Ben Hayward, a 2017 graduate from the Bachelor of Architectural Studies is leading a design-build project that is exploring manufactured housing, the tiny house movement, and sustainable design. The project is currently under construction in front of the Carleton University Architecture building and will be ready for demonstration by the middle of October.
This research house is tailored to a client choosing small home ownership over apartment rental. Several subcategory goals stem from this premise:
- Employ integral and holistic design strategies to improve quality of life when reducing space.
- Expressing digital fabrication as a new language of art and architecture.
- Develop an urban planning model for micro-housing city infill, as well as a plug and play system for connecting to fresh water and sewage infrastructure.
- Build in a truly sustainable manner, considering embodied energy in materials, longevity and repairability, and energy consumption during use.
The primary system of green energy innovation utilized in this project is a solar thermal heating system. The system employs a photovoltaic solar array that feeds electricity into two conventional domestic electric hot water tanks. The tanks are then used as thermal batteries which supply the radiant in floor heating system as well as hot water needs.
Heating accounts for roughly 70% of energy usage in a Canadian climate. To offset all heating needs would equate to one of the most significant steps towards making northern climate homes truly sustainable. By using photovoltaic panels as opposed to conventional hydronic solar thermal, it is significantly more economical and only pierces the building envelope with a single wire. This also poses the potential for a low cost retrofit to existing buildings.
Additionally, this is my second tiny house project and many ideas from the current build are an evolution from the last. My first tiny house, “The Hobbit Van,” has received widespread North American coverage, most notably a YouTube video with nearly 800,000 views, and a feature in the Wall Street Journal.
The ‘Tiny House Movement’ has achieved widespread and growing media attention. The open plan, plug-and-play design is catered to inspire those who are captivated by micro-living, while offering full-sized amenities that require little-to-no change in lifestyle to downsize. The project utilizes the power of digital fabrication to create unique spatial conditions and propels a new language of art and architecture. The detailing is evolving with an ambition to be worthy of publication in architecture and interior design journals and websites.
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