Christopher Merklinger, a 56 year old recovering drug addict, build his first tiny house with the help an Amish community near Owen Sound, Canada. Today he runs his own tiny house company, Litl Hausen, and the daily effort of constructing these homes has become an integral part of his healing journey, and life in general. Chris is also sure that it is the low cost and small size of tiny houses, which can give people struggling with addictions, homelessness and trauma a safe place to call their own. With his company he hopes to pay it forward, by offering affordable and well-built tiny homes, which can also be taken completely off-the-grid.
Doug, a school teacher, built his own 8 foot by 20 foot Tumbleweed Elm 20 Overlook mobile tiny house on a trailer. It took him nearly 3 years to complete it, though he lived in it while finishing it and held down a full time job at the same time. One of the most unique things about his tiny house is the small sun room that can be used to heat the whole home. Doug built the sun room using glass storm doors at the entrance to the tiny house in place of a more traditional front porch. He presented his house during a Hands-On Tiny House Building Workshop which was organized by Deek Diedricksen of www.Relaxshacks.com. All the photos showing the house in this post are part of a video tour filmed by Deek and you can watch the whole video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amTkene5JLo.
The Santa Monica-based award-winning green design studio Minarc partnered up with Habitat for Humanity, and a local non-profit firm Restore Neighborhoods LA to design and build affordable, net-zero energy prefabricated homes in the low-income areas of South Los Angeles. Together they built 3 homes, which were all built on vacant lots in the poorest neighborhood of South Los Angeles. The houses all feature Minarc’s innovative, interlocking panel system, which is called mnmMOD. The homes are also equipped with roof top mounted solar panels.
JAYZ Building Solutions of Melbourne Australia have come up with an innovative solution for providing modular, prefab homes. They have recently launched the fully transportable InstantSlide house model, which is part of the company’s latest series of SMART2 (Superfast + Modular + Affordable + Robust + Transportable) accommodation buildings. Most of their designs cater to companies wishing to provide temporary housing for their staff on remote locations, such as on mining sites for example, while they also provide single-family modular homes.
The Canadian firm Ecopods makes sustainable, fully recycled short term container dwellings. Ecopods are an excellent choice as cabins, guesthouses or other accessory buildings, or showrooms. All ecopods houses are designed to function off the grid, and can easily be transported anywhere.
Charles Pickering, the founder and CEO of architectural and engineering firm Pickering Associates, recently received a LEED-Platinum rating for his project at 12 Faith Meadows in Williamstown, WV. This is the first LEED Platinum certified home in West Virginia, and boasts of 11 kWDC of generation capacity. The solar system is located in an optimal array on the house and garage roof, and provides all the energy usage needs for the household, with some to sell back through the power grid. The house received a LEED Point Score of 113 and a HERS rating of .43.