Leaf House Version.3: A tiny house for sub-zero temperatures
Back in 2012, we reported on Version.2 by Canadian small living firm Leaf House, which is headed by Laird Herbert. Now Herbert is back with a new and improved tiny home that he intends to use as a case study for small living in cold climates. Version.3 is designed to take temperatures of -50 °C (-58 °F) in its stride, and also packs a number of other benefits over its predecessor, including increased interior space and decreased weight.
Version.3 measures 4.9 m (16 ft) long, and comprises an interior floorspace of 9 sq m (97 sq ft). The towable tiny home is part-built using sustainable and reclaimed materials, including Forest Stewardship Certified wood and repurposed metal mesh. The interior is lit with LED lighting and features a custom Murphy Bed, and a kitchen area which includes a double stove, sink, and small fridge freezer. The diminutive home also includes a small shower and composting toilet.
A mirrored wall is installed in a bid to lend a feeling of increased space, and weight was saved wherever possible. For example, a lightweight countertop lends the appearance of a full slab of concrete but is actually a foam board with a concrete top, while curtains were used to hide storage spaces instead of using cupboards.
Version.3 features Panasonic Vacuum Insulated Panel (VIP)-based insulation, which boasts a claimed R-Value of R30 per 1.27 cm (0.5-in). The VIPs insulate the floor and roof to an impressive R68, while the walls are insulated to R38 (for those unfamiliar with R-Value, it's a measure of thermal resistance by which insulation can be judged).
The tiny home also combats the cold with quad-pane windows, energy-efficient electric radiant heaters, and a Lunos E2 Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV), which offers fresh air and helps reduce heating requirements. A 113-liter (30 gallon) water tank is also connected to a vent-free tankless propane water heater.
Though Version.3 requires a grid-based electricity hookup to run the heating, Herbert told Gizmag that the next iteration of the home would run totally off-grid, and would feature a wood-burning stove.
Version.3 was completed in the early part of 2014, but Herbert felt that he wanted to put the tiny house through a harsh Canadian winter before calling it a job well done. To this end, he is currently living in it full-time in a small northern town, a few hours north of Whitehorse, Yukon, and monitoring the home's performance with energy and temperature sensors. So far, it is reported to be performing very well, and it will eventually be put up for sale for somewhere between US$30,000 to $40,000 (it cost slightly over $30,000 in materials to build).
Source: Leaf House