The Modular Zerohouse in New York: A Prototype by Specht Harpman Architects


Ever wish you could live “off the grid” without having to pitch a tent? The New York Zerohouse, as designed by Specht Harpman Architects, could make it possible to do just that. It’s a small prototype that’s designed to be quickly shipped to, and erected on, a given site; a modular home with all the elements necessary for four adults. While it doesn’t look like your average suburban tract home, it’s considerably better shelter and more substantial than a tent — with no need for external utility or waste disposal connections: it has at once a unique “footprint” and none at all. Plus, it features not one, but two decks — so living here isn’t exactly “roughing it”!


Entering the house off the porch steps at the front door, you’ll first encounter a small “foyer.” On either side of this entrance are the kitchen/dining area and living room, respectively, and out the back door is a service porch. The second floor, reached by a central staircase, leads you to the bedrooms and bathroom, as well as both decks, one positioned above the living room and one off the bathroom. If you’re a pack rat by nature, this house may not give you enough room for your “stuff”; however, if you want to live independently and sustainably, have great views through the many windows, and enjoy the no-fuss possibilities of this house…this may well be a prototype you’ll want to keep track of for the future.











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Written by Janet Butler

Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).

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