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Off-Grid Minnesota 'Wattage Cottage' Wins Most Innovative Green Home of the Year

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Off-Grid Minnesota 'Wattage Cottage' Wins Most Innovative Green Home of the Year

The Cuyuna mountain home is a self-sustainable escape from the outside world


May 20, 2022
Off-grid mountain home with solar panels
Photo: stock.adobe.com

Sitting on six acres in the mountainous Cuyunas Lakes region, the 1,222-square-foot “Wattage Cottage” is Green Builder’s 2022 Most Innovative Green Home of the Year. The Minnesota home is a completely sustainable, off-grid property with a low-waste, high-performance SIP wall system, energy efficient appliances, a 330-foot-deep well, and 15 ground-mounted, 310-watt solar panels, Green Builder reports.

Architect and designer Tom Pusak of Pusak Properties constructed the Cuyuna Project to be completely detached from the outside world with self-sustaining technology and design features. The “Wattage Cottage” rental is also net-zero certified by the U.S. Department of Energy. 

The home features a 5-foot roof overhang designed to provide cooling shade in the summer while allowing additional sun in the winter as the sun’s angle shifts for passive heat gain. 

“Technology has been developing much faster in the home-building sector than the pace at which home builders are adopting it,” [Tom] Puzak noted, in a report from GearJunkie. “It’s hard for production builders to adopt new ideas when the average home buyer does not know what is possible.”

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