Steel-clad Micro Cabins are built to last

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The cabins were completed in 2015(Credit: Jesse Kuroiwa)

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A group of architecture students from the Colorado Building Workshop recently constructed 14 attractive small cabins near Leadville, Colorado. The prefabricated dwellings offer bare-bones accommodation for visitors to an Outward Bound center.

The Colorado Outward Bound Micro Cabins, as they are dubbed, are located on a steep hill within a Lodgepole Pine forest and serve as dormitories for visitors to the Colorado Outward Bound School. To ensure quick on-site construction, they were prefabricated in Denver before being shipped to location and assembled within three weeks.

Each cabin sits atop concrete piles and is surrounded by a frame that offers a semi-outdoor space for storing gear such as bikes and kayaks. In addition, the frame sports a secondary roof that's designed to withstand heavy winter snow loads. The cabins are clad in hot-rolled steel and intended to require little maintenance.

Inside, the cabins measure 140 to 200 sq ft (13 to 18 sq m) and are finished in birch plywood. The layouts vary, but include storage units, pull-down beds and under-storage. There's no toilet or cooking facilities though, and guests must make use of a nearby bathhouse.

A Colorado Building Workshop representative told Gizmag that the long-term plan is to build seven more cabins (construction on these is currently ongoing). In addition, a new staff lodge with bathrooms, laundry, dining hall and communal space will be designed by a local architecture firm. The entire project is expected to be completed within two years.

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