Meet The Upcycled, Solar-Powered Shed Of The Year

Did you know there was a competition for Shed of the Year? Me either, but we shouldn’t be surprised. There’s a competition for everything these days, from hot dog-eating to bed jumping (seriously), so why not see who can construct the most awesome backyard shed?

Sponsored by Cuprinol, the Shed of the Year competition honors shed owners who have created a tiny space that does way more than store rakes and lawnmowers. In past years, winning sheds have looked like phone booths or tiny plantation houses. This year, however, the winning shed is a perfect example of upcycling and the incorporation of renewable energy. They call it, The Boat Roofed Shed.

As you can see, the most clever bit of upcycling is represented by the shed’s roof. Comprised entirely of a recycled upturned boat, the roof provides a perfect slope for shedding rain and slicing through chilly English winds, which are all too common when you live 750ft above sea level in the Cambrian Mountain range of mid-Wales.

In fact, the entire shed is comprised of recycled materials, from the patchwork windows to the corrugated siding. But that doesn’t mean it’s only good fit for landscaping equipment. Inside you’d be surprised to find a wood burning stove, LED lights, a 12v sound system, gas cooker, and a refrigerator in which to keep chilled drinks. All of these comforting elements are powered by a 20w solar panel poised on the old boat’s stern section. And that won’t be the end of the shed’s renewable energy tech if owner Alex Holland has anything to say about it.

“The standard and creativity shown by the other entrants has been incredible so I am genuinely surprised to have reached the top spot!,” Holland remarked on the Shed Blog. “With the £1,000 prize from the sponsors Cuprinol I intend to buy a second hand 400w 12v wind turbine to augment the solar panel to give me enough electricity to make ice in the fridge for gin and tonics, and to ensure the cider and beers are always chilled.”

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog