Tiny House in a Landscape

This weeks Tiny House in a Landscape features a cargo container designed home called the Port-a-Bach. The Port-a-Bach prototype was built in Hangzhou, China and shipped to New Zealand. It is now part of the permanent collection of Puke Ariki Museum, New Plymouth.

Designed to be a holiday home it is built by Atelierworkshop it is portable, secure, has a high-level finish, designed to be environmentaly clean, comparatively inexpensive, and comfortably sleeps two adults and two children.

It has the potential to be a comfortable tiny house alternative if you choose.

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Alternative Homes Today

On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, I ran into Ross Lukeman of the blog, Alternative Homes Today and we chatted not only about tiny homes, but about his architecture career and interest in alternative ways of design and construction. His initial interest in tiny homes derived from attending a Tumbleweed workshop with Dee Williams in his home in Houston, Texas and he decided to start a blog covering various tiny homes, natural building techniques, interviews and building companies.

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Above photo: Ross visiting Brittany Yunker’s tiny house in Olympia, Washington

“As I began covering them more and more, I became interested in building one for myself,” Ross said. “As someone who’s almost done with school loans, I’m not wanting to turn around and mortgage my life to another bank.”

The blog also reaches beyond alternative or tiny homes and natural building to cover bike commuting, finance, landscaping, clutter and material possessions, minimalism, DIY projects and even some comics.

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Geodesic domes in Huntsville, Texas

While Ross covers a wide range of ideas, he is most passionate about homes that match the value of their occupants.

“As obvious as that sounds, I feel like a lot of us are struggling with this, our homes being out of sync with what we really want in life,” he said. “Which is why it’s great seeing people embrace the “enough” principle with tiny homes and pursuing what really ignites their passions in life.”

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The Myrtle at the Cob Cottage Company near Coquille, Oregon

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The interior of the Myrtle at the Cob Cottage Company

Ross has been traveling around the country visiting various tiny homes for the blog and at this point his favorite designs are the Tumbleweed Cypress 24 Overlook and the Michael Reynolds Earthships in New Mexico as well as rammed earth homes.

“(The Tumbleweed) model has a huge great room in the front, which I would could use as my home office and workshop,” Ross said. “I like the 24 foot tiny homes because they have enough extra space for you to change functions and add people in the future.”

“With the Earthship, I really like the idea of homes handling all of the systems like energy production, waste processing, food production, etc.,” he added. “I know some people get caught up with not wanting to use old tires in their walls, but I think this all-systems thinking is where homes need to go in the future. It’s more sustainable and it gives the occupants way more control.”

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The Tree House, made of reclaimed materials in a Bois d’arc tree by Dan Phillips in Huntsville, Texas

Ross thinks the future of tiny homes will continue to grow and gain awareness primarily in the field of tiny homes on trailers and traditional building—but just smaller. He mentioned the micro apartments in New York City and the interest of ADU’s (accessory dwelling units) in Portland.

“I think the trick will be getting tiny homes into urban settings like this,” Ross said. “We’ve become way too dependent on cars and parking tiny homes away from everything because municipalities don’t know what to do with them will have to be a hurdle we overcome. I believe once the more progressive cities integrate them into urban settings, other cities will begin to follow their example.”

“We should also be seeing more tiny home communities,” he concluded. “I know Jay Shafer’s community in Sonoma County, California is underway. Apparently the county planners are as excited about it as he is!”

 

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Ross helping to build a strawbale house near Bastrop, Texas, a project by Clay, Sand, Straw Natural Builders

 

Ross Lukeman is the founder of Alternative Homes Today where he interviews alternative homebuilders, tours cool alternative homes, and builds green DIY projects. You can grab his free Tiny Home Construction Cheat Sheet here.

Photos by Ross Lukeman/Alternative Homes Today

hOMe Construction Plans

thb_plans_homepageHello all you wonderful TinyHouseBlog.com readers! Andrew and Gabriella Morrison here from TinyHouseBuild.com with the announcement that our hOMe construction plans are finalized and available. They have been meticulously edited by an architect, a designer, and also engineered/stamped by a veteran structural engineer.

If you’ve been looking for a tiny house that allows you to live without compromise and that offers a full sized kitchen with full appliances, comfortable stairs to the master bedroom, furniture that works double duty as storage, space for a home office for two, a guest bedroom/TV lounge, a bathroom with a regular sized sink, shower, and toilet, a loft with comfortable head room, and a clean, modern aesthetic, then hOMe may be just what you’ve been waiting for.
There are 4 plans packages available ranging from the Total Package (Printed Plans with free shipping and handling globally, the Digital Plans, fully editable SketchUp plans, materials list, and a how to read plans short video) to the Digital Package, to Just Digital Plans, and finally to Just SketchUp Plans.
To visit the plans site, please click HERE.
To visit the photo gallery, please click HERE.
To view a detailed video tour of hOMe, please click HERE.