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For a home to be "off the grid," it must be self-sufficient, functioning outside public utilities. This seems impossible within the confines of a city, but the house at 3716 Springfield in Kansas City, designed by Studio 804, Inc., proves it can be done. The home is the first private residence in the Kansas City metropolitan area to receive LEED Platinum certification (the highest rating!), setting a shining example for the rest of the community. (It's even open for tours!)
Every detail of the home is geared toward ensuring it's the most efficient machine possible. The wind turbine and rainwater reclamation system are only the beginning—even the lawn got the eco-friendly treatment, through a turf replacement that requires less water and no fertilizers.
The house has a passive solar design, with a broad southern exposure and louvers on the exterior to help regulate brightness and temperature inside the home. A combination of low windows and skylights provides stack ventilation when it's needed, but when it's not, the quality seals on the windows and doors keep the building air-tight.
The lofty space, featuring generous rooms and high ceilings, is kept warm through a radiant floor system, a geothermal heat pump, and efficient air circulation. The concrete used throughout the building also stores heat.
The design is as aesthetically minded as it is environmentally conscious. To draw attention to the bright garden surrounding the home, the interiors are chromatically simple, and the majority of the home is black and white.
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