|Posted on July 2, 2014 at 1:35 AM||comments (2)|
This tiny house on wheels is designed for a couple who likes to cook and do art. The first floor has a Japanese style bath and an open floor plan. The kitchen area is located near the front door with a vaulted ceiling because activities there primarily require standing. A loft is accessed by a ladder and provide a secondary space. It uses a passive solar design with low windows on the south side and skylights and high windows on the north to passively cool the home with breezes. Solar panels on the roof provides the electricity. Propane heats the water and is used for cooking. The home uses a simple pallet of white and wood creating a serene space.
|Posted on July 2, 2014 at 1:00 AM||comments (2)|
μ-haus: μ from the Greek “mu” meaning “micro” and haus from the German “house” or “shell” as in a turtle, where home is a livable extension of one’s self.
As the world’s populations shift towards cities, the issue of urban density comes into focus. Laneway housing, tiny homes, off-grid and NetZero dwellings all address a facet of an unknown future regarding over-population, energy resources and climate change.
μ-haus addresses all of these as it is an in-fill build that can be independent from city infrastructure and, if grid-tied in Ontario, it creates an income both in terms of rent and energy sold to the grid.
μ-haus collects water from its roof, stores it, purifies it, and when it comes to disposing of it, does so without the creation of black water, thanks to a composting toilet.
μ-haus is superinsulated; a highly efficient air-source heat-pump supplies its minimal heating and cooling needs. In the fall and winter when the sun is low in the sky, the south facing windows collect solar energy. In the spring and summer, large overhangs protect the home from overheating.
μ-haus is compact and appropriate for even the smallest of urban laneways, demonstrating energy conservation and, resiliency. It addresses density on a human scale. We see a future with a chicken in every pot and a μ-haus in every backyard.
μ-haus is a 200 square foot tiny house, intended for in-fill in an urban context. Though it is difficult to reach Passive House standards in such a small building, μ-haus shows significant energy savings in both space heating and total primary energy due to superinsulation and efficient appliances.
The issue of size was addressed visually by creating tall, sloped ceilings that let light in and create headroom in the loftstyle bedroom, a table that transforms for coffee to dining and a staircase which folds away.
The 20 roof-mounted solar panels collect more energy than the home requires, making μ-haus net positive in terms of energy. The roof also collects all the water necessary for the home, storing it in six cisterns in the crawlspace. Heating and cooling are supplied by a high SEER heat pump. Fresh air is supplies by two synced micro HRVs. The home is small and comfortable with basic amenities. It is intended for a single occupant or young couples comfortable with sharing the space.
|Posted on July 1, 2014 at 5:50 PM||comments (2)|
I have designed this 10 by 12 foot barn style house to fit the restrictions found in some rural areas which allow for one or two buildings no larger than 120 square feet, or sometimes specifically no larger than 10 feet by 12 feet, to be constructed without a building permit. If a solar assisted, self-contained constructed wetland were used for black water recovery and gray water were reused whenever possible, you could safely avoid the need for standard septic as long as your local officials allowed these systems, and so long as you engineered them carefully. Water and snow catchment from the roof, as well as an air well system of some kind could negate the need for a well permit and the expense of a drilled well. This unique yet traditionally styled design includes a wet bath with toilet mounted lavatory sink and three foot square shower. It has a small but fully functional kitchen based around a tiled stove, and a guest bedroom in the form of a sofa bed. The tiled stove could be designed with dampers to control hot gas flow around the oven, under the burners, and could even include a heat exchanger for on demand hot water. Thanks to the design of the sleeping loft this quaint home could be built to accommodate four people plus have the futon serve as a guest room. This design shows a very basic aquaponics system, but in truth you could easily include a more complete and densely populated system. Power could be photovoltaic or wind, but an experimental idea is to combine solar thermal convection with an axial wind turbine. I am currently developing this unit as well as other power options such as ambient collection (ala Nikola Tesla) and nanohydro systems. Backups for power and hot water could be provided via propane, or by creating methane from a bioreactor, which could be more affordable. Heating is provided by the thermal mass rocket stove covered in tile or soapstone, sometimes called a Kachelofen. The supports for the folding loft are shown as hinged, but would be more stable if they were permanent. The cover for the fold out deck rolls up onto a pipe spool hung from rafters in the sleeping loft (not pictured) and the loft is accessed through a loft door with folding ladder such as are found on many homes. This design is shown standard framed on a concrete slab, but could be built using concrete piers as well. The storm cellar with pantry would be just off the front door to the north (away from the greenhouse) and would house a chest freezer and full size refrigerator.
|Posted on July 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
My design is made to start with a 16 ft by 8 ft utility trailer designed to hold the weight of a mobile house. It would need to be specially reinforced for this purpose and with proper axel strength for the additional weight of the whole house.
Next I designed it so that the weight would be balanced and not too heavy on the back end such that it would tend to lift the pulling vehicle up off the ground. In my attempt to do that I designed it with the kitchen as the place that one enters into the house and the bathroom being in the rear of the house. Centered in the middle of the house is the Living and Dining area along with the loft. I believe that the weight of the loft and bathroom will balance with the weight of the kitchen. The design includes a removable deck and stairs for both the front and the back of the house, so that when it is in place where it will remain most of the time, access to all the features of the design are made easy and more enjoyable as well as it will help to disguise the fact that there is a trailer below it.
The finished design with the removable decks not counted will measure less than 20 feet in length and it is less than 8 feet wide. The measurement to the very top from the ground including the trailer is less than 13 feet 6 inches. All of the actual dimensions are included in the design graphics shown below. The width is 7 feet 11 inches. The length with the extended decks removed is 19 feet 9 inches. The height is 13 feet 5 and 9/16 inches to the very highest point in the design including the clearance for the skylights.
The construction design was made such that it is easy to lower the height by adjusting either the knee walls for the loft or the main floor walls. One may need to do that in the event that a floor platform is desired to be taller than the one that has been designed here or as your particular trailer requires and in or to gain or lesson the head height clearance. The head height clearance for the main floor as designed here is 6 feet 4 with a head height clearance of approximately 4 feet in the loft. In my design safety and easy escape from fire was a critical consideration. Therefore I designed it to have both a front door and a back door/window for egress. It is also designed to have access to the loft from either the front by a movable ladder and from the rear by way of an attic style pull down folding stairway along with a hatch door to cover the opening. This hatch cover provides for safe movement around in the loft and more actual usable space. There are specially constructed beams in the ceiling and 3 support posts in the loft.
There is an attractive open and closeable lattice style gate and rail to protect one from falling off the loft while in bed on the front side. Additionally I designed the electrical switch layouts with all 3 way light switches so that all the needed lights to get access to the loft can also be turned off from up in the loft once you are safely tucked away upstairs and so there is no need to risk going back down a ladder to turn off lights. In my design I planned the layout of the floor to allow for fully installed plumbing with an instant hot water unit located about in the middle of the houses right under the dining seats so as to feed both the kitchen and the bathroom. I have situated two clean water storage tanks in the 2 loft spaces that can be easily refilled with a water hose and that use either gravity to aid the water flow and pressure or water pumps as desired. One also would likely consider adding a water filtration system for the clean water. Below the floor are situated gray water and/or black water storage tanks that are easy to empty into appropriate dumping stations. My bathroom design can also alternatively be fitted with a composting toilet if desired. The bathroom shower space also doubles for the storage of a portable laundry washing machine which you would remove when taking a shower. The kitchen is fitted with lots of convenient cabinets, counter tops, and hanging pots and pans storage. On the right side of the kitchen area there is a single bowl sink, with either a built in 2 burner gas cook top installed or a removable 2 burner gas cooking unit that can also be taken out to a picnic table along with the propane gas tank. The window shelf on the front of the house holds an additional counter top for more prep area and appliances. Next space is provided for an under the counter refrigerator that can either be gas or electric. On the counter is room for a large toaster oven for baking. In the cabinets above is a place for a microwave shelf and other appliance storage needs.
Over the cook top area and sink area is located an under cabinet hood vent with lights. Over the sink is also located a window. Over the bumped out kitchen window on the front and the entry door is a kitchen loft providing an additional 12 inch deep cabinet storage space or for bookshelves and your sound system. On the left side of the kitchen area is a tall pantry type cabinet that also can function as a coat closet and provides for hanging storage and brooms. Next to that is a set of drawers for office equipment storage. Above that is a lighted unbreakable glass door cabinet to show off your nice dish and glassware storage. These cabinets can be mirrored inside to help give the appearance of more space and to help reflect the lights. To the left of the entry door is where the trash can and the propane gas boat heater is located. On the outside right front under the bumped out large kitchen window is locate a lockable enclosed gas tank storage garage which can also hold water hoses, extension cords and your tool boxes. This is built on a permanently attached approximately 1 foot wide deck with rails that is mounted and attached to the floor framing and over hangs only a portion of the v shaped front of the trailer base where the hitch is located. The removable deck, rails and stairs attach with bolts to this deck entry structure. If desired a hydraulic lift can be used to raise and lower the deck extension for transporting.
The cantilevered kitchen window and the kitchen loft above going across the front of the house creates a covered porch roof area for installation of outdoor entry lights and helps to protect the front entry door from rain. The front door is designed to swing out to open, but it can also swing inward as long as it clears the wall mounted heater. The dining area with pull out storage under the sofa and a drop down table can double for an additional sleeping space along with a blow up mattress that conveniently stores away underneath when not in use. A swivel mounted TV is attached to the one interior wall, the bathroom wall.
The living and dining area is flanked by 2 huge windows. There is one on each side of the house located at about the mid-point and this helps to give the feeling of a much larger space. This living area is located under the loft and it will have ample head room and lights. The loft is supported to the rear by the bathroom wall and to the front by 2 angled wood braces which tie into the wall construction and help to transfer the load down leaving no need for a post. The dining table is designed to sit two and to function also as a desk office space. Plenty of outlets are planned for this design and are also to be located up from the floor at the normal light switch height for easy access. Some outlets will still need to be down lower for appliance.
The loft can be accessed at the front by a removable ladder and at the back in the bathroom ceiling by a pull down unfolding and collapsible attic style stair case. Access to the bathroom is through a 4 foot wide sliding door. This sliding door can be mirrored with un breakable glass in a way much like a closet door which when closed will give the appearance of great bigness to the whole main floor space. This sliding door is made to be removable as well for easy access to the bathroom. If one prefers, a simple curtain can be hung to partition off the bathroom.
The shower stall is a 3 foot by 2 foot space and can have either a door or use just a shower curtain. The design calls for an additional water tank above the shower but just below the loft. The bathroom is equipped with a small hand sink mostly for teeth brushing and hand washing, which can both be done at the kitchen sink instead if desired.
There is a bathroom window over the toilet space and a small vented window in the shower area to help eliminate excess humidity. Additionally a bathroom vent fan is shown which helps to eliminate any unpleasant smells. The rear of the house can be accessed through a combination window/door. When the bathroom sliding door is open this also gives the appearance that the interior of the house is much longer. All of the windows in this design help to enlarge and bring the outside space in. They also help to cool the space by providing good cross ventilation.
The house is designed to have a ceiling fan and two skylights as well. A large skylight is located over the kitchen area and a small skylight is in the bedroom loft area. Both allow trapped heat to escape up and out which is what heat naturally wants to do. The ceiling fan also helps to circulate the heat from the heater which is located in the front of the house and helps to provide for an even temperature throughout. This house is designed to be energy efficient and fully insulated. All windows should be double paned and well flashed, caulked and sealed. This house has gutters and downspouts for water collection.
For off grid energy the houses roof is designed to be able to position solar panels on either side and on the top. These would be removed when moving the house. The small fixed back deck of the house is where the locked garage storage units are located for the solar system components. These components include the batteries, the controller and the inverter. Located on the back outside of the house is the access door for the breaker panels and if desired the on grid power connection point. Located on both sides of the house are plug-ins for feeding electricity to the house through extension cords, much like any type of RV would have. This electrical design calls for 3 breakers. There is one for the outlets and lights on each side of the house and a separate dedicated breaker for the water heater and possible pumps.
All of the light fixtures should be low energy lights. Designed as an alternative for electric lights, one can use gas camping lanterns and hands free hangers are shown located in several critical locations. Now up to the loft area. \
This design provides for a very nice roomy space upstairs with the dormer like triple windows on both sides and the unique roof design gives plenty of head room for movement around in the loft. As a throwback to the way distant past, when there was no indoor plumbing, a chamber pot can be located in the loft for those emergencies often arising in the middle of the night. No need to climb down. There is a built in closet space with hanging pole to the left and ample cabinets and low dressers for storage of cloths. The headboard of the bed doubles as a lift top storage for blankets, sheets and such.
|Posted on July 1, 2014 at 11:15 AM||comments (5)|
Please note that the 8x30 in not to be viewed as a house on wheels, I only showed them for transport and I would consider it a permanent structure.It is for category 1 or 2. The 8x20, I do want to enter in the house on wheels category (3), as it is designed to be moved at will. Utilizing well water and propane as well as solar for the 8x30, and an on-board water cistern in the utility room.
|Posted on July 1, 2014 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
PDF FULL VERSION: http://adobe.ly/1mSntiR
The purpose of the 2532 house is to market an off-the grid prototype to millennials who prefer not to live in the city or rent. This prototype should be affordable, condusive to their needs and desires, and environmentally non-invasive.
The 2532 House began as a research study where I wanted to ask what it was that people actually wanted and needed in a home. While working on the research study, I was reading more about housing--particularly small housing, and I noticed the increasing difficulty young adults were having in making home purchases. I went back to my survey to look at the results of my feedback and from the 72 respondents, I abstracted the 39 responses from the 25-32 year old demographic. From there, I was able to make several inferences about the amount of space, and appliances needed and desired by young adults. From my survey and other anecdotal discussion, I’ve found that most people weren’t ready to make the transition to an off-the-grid lifestyle. The goal of the 2532 project is to take the idea of an off the grid, environmentally friendly home and make it an appealing possibility for millennials by using their responses and previous off-the grid precedents as a basis for the design.
The following project is created for a couple in the aforementioned 25-32 age bracket. The latitude is randomly set at 42 degrees, and the geographic location is assumed to be the Northeastern United States. For this project a plot of land will need to be purcahsed.
THE USE OF CROSS -LAMINATED TIMBER:
In this project, you will notice that the building is constructed with wooden panels from a material known as cross-laminated timber. Cross-lamianted timber is just starting to be used in the United States (with the first major commercial project being completed in Montana in 2011. As you will see in this project, there are many reasons why I chose this particular material over other materials, some of which I will outline below:
EASE OF ASSEMBLY: One of the big questions in sustainable housing these days is that of “embodied energy”. How much in terms of resources does it take to get the job done? When you hire a construction crew on site to build a home-- even a small home on a permanent foundation. You have to account for all of the travel back and forth and all of the energy putting pieces together, the different use of materials and the cost. With Small pre-fab panels, you can streamline the process in house, and in a few truck loads take it to the site. In addition, the danger in building onsite is greatly mitigated by having the panels produced in the plant, pre-assembly. This house is designed as a DIY project because of this simplified assembly.
COST: CLT is going to be part of the International Building Code in 2015, and as shipping becomes easier, cost will drop significantly. My preference would be to build this house with a few other people and have a professional boom truck with an operator that can be rented for less than $1,000/day. In past projects with a significantly larger house, the framing took two days. However, if you were to hire professionals, it would still be cheaper.
PERSONAL GROWTH: There are endless articles that tout the importance of being active to create a happier lifestyle, and in a recent article “Working with your hands: the secret to happiness?” This idea of learning practical skills to increase happiness is explored. It is outside of the scope of my reasearch to assume that people want to take part in building their own home, but if it saves them a significant amount of money, can be done in a much shorter time-frame, and they are young and healthy--why not?
LESS INVASIVE: Cross Laminated Timber Panels are less invasive. The construction is quieter. The wood is recycleable and cut from sustainably managed forests, and it’s high thermal performance means a lower carbon footprint throughout it’s lifecycle.
|Posted on July 1, 2014 at 9:55 AM||comments (2)|
This 20x20 exterior dimension (16x16 interior) house while very inexpensive to build if sourcing your own materials (instead of purchasing them) is labor intensive. The main structural component of the house would be either cob or adobe brick (both made with clay, sand, straw, and water). Since this is an earth house, the walls are very thick compared to a standard house at 2 feet thick for exterior walls and 1 foot thick for interior walls (if you are worried that the walls will not support the weight of the roof, they can be reinforced with vertical rebar, but realize, some areas of the world have been using this technique of building for centuries with multi-story buildings). If made with adobe brick, you are limited in shape as you are with using regular brick, but if made with cob, the house is very sculptable and you can build the walls in curves as well as incorporate items such as glass bottle bricks in the walls. With the walls being as thick as they are, they are a natural heat sink for solar heat during the winter so no insulation is necessary. I have also added a built in rocket mass stove which requires little wood for heating, plus the chimney runs through the cob bench to use the bench itself as a heat sink, releasing heat long after the fire has gone out. Also built in is the bathtub which is also made of cob that is tiled and sealed to be watertight. The roof is a 1 foot thick earthen roof supported by large wooden beams (that could be self-milled or purchased) as well as 1” thick plywood with a pond liner to waterproof the roof. Water is collected from drainage ports in the roof and stored in underground tanks as well as heated by a solar water heater. If the solar water heater is not sufficient for daily usage, a copper coil could be routed around the stove portion of the rocket mass heater for additional hot water. Solar panels generate electricity and the energy is stored in a battery bank in the shed. If the house gets too warm, windows in the 96 square foot loft and the skylight can be opened for ventilation but all other windows are simply glass panels embedded into the cob/adobe so cannot be opened. Examples of the sculptability of cob that I included in the house are the rocket mass heater/cob bench, cob bathtub, and an altar/TV alcove in the wall separating the living area from the bathroom.
|Posted on July 1, 2014 at 9:30 AM||comments (0)|
The design of this house is meant to integrate elements of a simple and open floor plan with those of an environmentally-conscious off-grid lifestyle. The house is 400sqft, with a 200sqft 10’x20’ living space, and a 160sqft front porch and 40sqft back porch, which are included in the house’s footprint. Key features of the house include the large arrays of windows, rainwater recycling system, solar energy systems, solar water heater, solar water purifier, woodstove water heater, and greywater system. I estimate that the house could be built for $15,000, but cost could be reduced with the inclusion of recycled and salvaged materials.
The house utilizes standard 2x4 framing, and conventional white siding. The house could be insulated with fiberglass, foam board, or SIPs. The roof is metal, and is the platform for the set of solar panels that serve as the house’s power source and the solar water heater. The roof over the house is one single sloping surface, and can channel rainwater into a gutter at its bottom. The windows are double-paned and can open.
Water Heating and Circulation
The primary source of water for the house is rainwater. A well could also be included in the design to supplement this. In the dwelling’s rainwater collection system, rain hits the roof and flows down to a gutter at the front. The gutter has a slight downward tilt, which carries the water to the right side of the house, where it travels down a pipe to a set of rain barrels. While traveling down the pipe, the water turns a set of water wheels, which generate part of the power needed to pump the water through the system to the solar water heater. Excess energy generated by the water wheels would be used to power the appliances in the house.
The house has two systems for heating water. The first is the solar water heater located on the front porch roof. The second is the woodstove, located next to a water storage tank on the back porch. The woodstove method is a backup system, and works by heating water as it travels through a copper coil wrapped around the stove pipe. This water can then go to the shower or kitchen.
The back porch of the house contains a small reflector pool that can have several functions, depending on the preference of the homeowner. The first would be a solar water purifier, in which rainwater is placed in the pool, sunlight hits the glass above it, and then the purified water which hits the glass is carried by a slight slope to a small basin where it is collected.
(See this design: http://rethinksurvival.com/posts/solar-water-purfier-shower-attic-fan-and-biosand-filter-link/). The second use would be as a hot tub, connected to the solar heater or woodstove heater. The third use is simply extra water storage.
The house also has a greywater system, in which used water from the kitchen and shower are directed to an underground tank and filtration system. From this point, the greywater is used to water the hanging gardens on the back side of the house and for the lawn irrigation system. (In the garden, the water would touch only the soil, and not the edible parts of the plants.)
The house’s main source of energy is the set of solar panels on the roof, which powers the kitchen appliances, digital projector that functions as the TV, and other electrical components in the house. The panels are connected to a group of batteries stored under the daybed in the house’s interior. The waterwheels in the rain system also provide some additional power.
The house’s many windows enable the house to be warmed by passive solar heating during the winter. During the summer, blinds could be used over the windows to reduce the solar energy entering the house. (The windows would also be opened during the summer to provide ventilation.) A small Dickinson Marine Propane heater is the house’s main source of heat in the winter. The stovetop in the kitchen also uses propane.
The arrangement of the living and kitchen spaces and the large windows are meant to give the home an open feeling and ample natural light. The kitchen space contains a five foot long counter, which has a large sink and propane stovetop. (The stovetop can be stowed to free up counter space.) Under the counter is a mini refrigerator, drawers, and a pullout spice rack. The kitchen also has a circular table that folds up from the front wall. Folding chairs are stowed under the table. (Not pictured in model.)
The bathroom is 4’ 5 ½” x 5’. It is accessed through a sliding barn door. It is a European/marine style bathroom, with all of the shower water draining through a central hole in the floor. The bathroom has a small sink and sawdust composting toilet.
The living area of the house has a daybed that doubles as a couch and sleeping space. Under the bed is a set of drawers and the components of the solar energy system. The headboard of this bed is a large set of shelves. If a loft were to be included in the design over the kitchen and bathroom, this shelf would double as a ladder to the loft space. On the left side of the house is a storage area that has two closets and a dresser. The first closet is for hanging clothing, the second houses the marine stove. (The inside is lined with metal sheeting.) In front of the left wall there is also a lounge chair.
The large 4’x 6’3” window on the back wall of the house is directly across from the one on the front of the house, and doubles as a door out to the back porch. This porch has the reflecting pool, as well as a hammock. Next to the porch on the back of the house is the hanging vegetable garden. The front porch has a hanging daybed, and could also have a small table on its left side.
|Posted on July 1, 2014 at 8:20 AM||comments (5)|
Tiny Solar Tiny House
Our home should be a place that nurtures us. This tiny house is designed with the intention to do just that. !
- Maximize quality of life
- Minimize need for energy inputs
- Minimum need for heating
- Reduced cost to maintain
- Grow vegetables year round
- Leave site better than when it arrived
- Create free hot water
- Towable with mid-sized truck
Passive solar design for
- Faux rock wall made of styrofoam insulates underside
- Fold up deck for travel
Creates a nice sheltered entry
- Year round growing area
- Indoor/outdoor space
- Passively heats house in winter
Moving Solar Tiny House
1. Greenhouse and deck fold in
2. Solar panels fold down
3. Faux rock/insulation slides up
4. Empty water tank for reduced weight
5. Leave a garden for the in it’s wake
Projector screen drops down when in use
The space converts into two beds
Both benches have huge slide out drawers that are always accessible.
All beds are hidden which frees the whole space the space is usable
|Posted on July 1, 2014 at 7:55 AM||comments (3)|
MY TINY HOUSE DESIGN CONCEPT: THE LIVING TINY HOME
This contest was a no brainer as far as which category I was going to choose. I have been planning/researching tiny house idea plans for a while and a design contest was just what I needed to get it going. As far as design, I wanted to do something that was different in terms of a small house layout. I wanted to maximize every ounce of 160 sq feet of living space as I could as well as create multifunctional rooms for living. The structure has a flat roof taking advantage of maximum road height requirements of 10' 6", and it also has a custom made low boy trailer letting occupants gain extra inches in head space.
The first thing I did before I deciding on a design was browse the endless amounts of Pins and photos online, and found inspiration in some of the micro sized apartments you see in New York and overseas. What striked me as the most important elements of good (small) design were: Multifunctional spaces. use of both under and overhead space, and transforming furniture. Since this home would also be designed for myself and my son (as well as family and friends visiting) I wanted this space to feel bright, open and spacious. I also wanted more storage space for clothing, shoes, etc, so I made sure to utilize every ounce of space imaginable. People who don't want to climb ladders but want additional living space for loved ones will appreciate the converting queen sized bed. In addition to spacial needs, the home is very multfunctional, as evidenced in the way of a pull out wardrobe which also serves as a room divider, and first floor couch that transforms into a queen sized bed at night, a closet that also serves as an office and dressing room, and a roof that becomes a mini yard, compete with a low growing garden. Outside walls create a space for a vertical garden which is perfect for growing vining vegetation, and indoors were left for growing herbs. Since the plant life didnt stop at the outdoors, the space is flooded with light from windows reaching almost every inch of the space inside. The home is also animal friendly in that it features a cat observation deck at the rear of the structure which is contained underneath the kitchen appliances, accessible by feline entry through a cat door, and accessible by human entry from the outside. In a space so small, this was necessary in maintaining a fresh home. Litter cleaning duties are kept outdoors which is also a great advantage. Since this contest also required the use of off-grid/low-cost/sustainable living, I incorporated many important features including solar power which is attained by a solar panel on the roof, a solar hot water heater, a rain water collection system, a living roof which vegetates low lying vegetables with vining vegetation of the outside kitchen wall, and more.