Interesting things about tiny houses :)

A new vision about how tiny houses would look in the future!

We also did some further research to develop the presentation and we found some useful information. You can find below more information about how can a Tiny House become more sustainable:

  1. Renewable Power Generation:
  • Locate solar and wind on lower portion of pasture; siting is critical
  • Consider phasing the installation to reduce initial costs
  • Study site-specific shading devices and plantings
  • Monitor wind patterns with anemometer to determine site possibilities for power generation
  • Consider the production of power as a revenue source
  • Net metering option:
  1. one meter for all homes could be advantageous
  2. submeter each home to track usage and help homeowners conserve
  3. provide financial incentives for using less power
  • Encourage conservation by specifying efficient appliances and lighting
  • Incorporate daylighting and natural ventilation in homes
  1. Ambient Heating:
  • Passive solar as primary source
  • Glazing: amount, location and type important
  • Shape of buildings should be rectangular and oriented correctly east to west
  • Incorporate shading to avoid overheating: overhangs, trees and/or vines
  • Ventilation; use natural convection with a study of prevailing winds
  • Heat storage and retention: use thermal mass and insulation
  • Secondary heat source options
  • Biodiesel
  • Wind and biomass (from forest windfall) to generate electricity for small demands
  • Consider district or centralized heating as secondary source, combined with hot water heating and solar water heating in slab heat coils
  • Solar air heating (TROMBE concept) for domestic heating, with boiler
  1. Water Heating:
  • Primary source: solar collectors (summers and some winters)
  • Supplementary source: biomass, district heating, and/or electricity
  1. Cooking:
  • Electric- high loads but possibly from renewable source generated on site
  • Propane- a possibility, but is not consistent with goal of zero net energy
  • Solar ovens- could be a supplementary source, especially if located in accessible space (on a nearby deck, shared)
  1. Other possible secondary heat sources:
  • Heat exchange system considerations include:
  • Type, air-to-air versus ground-tothermal combining with solar heating
  • Solar units – consider maintenance
  • Hydrogen fuel cells – storage for hydrogen is problem
  • Woodstoves – efficient burning reduces particulates and health risks
  • Micro-hydro power generation
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Week 6/ The Storyboard: Ready, set, go!

This weekend we got introduced to idea of a storyboard, which is based on a script we did. It explains all activities we do to suit the NGO’s needs and we will make a final product (video). You will find below the text for the final presentation matching our team’s storyboard (that you will also find it as a picture).

The Presentation

Intro:

The intro part explains the NGO problem, which is crowd founding and making the organization financially sustainable. We did brainstorm and came up to lots of ideas on how to make the organization financially sustainable, our NGO loved what we believed was our strongest idea, which is using tiny houses as a rental, movable offices. To give this project a kick-start we advise the organization to ask the government for a grant which will give them a possibility to prepare tiny houses and advertise themselves.

  • The NGO & NGO’s problems (short)Our NGO (TinyHouse Community) wants to reach financial sustainability. As well they would appreciate a community space/ house which can be used for bigger groups, since the space in a Tiny House is quite limited. As they are private people, they don’t want to and can’t invest too much money. We don´t believe it is necessary for our NGO to get a fund, but we think it would definitely be easy to realize the solution if they would get one.
  • Crowdfunding + Sourcing: We further researching into this though Micro Ventures which is an equity crowd funding website offering investment in the early stages of companies. Micro Venturesconnects accredited investors with start up companies and is the only major equity crowdfunding website that is broker dealer registered by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority.[1]
  • Final solution using all above: The Final solution we came up with is a mobile office service that provides rural working space. Our Idea was about creating ‘offices’ as part of the community which can be rented out by businesses or individuals as a unique working space presented in nature and a tiny house. There is already an existing business in the Netherlands which uses this concept very successfully. The caravan-style offices are made from vintage mobile homes and come equipped with WIFI, composting toilets, couches made from recycled jeans and solar-powered coffee machines.

Middle:

The NGO liked our final idea, so the next step is analyzing our final idea, as I’ve already mentioned it is using tiny houses as rental offices for anyone who may need them. This idea was originally invented by Dutch company Kantoor  Karavaan (http://www.kantoorkaravaan.nl/ ) they offer fully equipped offices which are completely movable. Basically this organization gives you a great opportunity to work in nature, which is what we liked about the idea. They have 3 offices available which are rented 2-3 times each a week, therefore they have a constant income, that’s why we found our final idea suitable for our NGO.

We believe that building a tiny office wouldn’t cost as much as a tiny house itself, however to give the organization the kick-start we would advise them to ask the government for a grant for this project. They can use websites like https://www.sharedesk.net/ or https://www.airbnb.com/ to promote their offers.

The thing we decided to do is to make an advertisement for tiny house offices to make it more known and to tell possible customers about the great opportunity which they offer.

  • NGO liked it – unique – reflect Tiny House movement + principles: Shorty liked the idea that the offices will reflect the principles of a Tiny House (freedom, connection with nature, simplicity) and the fact that this idea is unique and successful in Netherlands.
  • How much land does it need? Costs?
  • Grants:preferably from the Government: still an open opportunity: USDA Grand does not work, rather for poor communities
  • + the other groups idea – how to build the Tiny Houses cheaper 
  • The connection between the solution and the people: purpose: The customer would be companies of any/people searching for unique working spaces/people that like nature/people that like tiny houses 
  • Advertise through the internetà show websites: http://sharedesk.net/https://www.airbnb.com/

Final:

To sum up, we would like to say that the idea is unique, there are only a few companies that offer this possibility. Florida is famous for its nature that’s why we believe that there are a lot of customers who would prefer to combine working and staying in nature, therefore the organization will have a stable income.

  • Conclusions
  • Final word(about the team and project)

story

click here for a better quality of the image

Video production planning

Our video will be like a stop motion cartoon, explaining our idea about using tiny houses as rental offices. We use stop motion video because it is the easiest type of video to make and also it is the funniest animation technique. We will use Lego figures or just drawn pictures to show the action and recorded voice as an audio and also add some music/audio effects. Click on the link below to see an example.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pyCTPQZUXc

Moreover, we described what do we think about success/failure and the impact of our advice:
  • How can we measure success or failure of our advice?

We get to know whether it is success or failure though the reactions of our NGO because our purpose is to find a solution for a certain problem, that meets the needs of our NGO. They get to decide whether they like the idea or if it’s possible. First of all we need to go through a lot of failure finding different solution to find the perfect one that’ll meet our NGO’s needs.

We get feedback, whether our effort was a failure or not. But I would rather say that even failure is a success, at least for us, due to the fact that we learn from our failures and take the knowledge we gained to move on and find better solutions. The final success will be pleasing the NGO’s needs and finally making them financially sustainable.

  • Where will be the most impact on our client?

The Impact on The NGO is preset because we have a certain problem to fix. We help them create financial sustainability for their community. Without financial sustainability there will be no community. So we have a huge impact and we need to be aware of that.

In conclusion, we think that we have shown great progress this week that we are very satisfied! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to write down your opinion in the “Leave a Reply” section. 🙂

Reflection of Week 3

This week we have been progressing on addressing the Tiny House Community’s (NGO’s) needs. As we clarified earlier last week we will be looking how to make the community financially sustainable. We have transformed this need into what we think is a relevant visual interpretation, we are very pleased with the outcome: 

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We firstly brainstormed within our team to look at what solutions we could create, after we had formed some basis of ideas we briefly expanded on them and added anything that was relevant throughout the week.

Here is an image to show our generalised ideas from our first brainstorm:

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To expand on these ideas a little further with renewable energy we thought the community could use this to firstly generate energy for themselves and then with whatever energy they don’t use they could see back to ‘the grid’. With the tourism, we believe there a few angles from this which we could create a solution by having a larger plot of land the community could have a separate area where they could either have tiny houses to rent out or have open land to allow overnight stays for others with tiny houses, working like a campsite. In regards to a website we first believe it would be an advantage to the community to have a website and try and expand through networking. And with this there could be the potential to create money through advertisements. This would also help with the tourism idea along with our fourth initial solution of having a workshop where they could demonstrate to the public how they built their homes, what materials they used and the process they follow.

We forwarded this information to Shorty and asked what she thought to our initial ideas, which we further discussed through our Skype call this week. With the feedback she provided us with we contacted Nancy (who didn’t actually talk that quickly) and gave her an overview of what we had accomplished along with what we were planning to do in the future. She provided us with some very useful points to explore accompanied with websites to visit in aid of this.

The two online groups we chose to analyse this week were Small House Society and Tiny-houses.de. We decided to use these groups as they closely relate our project and NGO of the Tiny House Community.

The Small House Society: It was founded in 2002 by Jay Shafer, Shay Salomon, Nigel Valdez, and Gregory Paul Johnson. These four individuals were able to draw from their collective experience in housing design, home building, urban planning, and organizational management.

Nowadays Gregory Paul Jonson is facilitator of society the core board of advisers currently consists of Jay, Shay, Nigel, and Gregory. However, as a cooperatively run organization, all members have significant influence and serve as our larger advisory board.

To improve financial stability, the company asks for donation. You can find the list of donors and supporters here – http://smallhousesociety.net/membership/paying-members/

Also company has a website where you can become a paid member; basically it means that you donate 10$ every year (as I understood).

Society uses other designers and builders to improve their houses some of the homes are designed to offer basic economical shelter, others provide additional amenities and an aesthetic appeal that makes them more valuable.

You can see the list of designers and builders here – http://smallhousesociety.net/designers-builders/

Tiny-houses.de: It is an online website which gathered information about tiny house living in the United States and Germany. They do not only provide Information about tiny houses, but as well about circus-wagons and treehouses.

 Its creators thought about it as a platform to provide both individuals, as well as hotels and resort operators an overview of possible forms of residential, holiday and guest houses.

They do not only have very interesting, informative and (for our purpose) relevant articles from former tiny house builders, but also have a very active-up-to-date blog on their website.

But not only do they offer information, they create also contact to companies that are offering tiny houses for sell.  This side is not only interesting and informative for us, but to everyone who is interested not only in tiny houses, but in alternative ways of living.

In conclusion to this week we feel we have made a lot of progress, however still loads more to go, yet we are pleased with the initial ideas we have explored. With this and the feedback from Shorty and Nancy, we have a good idea of what we want to do next, with firstly investigating a little further into each of our ideas along with still expanding into new areas of solutions and make sure we have a good REASON for wanting to use these solutions. Additionally, we are going to look into Social Entrepreneurship (we will explain further soon what this is!) as it will aid us hugely in the progression of our assignment.

So we think we have written enough now, we are really looking forward to the coming weeks to explore further into our research and ideas. Thanks for reading!

Tiny Innovators.