Welcome to Home of the Future, a four-part video series co-produced by Curbed and The Verge. Each month, we'll take you inside one innovative home and explore how the technology of today informs the way people will live in the future. To follow along, stay tuned for new video episodes on our Facebook page. This month’s location? The ultimate eco-conscious home.
When it comes to house hunting, the cost of owning a home doesn’t just end when you find that perfect abode, sign the paperwork, pay, and get the keys. Maintaining an entire house might push thriftier folks to buy tinier homes with smaller upkeep costs and utility bills. But for those who don’t want to compromise on size, Casa Aguila might be the perfect solution. The 3,123-square-foot home can comfortably fit a small American family — all while being powered by the energy found in nature.
The goal is to be able to live off the grid for up to four days
Casa Aguila is built by California couple Pete Beauregard and Amy McQuillan. The pair set out to build an eco-conscious home that primarily runs on green energy after losing their home to wildfires in 2007. The house is equipped with a system of three large dual-axis solar trackers, each with 24 photovoltaic panels that can track the Sun’s movement to angle the panel so it can absorb the most energy throughout the day. The panel can resist wind speeds up to 75 mph, and also harvest energy from a 3.2kW wind turbine. Everything is stored in a 40kW battery system, and only relies on the grid in the event of a long-term emergency. Casa Aguila is also the first residence in San Diego County to use rainwater for 100 percent of its indoor potable water. (The house can store up to 90,000 gallons of rainwater.) The goal, the couple says, is to be able to live off the grid for up to four days before ever needing backup generators.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and left most of the country without power, energy-independent homes might be the kind of self-sustaining infrastructure fit for places where there is lots of natural, green energy rife for harvesting.