These Backyard Prefabs Double as a Battery Pack for Your Primary Residence

California builder Cosmic is making ADUs with solar arrays and robust energy-storage systems that can power your home.

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After two decades in the construction industry, California entrepreneur Sasha Jokic is going prefab. His new company, Cosmic, makes energy-efficient homes that property owners can easily add to their backyards as accessory dwelling units (ADUs)—and each packs an off-grid punch.

"It's hard to distinguish our system between a power plant or a house, and we like that," says Jokic. "We see our home as a backyard unit that gives people additional living space, but also, it’s a giant power bank for the entire house."

Cosmic uses a modular construction process and delivers homes flat-packed to the site.

Courtesy of Cosmic

Cosmic’s ADU design, with its steel-framed floor-to-ceiling windows and timber cladding, is a sight for sore eyes. But more attractive is its astounding energy performance promise. A rooftop solar array and built-in energy-storage system produces more than a unit can consume, says Jokic, and so much more in fact that the leftovers can fully power a primary residence.

Roughly 55 percent of the wood Cosmic uses in its ADUs is responsibly-sourced. Large floor-to-ceiling glass windows flood the interiors with natural light.

Courtesy of Cosmic

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A natural palette reflects a selection of sustainable materials, including responsibly-sourced hardwood for the floors and ceilings.

Courtesy of Cosmic

Cosmic’s first two models are a studio and a 1-bedroom unit that range in size from 350 to 1,200 square feet, both of which have customizable layouts. The interiors have a natural feel with flooring, walls, and ceilings all finished with wood. Floor-to-ceiling windows give the units a clean, contemporary look while capturing an abundance of light.

"Usually when people talk about energy efficiency, they think the windows have to be smaller," says Jokic. "We see the opposite. If you create a robust energy system, you have more freedom in terms of the window openings. As well, we're investing into two-pane or three-pane windows that are highly efficient."

Courtesy of Cosmic

"Usually when people talk about energy efficiency, they think the windows have to be smaller," says Jokic. "We see the opposite. If you create a robust energy system, you have more freedom in terms of the window openings. As well, we’re investing into two-pane or three-pane windows that are highly efficient."

"I think many people right now see the energy side of our products as a great value-add," says Jokic. "We live in this very interesting time when people are ready to pay extra to have greener and more sustainable living, and our job is to really try to optimize this cost."

Rendering courtesy of Cosmic

The ADUs start at $190,000 but can be financed with no money down, says the company. Buyers can pay monthly, and would earn credits through the energy produced by their unit.

A rendering of the 1-bedroom Cosmic model shows a rooftop terrace for added space and a view.

Courtesy of Cosmic

Looking forward, Jokic hopes to scale Cosmic beyond single-family living. "To really fulfill our mission is to scale to multifamily," he says. "You have more solar power capabilities, larger energy storage, and you can experiment with different types of renewable energy produced at home. So I think it’s going to be really interesting, the future of Cosmic."

Cosmic’s offers clients a financing option at no up-front cost. Instead, credits are earned through every kilowatt-hour of energy produced and applied to monthly payments.

Courtesy of Cosmic

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