16,479) per module.