|Posted on July 2, 2014 at 1:00 AM|
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.
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