The 550 square foot house, on a tiny lot, sits right on the water facing the harsh northeastern open ocean – winds clocking 100 mph were measured this year. The house was designed with a hard, protective aluminum shell to close up in the off-season, by three large sliding doors. The exterior needed to be virtually maintenance free, a challenge with the corrosive salt air. But in mild weather the house opens up to take in the prevailing breezes and soak up the daylight. Technolgy-wise, the house has photovoltaics with large-capacity batteries, a 525 gallon cistern, a composting toilet, and a solar refrigerator originally designed for keeping medical supplies cold in Sub-Saharan Africa. The local lobsterman turned out to be a great source for sustainable energy information as he had been living off-the-grid for decades. The construction had to be planned to the nail, as all the materials came out at once, on an amphibious Vietnam-era US Army landing craft that pulled right up onto the beach (Everyone on the island came out to watch). All the framing is on a 2-foot grid for fail-proof planning and coordination. The simple interior uses unfinished north-eastern woods. In addition, truly local materials were used—beach stones for the hearth and island-cured concrete counters – as well as recycled plastic laminate for the cabinets.
Germany officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, pronounced ,is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered to the north by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea; to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic; to the south by Austria and Switzerland; and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The territory of Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state of the European Union, and home to the third-largest number of international migrants worldwide.
A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, was documented before AD 100. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation while southern and western parts remained dominated by Roman Catholic denominations. As a modern nation-state, the country was first unified in 1871, with the inception of the German Empire. After the proclamation of the Weimar Republic in 1918 the Third Reich followed in 1933. The period was marked by a dictatorship and the initiation of World War II. After 1945, Germany was divided by allied occupation, and evolved into two states, East Germany and West Germany. In 1990 Germany was reunified. West Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1957, which became the EU in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area and since 1999 a member the eurozone.