Timber tiny house designed for life on the road and off-the-grid
Portuguese woodworking studio Madeiguincho has some motorhome and camping enthusiasts in its ranks and was recently inspired to turn its hand to tiny house design. The latest result is the Ursa, which has a compact space-saving interior and runs off-the-grid with the help of solar panels and a rainwater capture system.
The Ursa measures 7 m (23 ft) long and has a width of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) – Madeiguincho made sure to keep its dimensions within the legal limit to tow on public roads in Portugal without a permit. It's based on a double-axle trailer and comprises a steel frame, with an exterior finished in heat-treated timber. Operable slatted wooden shutters can be used to shade much of the generous glazing. The tiny house also has a small deck area that offers some outdoor living space.
The interior of the home is finished in birch plywood and has a simple, no-frills decor, which is enlivened by a large feature window. On entering, the living room is located to the left and has some seating and a sleeping area, a wood-burning stove, some storage space, and a small office desk and chair.
Nearby is the kitchen, which is quite basic, though includes a small fridge, as well as a two-burner electric stove, sink, and cabinetry. Elsewhere on the ground floor lies a bathroom. This has a shower, sink, and a composting toilet. There's also a second loft-style sleeping area that's accessed by a fixed ladder and contains a double bed.
The Ursa gets power from a roof-based solar panel setup, which can be angled toward the Sun for maximum efficiency, and is hooked up to batteries. The tiny house also features a rainwater capture and recycling system.
"The roof was designed with a five percent slope to allow rainwater to run down the facade and the oval window towards a gutter that leads to a particle filter before reaching two water tanks with a total capacity of 650 liters [171 gal]," explains Madeiguincho. "The rainwater can be reused through a pressurized water system that pumps water to an 80-liter [21-gal] heat accumulator tank that supplies water to the three plumbing fixtures (kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower). A three-stage reverse osmosis filter was installed underneath the sink to provide drinking water. All the water used in the three fixtures is stored in a tank and later reused for watering plants."
Sadly, we've no word on the price of this impressive build.