We’re increasingly being involved in projects where the developers are using our tinier homes to provide a more affordable option as part of a larger project. They love the concept of Tiny Homes, which tends to be defined by a maximum floor area of 50 square metres.
This isn’t just to cram more homes on a site, it’s to offer a more affordable option, something that is seriously lacking in our current housing crisis.
But it’s not only a matter of affordability, it’s becoming a very sought-after lifestyle. So many people simply don’t need loads of space. It’s more space to clean, heat and pay a mortgage on.
As Aaf Brandt Corstius writes (in the book illustrated above); “There’s actually nothing about tiny housing I don’t find appealing. The clarity. The necessity to give up all your possessions, or at least to reduce them to ten favourite books and minuscule wardrobe. The considerably smaller, or non-existent mortgage, that comes with it.”
Whilst this isn’t for everyone, we think one of the most important aspects of tiny house living is giving people more choice. Plus, with our modular system, if you need more space in the future, the home can grow to meet your needs. The planet simply cannot afford the resources to over-provide the materials to build over-sized homes for below average occupancy rates. It makes no sense to build 3 bedroom houses for single people or couples. A better solution is for the new home owner to custom build a home to their current and future needs.
Aaf further explains how these “houses are very representative of our times. Not only because we need to make do with less stuff and live more sustainably. But also because we are changing too. We increasingly live alone. We travel more. We don’t necessarily have to live close to where we work. Or we work from home.”
However, not all tiny homes, or tiny apartments are built with the right intentions. The problem occurs when developers take advantage of building smaller homes to create higher densities and maximise profits. There’s no care taken over the design and very little outdoor amenity space is offered instead. This is partly why the space standards were introduced, but unfortunately they now limit the ability to choose tiny house living.
As always, a balance is required. Extremely well designed spaces, high quality materials, low energy, more outside space, the potential to grow the home… and of course, they need to be affordable.
You could perhaps call this “affordable by design”.
The book (above) covers the BouwEXPO Tiny Housing that started in 2016 with a competition and follows the design process through to the completed homes in Almere (near Amsterdam) that people now live in. The resulting homes are incredibly inspiring and demonstrate what can be achieved with ingenuity and the willingness to break from the norm!
Things need to change. If people want Tiny Homes, let’s build Tiny Homes! But let’s make sure they specifically meet the occupants lifestyles… and not simply to maximise profits for shareholders.
Small Homes – The Making Of Bouwexpo Tiny Housing In Almere can be ordered in the UK here: https://www.ideabooks.nl/9789068687835-small-homes-the-making-of-bouwexpo-tiny-housing-in-almere