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Old 10-30-2012, 07:54 AM   #1
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Cool Micro/tiny homes

I thought we already had a thread on these, but I can't find it. Pretty cool story:

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Old 10-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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I like this idea very much. If we could get the government far enough out of our business to allow us to live as we choose, I am certain that more folks would choose to downsize.

http://www.dwell.com/articles/Five-Inspirational-Shipping-Container-Homes.html
Small houses is an idea that has been used all over europe, but here in the US we have assinine regulations regarding how big a house must be. In our county, it may not be built smaller than 1,200 s.f. under air. Until about the late seventies, the average Florida cracker house was around 800 - 850 square feet. I have a number of friends living quite comfortably in older houses. They are cheaper to maintain, heat, cool and furnish. It is an idea that simply makes sense.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
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Near me there is a "commune" where many of the people have converted old school buses to live in. It's a lot of work, this guy is doing it better, most likely. Thing is, tiny implies a worse surface area (heating and cooling losses) to volume (living space) issue, and from seeing these guys need a full sized woodstove to heat a bus - the same I use to heat my home - well, I'll take what I have, over that.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:09 PM   #4
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DC,
My firm buys se vans to store equipment in and a few years ago we bought a relatively new one for 2,000 bucks for storing documents. We used a product called expanding polyisocyanurate [brand name Tiger Foam or Icynene] to insulate it and painted the outside silver. In the heat of the summer the highest temp I measured in that thing was 107 degrees on a hot ass day. We cut vents in the bottoms of the doors and cut an exhaust at the top in the back. We then bought a medium sized solar panel to run a little DC fan we got from the auto salvage yard. To date, it has worked out quite well.

I picture two or three of these things strung together, insulated and carpeted with a couple of windows cut out for light. A nice and cheap way to construct housing.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #5
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Yes, that sounds good for where you are. Where I am it's below freezing and 30-40 mph winds....location matters!
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DCFusor View Post:
Near me there is a "commune" where many of the people have converted old school buses to live in. It's a lot of work, this guy is doing it better, most likely. Thing is, tiny implies a worse surface area (heating and cooling losses) to volume (living space) issue, and from seeing these guys need a full sized woodstove to heat a bus - the same I use to heat my home - well, I'll take what I have, over that.
I believe the guy in the bus is actually having an issue with insulation. In general, smaller homes cost less to heat/cool, but a very well insulated house could cost less than a very poorly insulated small house.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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Yes, it's hard to insulate a bus. They do remove nearly all the windows and replace with wood/insulation on the walls, but if you try to get thick, there's noplace left wide enough to put a bed in there. I mean, it works kinda, for people who for whatever reason think they have no other choice, but it doesn't work very well.

The Hoi Poloi of the commune live in mobile homes with baseboard hot water heat, from a wood water heater everyone has to keep going as part of their "rent" to live in a bus that doesn't get that heat. It's pretty screwy and most finally realize this and move on.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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I like the container style:
http://remodelista.com/posts/the-arc...eet-architects

...and the Swedish style:
http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat...lar-homes.html
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
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Good for that guy, and in highscool!
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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a block up the street from me, a guy built an adobe looking house (the style). The walls are actually something about two feet thick and I'll bet there isnt four hundred square feet in the house. I've never been inside. It's really cool looking, and he said he's never had an electric bill over 40.00. I can believe it. The adjoining neighbors had a fit and did everything they could to stop his construction (it would "lower" their property values) but he prevailed. He has two teenage sons. My house is a drafty old 1920 duplex, but a metal roof makes it tolerable in the summer, and a wood stove keeps it toasty in the winter.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jay View Post:
a block up the street from me, a guy built an adobe looking house (the style). The walls are actually something about two feet thick and I'll bet there isnt four hundred square feet in the house. I've never been inside. It's really cool looking, and he said he's never had an electric bill over 40.00. I can believe it. The adjoining neighbors had a fit and did everything they could to stop his construction (it would "lower" their property values) but he prevailed. He has two teenage sons. My house is a drafty old 1920 duplex, but a metal roof makes it tolerable in the summer, and a wood stove keeps it toasty in the winter.
is it a straw bale house?
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:01 AM   #12
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"Adobe", means bricks made of rammed earth, sometimes mixed with straw & cow's dung (but not necessarily). Very good in some climates (deserts - ie south of US, I suppose), because they have big thermal mas: the house keeps cool during the day (walls cooled during the cold night are absorbing the sun's heat), while radiating absorbed heat during the cold desert nights. In short, adobe walls' big thermal mass averages out extreme temp swings between day & night.

Might not be that good intrinsically in cold climates, where it is cold for the whole winter time (as opposed to the short night/day cycle), and the thermal mass has no means to heat up passively (but it has all the properties needed to suck the heat out). It would need a proper insulation from the outside, to keep the accumulated heat in - and in this case, wood burning stove would be a good match (again, stove is not that great for long, stable, low-heat radiation (low burn efficiency in that case, creosote buildup etc.), but it is good for short bursts of heat - which might be absorbed into adobe walls (if designed properly for), to be released at slower rates, around the clock). With that said, a styrofoam outside insulation, externally cladded/plastered (cross-section, looking from the inside: adobe wall -> styrofoam sheets (surface glued/pinned every .5m) -> glued glass fibre mesh -> thin plaster (5mm approx) cladding), should be a good match, and quite cheap one. It adds to the thickness of the walls, so it is not always a preferred option, but sure as hell it eliminates all the possible heat bridging, and is a good match for a high thermal mass house.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mike View Post:
...and the Swedish style:
http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat...lar-homes.html
...see, for me that's PRECISELY what I hate about faggot "designer" ideas: modular homes, are nothing new in concept (and might have its merits, if you are young, single, and want to start small, with room to expand later - although if you need something bigger to start with, well, this kind of design is not optimal, cost & performance wise), and they dare to ask $35k for a "base module starts at(...)" price, for fox's sake?! I mean, seriously, $35k for WHAT, a shoe-box sized boxee, made of plywood (most probably), with few square meters of insulation needed to wrap it with, with the whole BOM at around few grand, I suppose?!

Joke, if you ask me.

BTW, speaking of a container homes/systems, this one seems to be quite clever (if one is into something like that):
http://www.lamidesign.com/ibu_revo/system.html
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bushi View Post:
...see, for me that's PRECISELY what I hate about faggot "designer" ideas: modular homes, are nothing new in concept (and might have its merits, if you are young, single, and want to start small, with room to expand later - although if you need something bigger to start with, well, this kind of design is not optimal, cost & performance wise), and they dare to ask $35k for a "base module starts at(...)" price, for fox's sake?! I mean, seriously, $35k for WHAT, a shoe-box sized boxee, made of plywood (most probably), with few square meters of insulation needed to wrap it with, with the whole BOM at around few grand, I suppose?!

Joke, if you ask me.

BTW, speaking of a container homes/systems, this one seems to be quite clever (if one is into something like that):
http://www.lamidesign.com/ibu_revo/system.html
It's $35K because it's made in Sweden. That's the price of Socialism. You don't think all that free health care is actually free do you?
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:51 AM   #15
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What's up with the old fart asking if it was licensed? Someone should've shot him in the face for asking.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:32 AM   #16
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If you are insulating a bus you need to build it up on the outside. Do they ever drive the busses? if not they should build a type of shed around the bus. Build it so it is a tight fit and fill in the space with leaves and newspaper/ feathers and other types of insulation
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:35 AM   #17
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I wanna build a house with spray concrete. Very cheap, easy to keep warm/cool strong and can be made with lots of open space
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by oppie2005 View Post:
is it a straw bale house?
thats the thing, I didn't see them build it. My Republic of Texas neighbors were telling me about it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:44 AM   #19
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here's another "simple life" story, evolving around a tiny place to live:
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:10 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jay View Post:
thats the thing, I didn't see them build it. My Republic of Texas neighbors were telling me about it.
TC was up here yesterday. He said its Styrofoam with adobe on the outside.
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