Do giant homes, filled up with stuff, take us further away from nature? That's the key question Neste is asking with its ultra-sustainable Nolla cabin design, which is now perched on a rocky island in Finland, ready for visitors.
Finnish renewable diesel company Neste, ranked as the most sustainable energy company in the world on the 2018 Global 100 Index, has put together a tiny, portable wood cabin that it calls "an experiment to explore how we could live on less, while spending more time enjoying the nature around us."
The work of designer Robin Falck, and named after the Finnish word for zero, the Nolla cabin is a 9 sq m (96 sq ft) wooden teepee that can be assembled or disassembled by three people, and sits on eight extendable wooden legs, making it easy to erect and level even on bumpy and uneven surfaces, with almost zero impact to the habitat beneath.
One wall face, which should be pointed South where possible, is covered with solar panelling to provide power. The other has reflective mirror panels to help stop the small home from overheating in summer.
The wood used for the cabin is Kerto LVL, a light and strong Finnish plywood, and the large triangular window that forms a whole wall is a polycarbonate material Neste builds out of renewable feedstock instead of crude oil. The small stove, used for cooking and heating, also runs on Neste's own renewable diesel.
You'll note the lack of a bathroom – the Nolle is placed near a recycling station and dry eco-toilets on Vallisaari island, just outside Helsinki. There's also no bathing facilities, because the sea is your bathtub. And there's no Wi-Fi or entertainment gear, because the outside world is your wide-screen TV. It could almost be viewed as a high-end tent.
This first Nolla cabin is currently up for rent on AirBnB, where it appears to be completely booked out. The designer views this cabin as just a prototype, so with a bit of luck, we'll see another version soon with a few refinements, that could perhaps become a product. Check out a video below.
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