Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Bioshelter for sale

This is one very cool house, up in Alaska. And it’s for sale.


This house is just so unusual in so many ways.

The composting toilet that “flushes” with a toss of sphagnum moss. The super-efficient Finnish masonry fireplace that radiates heat all day. The house is so well insulated and has so much capacity for storing heat, it would take at least a week to freeze up at an average outside temperature of 10 degrees.

But it’s the water system more than any other component that goes where few, if any, have gone before.

The house has no well or septic system; it doesn’t need them.

The Crosbys’ water supply comes from rainwater collected off the roof. It’s filtered through soil, filtering fabric and a thick layer of sand and gravel, then zapped with an ultraviolet sterilizer and stored in a 5,000-gallon cistern beneath the house. That’s the well.

From there, it goes through in-line cartridge filters, then on to the faucets, one of which is designated for drinking and cooking, rigged in the kitchen with a special under-the-counter, triple-filtering system.

As for lacking a septic system, the water that normally disappears down the drain — from showering, dishwashing, clothes laundering, teeth brushing, all but toilet waste — gets recycled.


Thanks to my brother for the tip.

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