Eco friendly micro homes
Tiny house movement is become more and more popular in recent years for few main reasons: cost efficiency, whereby you can get rid of mortgage and lower your debts; trend of minimalistic living and a desire to live more simple life without burden of unnecessary things and space, concentrated on the important unmaterialistic pleasures of life; often building permit not requiered; and energy efficiency, as not only smaller house means smaller carbon footprint and water, electricity and gas consumption but it is easier to make your tiny house even more energy efficient or entirely off grid.
We provide various designs and sizes of tiny houses or cottages and can advise you on several ways how to turn them into energy efficient small house plans. You can already start thinking about how to gain eco friendly tiny house during the construction process – you can use recycled and reclaimed materials, sometimes even parts of the house such as windows or door, and also a proper insulation will help to prevent heating loss during future usage of the house. That all counts.
Utilities in energy efficient small house plans
Then there are functional issues also important to take into consideration during design and construction process, as we did when we were developing our energy efficient small house plans. Most importantly the utilities, which can all be solved in a way to create an eco friendly micro homes. Things like effective interior and space-saving solutions can also add to the positive impact on your comfortable living – for example various flexible pieces of furniture, that fit together and can serve several purposes at the same time. Or considering properly what types of windows in terms of their size, orientation and ventilation systems can help to decrease how much heating will be necessary to keep your interior warm.
Talking about utilities in eco friendly micro homes, let’s begin with water systems in small houses. Ground water, that can be gained from wells or through pumps, is a natural and most commonly used source of water. Moreover, there are many situations during your day when you do not need to use a drinking water, such as for cleaning for example, etc. In that case rainwater harvesting is another option of energy efficient water source if you do not live in a dry climate. You can place larger tanks around your house to collect and store the water or you can also get a rainwater collecting roof system, which will catch even more rainwater for you.
Tiny house solar panels and other renewable energy sources
Energy and its sources is another crucial issue to solve out when building a small house. You need energy for heating the house and water, to be able to cook and have electricity for appliances and other needs. Tiny house solar panels are probably the most popular among alternative energy sources. They consist of several solar cells, which absorb the light and transform It into electricity. They can be placed on the roof or around your house, on spots exposed to sunlight, and they are most often used for water heating. There is a wide range tiny house solar panels types, varying in sizes, efficiency, durability and price. Another option are wind turbines converting the wind energy into electricity. Usually they are used by countries on large scale energy collection, however there are types of smaller wind turbines that can be used for household use.
- Car wash
- Overground – surface storage tank
- Underground tank
Tiny house solar panels and wind turbines are among the more common ways to sources of renewable energy for your energy efficient small house plans. Besides them, there are others. In case your small house happens to be nearby a stronger stream or river, you could think of micro-hydropower system, which transforms the energy of flowing water into a rotational energy through turbine, pump or waterwheel and then transforms that into electricity. Or a homemade small scale biomass gasifier can be used to convert biomass into gas and thus serve as another source of energy in eco friendly micro homes.
Apart from all of the above mentioned methods, which will all help you to become more energy efficient or go entirely off grid, there are others, which do not require that special equipment. If your house is located in some beautiful natural setting with lot of extra wood around, you can use it and get a wood burning stove to keep your house warm. Undeniable advantage of small dimensions of your wooden tiny house is that it is easier and faster to keep its internal environment pleasant. If you are a gardener, at least little bit, you can grow your own fruit and vegetables, which not only supports your independent and ecological lifestyle, it also ensures you consume fresh and healthy products, that have not been chemically treated.
Composting in your eco friendly tiny house
While you are at it, you can right away create a compost in your eco friendly tiny house. It is recommended to have some kind of bin, a simple wooden enclosure will suffice to be able to better control the compost and protect it from potential animal invaders. You need two parts, the so called brown stuff with high carbon level such as leaves, hay, sawdust, dead flowers etc.; and green stuff containing high level of nitrogen, such as food waste, grass cuttings, manure, coffee grounds etc. Three things are important for the maintenance: Keep the pile moist, sometimes the rain is sufficient to do that, other times you may need to add water. Make sure it is warm, it is a crucial condition for the decomposition process and if the temperature too cold, you need to add more of the green stuff to support the heat. And turn the pile around regularly, once a month or even more often, it is important to allow air to access all parts of the pile and thus help the process.
- Waste water
- Inlet pipe
- Tank for setting the level
- Marsh plants
- Treated water
DIY guide How to build a tiny house
The theme of minimalistic and off grid level has been covered in countless articles and websites, you can find detailed advices and manuals about every part of off grid tools and renewable energy sources, which we have talked about. So no need to worry about it, anyone can do it! Our tiny house designs are well suitable to become energy efficient small house plans, so have a look through our offer of cabins, cottages and other micro home plans. Also we have a step by step book guide How to build a tiny house, full of useful information, instructions and illustrations on every part of DIY timber construction, including topics such as small house heating, water system or sewage. It is available to be ordered right away here, as a printed or electronic book.