- San Francisco startup Cosmic is making ADUs that generate enough energy to power itself and the main home.
- Cosmic has two models: a studio starting at $190,000 and a one-bedroom starting at $370,000.
- It uses a standardized modular prefabrication building system that saves time, waste, and money.
A San Francisco startup is creating more than just prefabricated tiny homes that look pretty in your backyard.
Cosmic’s backyard accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can generate enough energy to sustain itself while supplying power to the main home, cutting the homeowner’s electricity bill.
Self-powered ADUs that create excess energy may be a novel idea, but these detached backyard homes are no new concept.
In recent years, more homeowners have begun adding ADUs to their properties for use as rental units, backyard offices, gyms, and more.
But unlike the typical backyard dwelling, Cosmic’s carbon-neutral ADU can power itself, an eco-friendly endeavor Sasha Jokic, the founder and CEO of Cosmic, began last year.
Now, one year later, it plans to create five homes in California within the next year.
Like any typical ADU, Cosmic’s units operate as small detached buildings that live in the backyard of a home.
But many of its customers previously weren’t interested in ADUs because of the additional energy they consume, a problem Cosmic’s units were designed to address, Jokic said.
According to the company, the use of fossil fuels in homes accounts for almost 50% of US carbon dioxide emissions.
And the tediously wasteful traditional home construction process certainly don’t help the climate crisis either …
… which is why prefab homemakers like Cosmic consider the use of standardized modular home building approaches more sustainable.
According to startup, it has created the world’s first electric home “chassis” with solar, batteries, plumbing, and electric systems all integrated into the platform …
… cutting the time and costs it takes to build the ADU.
Other similar companies prefabricate more than just the “chassis” of a home.
But according to Jokic, prefabbing the platform using a modular system “keeps efficiency very high in terms of the cost and time but still [allows it] to create a flexible design that treats every home as a bespoke project.”
The startup spends between six to eight months to create a backyard unit.
Cosmic’s platform can then be flat-packed, delivered on a flatbed truck, and set up in the customer’s backyard in a few weeks with the help of Cosmic’s team and its in-house foundation system.
All other components of the home — like the facade, walls, and finishes — are still built and installed “traditionally.”
And the ADU still has to be connected to water and sewage systems.
But its energy system is self-sustaining using solar panels, batteries, and power storage systems.
Whatever power isn’t being used by the backyard unit can then be funneled to the main home and electric vehicles.
The startup’s smallest building, the Cosmic Studio, is 350 square-feet …
… while the 39-foot-long Cosmic One has a 700-square-foot interior with a 225-square-foot rooftop terrace, perfect for lounging under the warm California sun.
The studio has a living room, dining room, and bathroom, while the Cosmic One has all of the studio’s rooms plus a kitchen.
No matter the size, all units have a customizable interior, large windows, and a terrace, any homeowner’s dream keywords.
And a modular construction system means both of the units’ square footage can be made larger or smaller according to the buyer’s preferences.
The smaller unit starts at $190,000, while the Cosmic One has a starting price of $370,000.
In the future, Cosmic will also build larger homes that can span up to 1,200 square-feet.
The ultimate goal is to build multi family homes: “We’ll consider ourselves successful once we tackle the problem of housing insecurity with the multifamily homes,” Jokic said.
But for now, “we see a lot of people coming to us with the idea of having an office that can produce energy for the entire household, and that’s a really new approach in the ADU market,” Jokic said. “We want to continue working on that avenue.”
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