Boats and tiny homes have a lot of things in common, not the least of which is the need to make good use of every available nook and cranny. This is exactly what prompted former boat builder and carpenter Jeff Hobbs from New Zealand to begin building tiny homes. His firm Room to Move recently completed an off-the-grid tiny home, which boasts of a number of sustainable features.
The mobile tiny home measures 257.8 sq ft (23.95 sq m) and was built atop a trailer. The house was constructed primarily using 2.35-inch (62 mm) structural insulated panels (SIPs), which they chose for their strength, durability and the superb insulation qualities. Because they are so thin, they also helped yield extra interior floor space.
The home features two levels. The ground floor measures 180.3 sq ft (16.75 sq m) and is comprised of a kitchen, living area, a bathroom and a study. The kitchen is quite large, and features a two-burner gas stove with an overhead range-hood, an oven/grill, a fridge, plenty of storage and counter space, as well as a hand-made sink. The bathroom is equipped with a shower and a Separette villa 9010 composting toilet. The top level is comprised of a 77.5 sq ft (7.2 sq m) loft, which is where the bedroom is located.
Apart from the composting toilet, the home is also fitted with two 300-watt solar panels mounted on the roof. These panels are connected to a 12-volt battery bank with a capacity of 445 amp hours. Solar power is also used to heat the water via a 24-gallon (90 liter) tank placed on the roof of the home. This tank is also connected to the fireplace inside the house, which is used to heat the water when there is not enough sunshine to do so.
As for the water needs, there is a grey water collection system in place, which consist of a 53-gallon (200 liter) tank into which the grey water is collected. This water first passes through a stainless steel mesh that filters all food waste and hair and other impurities from it. These are dumped onto the compost heap once a week. The water system is low pressure, which also greatly reduces the amount of water that is used for showering and other needs.
All told the home cost about $87,000 to construct, $50,000 of which was for materials and the rest for labor.