Mobility may have been the most massive driving force behind the interstate highway system and suburbia as we know it – but the focus is slowly shifting. There is a growing movement toward (and market for) new types of small-space dwellings and miniature homes built on wheels. While similar, these are not the same as the traditional prefabricated-and-portable housing typologies that celebrate always-on-the-road living and go-anywhere, move-anytime lifestyles.
The result is a more economical, simple approach to house design without associated costs (personal and environmental) of full-time mobile living. Tumbleweed is one tiny house company that has made an (architectural) art of condensing spatial requirements for still-comfortable living within small-square-foot residences, down to as little as just 65 sq. feet.
Blending the best of prefabrication and optional do-it-yourself construction, these low-cost dwelling spaces are green in more than the obvious material ways – they simply use fewer resources and require less complex construction.
Other tiny-building specialists like Modern Cabana are admittedly more about supplying additional spaces to existing homes, but the portability factor again makes this a more sustainable approach as the resulting mini-structures can be moved rather than demolished.
Whether fixed-in-place and semi-permanent or up-on-wheels and ready to roll, small homes and auxiliary housing, work and relaxation spaces are simply more flexible – these buildings can bought, sold, lifted and transported rather than discarded or destroyed when no longer in use.