Austin-based documentary filmmaker and instructional designer Jim Bruno was kind enough to tell me about his new short film entitled “Louis Burns & Austin Tiny House.” The subject is Louis Burns and his reflections building a tiny house. Burns built the minimalist, Spartan space in a plug-and-play style — all it needs is a heavy-duty extension cord and garden hose.
This Berkeley tiny house has been getting a fair amount of attention recently. Built by New Avenue, Inc., the 420 square-foot backyard cottage is spacious enough to include a living room, kitchen, dining area, loft, and bathroom. It was built for $98,000, which includes all the bells and whistles one could ask for in any home regardless of size.
Tiny houses are popping up all over the country. Students at Green Mountain College built one with reclaimed materials last semester. They spent $1,927 on materials, acquiring insulation at half price and lumber and windows from the local salvage store. The 8-foot by 12-foot house still needs a solar-powered electrical system, which will be installed early next year.
Italian architect Flavio Galvagni of Lab Zero sent us some information on this calming, woodsy cabin that he designed and built with the help of Raffaelli Contract. The tiny eco hut — roughly 12.5′ wide x 14.5′ long x 10.75′ tall — can be used as a mini-lodge, mountain shelter, meditation space, or temporary dwelling. It’s easily transportable and both off-grid and off-pipe.
The shedworking movement is growing with folks nixing the daily commute by carving out a little extra space at home. One way to do this is with a YardPod, which is fabricated in a solar-powered factory in Rohnert Park, California. YardPods are framed in light-gauge, recycled-content steel, insulated with recycled-content, natural cotton fiber, and covered with a cool roof. Flooring can be either bamboo or cork. A 10′x12′ DIY model starts at $2,100, while a complete kit starts at $11,000, not including tax or delivery.
Recent Daniel Sokol sent me an email to share what he’s doing with steel shipping containers for a New Hampshire-based company called LEED Cabins. He can convert a 20-foot unit into a small, comfortable home in as little as 25 days from $15,000. Or he can build a bigger home with adjoining containers from about $40,000.