The Pearl Place II affordable multi-unit building, designed by the nonprofit organization Avesta Housing and Thornton Tomasetti Inc., has been awarded the LEED Platinum certification. Pearl Place II is located in the Bayside neighborhood of Portland, Maine. Avesta is one of the largest non-profit developers and has been developing high standard, affordable housing in the New England area for the past 10 years. For the Pearl Place II project they partnered with Thornton Tomasetti, who acted as the LEED for Homes Provider and sustainability consultant,. He advised on the energy efficiency modeling, including choosing appropriate window glazing type, insulation systems, heat recovery ventilation systems and solar hot water systems which led to the project ultimately receiving the LEED Platinum certification.
Sukup Manufacturing is a small company based in Sheffield, Iowa, which primarily manufactures agricultural products, which includes grain bins. About three years ago, Sukup also began manufacturing grain silo homes to be used as disaster relief housing in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there. They called this grain silo home a Safe T Home, and it was developed in partnership with Global Compassion Network and Iowa residents. In 2012 a shipment of these homes was transported to Haiti where volunteers and residents built the so-called “Village of Hope” from the silos. Safe T Homes proved very successful as relief housing, and they are now also available for purchase in the US through Sukup Manufacturing. Safe T homes can easily be used as vacation houses, or even tiny sustainable homes.
When Phoenix and her 24-year old son decided to downsize they opted to move into 2 joined tiny houses built by Jeff and Brad of Portland Garden Cottages. The home is located in the Mississippi Historic District of Portland, Oregon and measures only 364 square feet. This is quite a change from their former 3500-square-foot home in Maryland, which they left behind. Phoenix and her son are much happier living in the new home, which despite its small size still fits a kitchen, living area, bathroom, an art studio and several spaces to practice yoga in.
The Spanish architecture studio Abaton has developed a simple housing unit, the design of which was inspired by shipping container homes. The largest home in the company’s APH80 series, also known as Transportable House (Casa Transportable) as it is called, measures 27 square meters (9mx3m), and consists of 3 different spaces, namely a living room/kitchen, a bathroom, with a full, shower and a double bedroom, with a bed included. The house also has a gabled roof, which is 3.5 meters high and provides an added sense of spaciousness.
The unique tiny house builder Hobbitat Spaces from Maryland is now taking individual orders for their hand-built homes. The company is the brainchild of Bill Thomas, and the homes are hand crafted and built to withstand even the harshest Northeastern winters. Hobbitat Spaces recently completed 13 Hobbitat cabins for Blue Moon Rising, an ecotourism retreat in Maryland. All of the houses in the retreat were built with reclaimed, local and recycled materials.
Beth Ann Norrgard from Dallas, Texas has spent the last year or so building a tiny house for her to live in. The house measures just 112 square feet and is mounted on wheels, giving the owner the freedom to move it around at will. Beth built the house based on the Gifford design by Jay Shafer of Four Lights Tiny House Company in California. Beth is documenting her progress on her website www.abedovermyhead.com.