Situated in the middle of the desert just outside of Pioneertown, California, sits the IT House. Most people wouldn’t even attempt to build a home in such an extreme environment, where temperatures can range anywhere from 30°F at night to 104°F during the day.
But the IT House not only makes living in the desert possible, but it makes off-grid living more accessible and possible. Now, Taalman Architecture is offering IT House ADU plans approved by the City of LA.
The Off Grid IT House
Joshua Tree Architecture
The home features a combination of materials and techniques and uses a variety of off-the-shelf manufacturing systems. For example, the house has an Epic roof system, which is typically used in airports or malls, and Bosch framing, which is usually used in robotics.
What’s most surprising about the IT House is that the home does not have air conditioning despite being in the middle of the desert.
Rather, the home is designed to work with the elements. For example, in the hot summer months, east-facing windows are closed in the morning and opened in the afternoon, while west-facing windows are opened in the morning and closed in the afternoon.
The home also features:
Passive heating and cooling
Solar Ban 60 glass with a low-e coating that helps reduce long-wave radiation
A solar power system to generate electricity and to heat their water
The IT House demonstrates the possibilities of living off-grid or in remote locations without sacrificing modern comforts.
The success of the IT House design has led to Taalman Architecture creating IT House ADU plans that are now approved by the City of Los Angeles.
The IT House ADU Models
The IT House is constructed with a flexible system. The structure itself is fabricated off-site and assembled on-site. Structures are made primarily with:
Aluminum – The structure’s lightweight frame is made with extruded aluminum.
Glass – Large windows and openings allow in natural light and ventilation.
There are six variations.
19’ x 12’
430 square feet
The IT Tower’s dimensions are roughly the same as a single-car garage. Its compact nature makes it an excellent fit for smaller or unusual lots.
The home’s first level features a living, dining, and kitchen area. The corner stairway leads to the upper level, which has a bedroom and a full bathroom.
40’ x 38’
1,190 square feet w/320 square foot courtyard
1 level with 8’4” ceilings
The IT Court is ideal for more spacious properties that can maximize the allowable ADU space. The accessory dwelling unit features a 320 square foot courtyard that sits at the heart of the home’s living spaces.
The structure has several entryways, making it ideal for a variety of site situations. There are three bedrooms as well as a guest bedroom (or office) and a guest bathroom. Large glass sliding doors marry the indoors with the outdoors.
The ADU features a rainwater harvesting barrel, which can be used for irrigation. The roof-mounted solar PV system is more than able to generate enough power for the structure.
37’ x 19’
700 square feet
1 level with 8’4” ceilings
The IT Bar can serve as a rental unit or an addition to an existing home. Its compact size makes it ideal for a typical LA lot.
The structure follows a typical home layout. The entryway opens up to an open living, dining and kitchen area. A full bathroom, bedroom and closet area sit at the opposite end of the structure.
Like other IT House ADUs, this structure also has a rainwater harvesting barrel and a solar PV system mounted onto the roof.
19’ x 19’
660 square feet
The Cube is slightly larger than the tower, but follows a similar design and layout. Rather than having similar dimensions to a single-car garage, this one is similar to a two-car garage.
28’ x 10’
200 square feet w/90 square foot patio
The IT Pod is ideal for lots with limited space and is similar to a one-car garage in size. The studio-style structure has a shared living, office and bedroom as well as a kitchenette and bathroom.
29’ x 19’
360 square feet w/90 square foot patio
Like the IT Pod, the IT Box is a simple ADU that offers all of the basics of modern living, including a shared living area and bedroom, kitchenette and a full bathroom.
The Firm Behind the IT House ADU
Taalman Architecture is a Los Angeles-based firm led by architect Linda Taalman. Over the last 15 years, IT House has built more than 20 homes throughout California.
As a full-service firm, Taalman Architecture offers:
Energy system design
The design of the off-grid IT House has been highly praised, and plans for the IT House ADU are now available.