This being TreeHugger, we look at the eco-sheds first.
Before Tiny Houses were a thing, there were sheds; George Bernard Shaw had one; Mark Twain did too. They were places to get away from it all without going that far. Mark Twain wrote of his: "It is a cozy nest and just room in it for a sofa, table, and three or four chairs, and when the storms sweep down the remote valley and the lighting flashes behind the hills beyond and the rain beats upon the roof over my head—imagine the luxury of it."
They are a much bigger deal in the UK than in North America, where people often have deep lots with room at the rear for a privy, now often the site of a shed, the houses are smaller and the basements are often dank. For 11 years now, Andrew Wilcox has been running the Shed of the Year competition to find the best sheds, and every year there are more sheds, a more illustrious jury (I don't make the cut anymore) and more coverage in the media. It's like the Pritzker or the Prix de Rome for tiny buildings.
This being TreeHugger, we always pay particular attention to the eco-shed category. Like eco-everything, there are fewer of them than there were a decade ago, and the definition of eco is a little vague. But there is no argument about the green credentials of the Bottle Shed, built by Lauretta and Philip Denton.
Our bottle shed is made almost entirely from reclaimed materials and is the result of a 35 year old childhood den builders dream. It has developed organically over 4 years in response to the materials and time available. It's an homage to light, and the way it transforms a space....From the double glazed panels in the roof, to the spiral staircase up to the mezzanine level, the bottles and the furniture - reclaimed, repurposed, reused and recycled. Its creation has been a labour of love.
It is available on AirBnB, which apparently has changed the shed world; Now people can get to stay in these as well as just look at them.
TreeHugger has long been a fan of bottle buildings; I stayed in one once on Haida Gwaii and loved the experience, the quality of light is amazing. It is such a wonderful, creative way to recycle. We have written about lots of them too, including one of our most popular posts ever:
Buddhist Temple Built from Beer Bottles
Extreme Recycling: The Bottle Houses of Prince Edward Island
Las Vegas Building Is Made from 500,000 Beer Bottles Consumed on the Strip
Russian Woman Builds House of 5,000 Glass Bottles
Shed And Breakfast
This is a lovely shed, but outside of it getting its electricity from solar panels, I have no idea why it is in the eco-shed category.
Cute dog too. But when you read their entry, it sounds more like an ad for AirBnB than a shed description. I do like how they use it to raise money for charity and "We host young people who find themselves homeless in Bristol in the house once a month which we really love doing alongside the business."
The Bee Eco Shed
This one is up on Air Bee and Bee. Not a lot of information:
It has a spiral staircase to the roof where there are beehives. Also giant bug house on one wall. The roof has flowers and vegetable on it and when the water reaches the gutters it waters a down pipe herb garden with any left finally watering the garden.
I do wish there was more information, such as why Mr. Smallwood has included a photo of a big vegetable. But all we have in his entry on Readershed is this.
I built the base and intended to buy a shed but then decided to build the whole thing. Space is a premium so it is something I am constantly trying to make the most of. Ever open to new ideas on how this can be done.
And that is it for the eco shed short list this year. We will have a look at the other sheds in other categories shortly, thought you can go and vote for your favourite now.
But in the meantime, look at my favourite shed from all the years I have covered the shed of the year competition, Alex Holland's glorious dump topped with an upside down boat, made entirely from found materials.