Net-Zero Tiny Home Designed by Students

ext

How much space does a person need to live comfortably? Not that much, according to tiny home enthusiasts. And tiny homes are certainly one way to combat the increased demand for affordable homes in urban areas. The students of Laney College in Oakland, California, have designed and built a solar-powered net-zero tiny home to help combat the housing shortage in the area. The home was entered into last year’s Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) competition and won the “Best Architecture” and “Best Design” accolades.

int

The tiny house is called the Wedge and measures just 202 sq ft (18.8 sq m). It rests atop a 20 ft (6 m) long trailer and is primarily aimed at those who have been priced out of their homes by gentrification and the rising rents it brought. The home was designed in a way that ensures low maintenance and running costs.

The home produces as much energy as it consumes, and it gets its power from a solar panel array mounted on the roof, while excess power is stored in a battery bank. An inverter converts the power from the 24 volt DC bank of batteries to the standard 120 volts AC for the appliances and devices that require it. However, most of the lighting, devices and appliances, including the water heater, are powered directly from the battery.

sitting

kitchen

working

The Wedge has an interesting shape, which is how it got its name. A part of it juts out and the main purpose of this design choice was to create additional interior space, but keep the same footprint. The home features a sitting area, two sleeping lofts, a kitchen and a bathroom. The sitting area is fitted with an L-shaped sofa, which hides a storage area. As for sleeping, the home can accommodate a family of three. One of the lofts fits a queen-sized bed, while the other is big enough for a single bed. The larger is accessible via a storage stair, and the smaller one via a ladder. Although, since the lofts are just large enough to fit the beds, I would like to see some protective railing installed to prevent falls.

bigloft

small loft

The kitchen features a long counter that has all the necessities incorporated into it, namely a sink, a small fridge, a pantry and a two-burner induction stovetop. There is still ample amounts of counter space left over. Opposite the kitchen is the working/dining area, which is fitted with custom-built furniture and has seating that can be stored underneath the desk when not in use. The bathroom is fitted with a composting toilet, shower and sink.

bath

The home is also fitted with a natural gravel and wetland plant based greywater filtration system. This water can then be reused for irrigation, since the plan for these homes is to be used as part of urban farming initiatives.

The Wedge is currently on sale for $55,000 via Tiny House Listings.

By |April 18th, 2017|Modern design|0 Comments

Tiny House Made of Cork

Ecobubo, a Portuguese startup, has recently completed a tiny dwelling of the same name that’s made of cork. The primary function of this tiny house is to serve as a nature escape for two, since the home is located in the woods and lacks the space and amenities, which would make it suitable as a full-time home. (more…)

By |April 13th, 2017|Modern design|0 Comments

Home 3D Printed in 24 hours in Russia

It’s been awhile since we’ve had news of homes being 3D printed, but now Russian engineer Nikita Chen-yun-tai has made quite a breakthrough. The 3D printer he designed has been used to print a home in just 24 hours. His company Apis Cor has successfully constructed a home that is the first in the world to be built using mobile 3D printing technology. (more…)

By |March 21st, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments

London Will Get Europe’s Largest Floating Solar Array

array

Following the example of Japan, which has already begun constructing numerous floating solar arrays to meet it’s renewable energy goals, UK’s Thames Water has now announced plans to do the same. They are already building what will be the largest floating solar array in Europe, and they plan to install it on a reservoir in London. This project is part of Thames Water’s goal of finding solutions to generate one third of its own energy from renewable sources by 2020. (more…)

By |March 20th, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments

France to Get a Solar Highway

panels

The French National Institute for Solar Energy (INES) in collaboration with Colas, a transport infrastructure company, is planning to cover about 621 miles (1000 km) of French roads with solar panels. The project was commissioned by France’s Agency of Environment and Energy Management and it is estimated to be completed within the next five years. The project is called the Wattway system and looks very promising. (more…)

By |March 6th, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments

A Tiny Home for a Family of Four

ext

Most people with a family would not even consider moving into a tiny home, but it might not be such a far-fetched idea, as the so-called Brown Bear tiny house, proves. The home was designed and built by Alpine Tiny Homes of Utah. Despite it’s diminutive size, it is still large and spacious enough to comfortably house a family of four. And best of all, it’s also easily towable and can function completely independent of the grid.

The Brown Bear tiny home measures 28 x 8 x 13.6 ft (8.5 x 2.4 x 4.14 m). The ground floor features a spacious kitchen and dining area, which takes up most of the space here. The kitchen is equipped with a sink, propane-powered cooker, and even a full-size refrigerator and freezer. There is also a breakfast bar that can sit all four family members at once, as well as lots of custom-built cabinet space. All the countertops are made of quartz. There is also a small lounge in this area that features a sofa and a TV. The bathroom is separated from the rest of the ground floor by a door, and features a full-size shower, sink, and a composting toilet. (more…)

By |February 13th, 2017|Modern design|0 Comments