An autonomous building is a structure that is independent of connections to infrastructural services such as the electrical grid, municipal water, storm drains, and sewage systems, gas lines, and communications lines. The term may also refer to a structure that is isolated from municipal solid waste management and public roads. Colloquially, these autonomous structures are often referred to as being "off-grid."
Advantages of Autonomous Building
Autonomous or off-grid buildings...
- Allow for development in areas that would otherwise seem unsuitable for it due to the plot's lack of infrastructure services and/or isolation.
- Can be planned to suit given desires or needs without the need to meet the requirements imposed by standard infrastructure services
- May have lower construction costs and lend themselves well to do-it-yourself builders
- Are likely to be energy and cost-efficient to run
- Can readily provide efficient use of natural resources and reduce environmental impact (e.g. by using available solar energy and rainwater)
- May be more secure as they do not rely on shared services that can fail (off-grid buildings, for example, would not lose power if the electrical grid were to go off-line for any reason)
- Do not tie the users/residents financially to utilities