We've noted before that the greenest house is the one that is still standing -- with the next best thing probably being one that's built from salvaged materials. Though no doubt many makers of these dimunitive dwellings re-use materials to some extent, an American tiny home builder is taking it to the next level by specializing in what he is calling "Pure Salvage Building" -- by using 99 percent salvaged materials in his houses.
Based out of Luling, TX, Brad Kittel of Tiny Texas Houses believes that the future of sustainable building lies in local materials that are "already harvested, sliced, diced, formed, and proven healthy, toxin free, priced for human energy":
Tons of vintage materials are at our fingertips waiting to be re-harvested — awaiting our awakening to the responsibilities we have to live with, not destroy the planet that we share. With some imagination, these salvaged quality materials and simple Human energy, anyone can have energy efficient tiny houses to live in for the rest of their lives. Sub-Zero carbon footprint houses are not only possible they are here – our tiny houses are proof that this concept works.
With the apt motto of "building the future with the past," Kittel's tiny homes are each an individual exercise in resourcefulness and diverse regional styles stemming from the wide variety of materials saved from demolitions.
The company's commitment to building from upcycled materials landed it on the cover of Lloyd Kahn's recent book Tiny Homes.
Not surprisingly, Tiny Texas Houses is a logical spin-off from Kittel's architectural salvage business. Tiny Texas Homes' compact and energy-efficient dwellings start at $35,000 -- affordable when you factor in the lower maintenance costs of a smaller footprint -- but for those on a really tight budget, they also offer design consulting, plus what they call "salvage bootcamps" for the serious do-it-yourselfers. Best of all, they've recently started bartering salvaged materials for a wishlist of various equipment. More over at Tiny Texas Houses.