Little Green Buildings

by Kent Griswold on March 27th, 2008. 17 Comments
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I’m quite a big fan of Mother Earth News and in most of their recent issues there are always articles on SIPs or Structural Insulated Panels.

I started doing some research on tiny houses using SIPs and found a great site and company who specializes in tiny or small buildings called Little Green Buildings based in Port Angeles, Washington.

3d_sierra_view_lg

They are a small company with great customer service. There buildings range in size from 32 square feet to 400 square feet and are quite reasonably priced.

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Getaway

Why Use SIPs? Here are a few good reasons.

  • Extremely energy efficient.
  • Super insulated floors, walls and roof.
  • Small heating and air conditioning equipment = much lower utility bills and no more cold feet.
  • Because of the core system of rigid foam no mold, no bugs.
  • And a great fire rating!
  • Stronger, straighter, three times faster to build.
  • No vapor barriers to worry about.
  • Little or no waste.
  • No need for bird blocks or ridge vents.
  • Storm and earthquake resistant.
  • Snow loads just about anywhere on earth.
  • Super quiet. Need a place to shut out the noise of every day life?
  • More space. Because the roof itself is insulated “no attic”, more room for loft or storage space.

Here are a few more samples of Little Green Buildings designs:

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Chalet

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Beachfront Study

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River Shack

March 27th, 2008and filed in SIPs
Tags: SIPs
17 Comments

17 Responses to “Little Green Buildings”

  1. Thanks for the awesome info! I love your blog! Keep up the great work. :)

  2. Marcell says:

    Very cool blog. I love all the ideas and links. Our house is 538 sq. feet small. We didn’t design it ourselves, it was built in the 1930′s as a summer cottage, winterized much later. We like living small, but would like to someday design a more ‘green’ and energy effecient small house with some more land/elbow room outdoors, room to grow our food, etc.

    Your site is giving us great info. Thanks!

  3. Copeland says:

    Great post!
    There are two items I’d like to address though-

    # And a great fire rating!
    (This depends on the materials used in the SIPs which vary manufacturer to manufacturer and for different applications)

    # No vapor barriers to worry about.
    (Vapor barriers should be used with any ridge connection)

    Happy Friday!
    –Copeland

  4. Tom says:

    I really like this concept of small houses..and have also been watching the growth of SIP’s over the last year. I read that in ten years most houses will be build with them…yet most people don’t know they exist.

    The entire concept of small and green will be the wave. Great TV show on Japan and how they live small just aired a week ago on cable…will see if I can find it and send it out.

    Great blog-got my attention…

  5. [...] Green Buildings via Tiny House Blog. SIPS are everywhere these [...]

  6. [...] I love the Tiny House Blog! I discovered Little Green Buildings, via this post. [...]

  7. AKB says:

    I have been following your blog. It is just the site I have looked for years to find. For the past 18 years, I have been living in progressively smaller houses and I could never find info on living in less than 800sf houses (my smallest, and favorite, was 560sf). I have been wanting to find a place that makes truly small SIP kits that I could afford. FINALLY you pointed the way! Thank-you.

  8. Kent says:

    AKB – Thanks for your kind words. I am enjoying this journey also. Please keep me posted on your SIP kit experience. I would enjoy learning more and you can’t beat first hand experience.

    Kent

  9. bill says:

    Can’t swear to it, but I think Fine Homebuilding had an interesting article on SIPs about, oh, six months ago….

  10. Marti says:

    Just found my new dream house: the Little Green Building’s “Sierra with Balcony”. Thank you for this site AND the LGB site.

  11. A foam core may discourage mold, but it does not, by definition, discourage bugs. In fact, several types of ants love nothing more than to borrow into foam – building extensive condominiums in the stuff. This is easily avoided by careful detailing and screens, if necessary.

    Also, there are different types of foam, some of which “out gas” and some of which don’t – though nothing like the stuff from the 70s and 80s formaldehyde. Some people can become sensitized to the compounds while most won’t be bothered. The foam used in sips, to my knowledge, is also a petroleum based product.

    Fantastic insulation but not without some provisos.

  12. Rando says:

    These little houses are pretty cool, so I visited their website to get a feel for square footage and floor layouts. I couldn’t locate floorplans for any of their structures. I found a few that had cut-away views but that was the only indication the site gave of what might be inside. I can’t imagine any educated buyer considering a plan that doesn’t offer the layout and dimensions. How would you know if the sleeping area were large enough for a double or king bed or if the kitchen offers a 20, 24 or 30 inch range or even a kitchen at all? This was a big disappointment!

  13. Ellen says:

    My husband and I have been living and paying mortgage payments on a 700 or so sq. ft. house. We decided to build a Tiny second house out back, but the city code said we needed 500 sq. ft or more. However our property is rated to have multiple buildings as well as multiple family dwellings. So, we have seriously downsized and are building a 120 sg. ft. building. There will be no water, but electricity will be added. We have rented and are presently sharing our house with daughter, son in law, grandchild and baby to be. We are also building with cash from our tight budget. We used to sell antiques but have retired from that and are living without buying any more things. We will have a small garden out back. It is a freedom and privilege to be living within our means and still be able to pay high medical bills little by little for my husband. I am blessed to have a simplified life to share with him.

  14. Ellen says:

    Kent, the building is 120 sg. foot. It will have french doors on the 10 ft. side. Two windows, 24×48 will be across each other on the 12 ft. sides. We have put down an insulated floor as we have cold winters. It sits on 6″ beams on gravel. The floor base is 6″ high for the insulation. We have two walls done and have wood for the other two, but just heard it’s going to rain again this weekend. We will have exposed 2×4 rafters and insulted ceiling and walls. There may be a small loft above the kitchen area. We will probably heat with just an electric heater for now. I guess I inserted my comments in the green house section. We do not have plans as of yet to do solar panels or other green additions as we are paying for this w/cash. Our consumption of electricity and water will go way down, however. We will probably just have jugged water inside. We will be using a large antique bead board cupboard for our few clothes and storage. There will be a repurposed old wood shelf for books, a farm table my husband built for the kitchen w/shelves above. He also made our bed w tons of storage underneath. Access to it is under the mattress. Thanks for your interest. This is a great site, from which I have gleaned.

  15. Margaret says:

    They are really nice designs and I love the ease and ingenuity but there are no floor plans. Hard to get a feel for the actual spaces without seeing those.

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