This Solar-Powered Prefab in Portland Was Set Up in Four Hours

A software developer adds a prefabricated shed by Drop Structures to his Oregon campground.
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In a world where anyone is just a text, call, or email away, privacy can feel like a pipe dream. Sometimes, you just want to unplug and unwind. That's exactly how software developer Stephen Elliott felt when he found a property 90 minutes outside of Portland, Oregon. 

"A couple years ago, I got the idea of abandoning the long-term prospect of staying in Portland, in a more urban environment," he explains. "I thought more about getting away, more out into the country. So I found a really good deal on a third of an acre—it’s an unimproved field." 

Located 90 minutes outside of Portland, Oregon, this prefab shed puts privacy and sustainability at the forefront. 

Storage, however, would prove to be a problem. Stephen needed a solution to avoid transporting gear back and forth from the city. "I chose to build a storage shack to keep all of our camping gear in one place, and make it more amenable to visit and camp on the land," he explains. But it wasn't until a serendipitous trip to New York that he decided to add a Mono unit from Drop Structures to his property.

"From the early stage, we realized what a special client Stephen is," Drop Structures' Ryan Abernathy says. "The most important thing for him—and a big reason why we worked together on this project—was his desire to maintain a light footprint on his land and an authentic feel."  

The shed’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer an uninterrupted view of the great outdoors.

Surrounded by an array of wildlife, both Elliott and Abernathy actively sought to pay respect to Mother Nature. 

"We worked really hard to choose our materials, ideas, and what’s happening in that structure," says Elliott. "I wanted it so that if it burned down, it would just be a campfire, as opposed to being a toxic plume."

The prefab is decked with solar panels, which are connected to storage batteries. 

"We absolutely love the doors on this Mono," Abernathy shares. "It was a great design challenge to get them to not only work properly, but to match the style of the structure. We are definitely going to be installing more of these doors on Monos going forward."

Clocking in at 108 square feet, the structure not only excels in reducing its physical and carbon footprints, but it also kept construction time to a minimum. Abernathy explains that from the time the unit arrived on site, to the crane picking it up and placing it on helical screw piles, to plugging the unit in, took a total of four hours. 

Shop the Look

A high shelf makes the most of this small, 108-square-foot space.

Custom features such as a lofted shelf and custom hinges that afford the doors a 270-degree swing turned this utilitarian space into a statement.

And, just as Elliott wanted, the shed offers plenty of privacy. 

"Our client requested privacy and security," Abernathy says. "We ended up custom fabricating 12-foot tall, aluminum security gates covered in Douglas fir." 

Related Reading: This Sleek Prefab Can be Built in Just Six Weeks For Under $22K

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Drop Structures / @dropstructures

Builder/ General Contractor: Drop Structures

Structural Engineer: Structural Truss

Lighting Design: Drop Structures and Stephen Elliott

Interior Design: Drop Structures and Stephen Elliott

Screw Piles: Inland Screwing Piling

Photography: Ryan Abernathy 


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