Since I am shifting to more of a client and critic role, I thought I would give my opinions/comments on the designs:
Transformers (or Blake’s Megatron House)
Some of the designs have featured really unique ways in which the tiny house can be transformed or modified. This is a particularly fun concept and it is surprising element in that is not typical of tiny houses. It is a great away to expand or create unique spaces.
It does, however, present some technical and cost challenges. In order to make the transformational elements a reality, I think the tiny house needs to be fully function without them, but can pick up “bonus” space once they are employed. Otherwise, the transformation seems a bit gimmicky. Also, I think a “fold down” or “fold up” approach seems easier to tackle than something which “pops out.”
There have been many comments regarding what green design strategies have been incorporated on the Tiny House. It is our wish to incorporate as many simple and effective green design strategies as possible. I think it would be best to look more passive strategies as opposed to active ones, as typically these are more cost effective, which is important with our tight budget. In order of importance, I feel the following green strategies would the most benefit, in order of importance:
1. Passive daylighting
2. Passive heating/ventilation and Water Heating
3. Mini roof or vertical garden; mini greenhouse
4. Rainwater collection
Vertical and Roof Space
All of the designs used vertical space to some degree—mainly for a lofted bed. This is great, as vertical space is kind of a freebie—more usable space without increasing the area of the footprint. However, I think we can become more creative than just a lofted bed. Just to throw out some possibilities: additional open shelving or a mini-herb garden above the kitchen area.
Also, I think a roof balcony is another area where there is space to take advantage…
Surprise Factor / Simple Interior
All of the designs have some type of surprise factor: Lance’s can fold down, Sarah’s has pop out wings, and Alex’s has movable interiors. The one idea I really liked about my design is the difference between the outside and inside. On the exterior, the tiny house appears as a boring ice fishing house. But walk inside and it changes to a curved ceiling that allows in dappled light. It is a simple, but I think dramatic and comfortable effect. It basically that old phrase of, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover...” which I think can be very powerful.
As someone had posted…there definitely needs to be a sofa. We’ll make it fit somehow.