The tiny house movement has come a long way in the last decade or so, having evolved from its rustic, DIY roots into a flourishing field where we're seeing a lot of tiny homes using innovative materials and building systems, as well as prefabricated, high-tech smart tiny housing units.
Cubist Engineering is offering this 170-square-foot modern gem of a tiny house that's built with one of our favourite materials: cross-laminated timber. CLT has been popular in Europe for decades, and is now making its presence known in North America -- it's a strong material that is not only lighter than concrete, but also sequesters carbon and is renewable. Here's a quick tour of the 21' by 8' long Sturgis:
As the company explains, the use of CLT from SmartLam allows them to gain almost a foot of extra width, as CLT is strong but light:
In our CLT buildings, the walls, floor and roof are all solid wood panels, up to 3.25 inches thick. CLT panels consist of lumber glued together to form a big sheet; then multiple sheets, oriented perpendicular to each other, are glued together in a massive press. The more layers, the stronger the structure. Our buildings are structurally engineered to withstand the most stringent building codes, as well as drive down the road at 70mph.
Clad with shou sugi ban wood siding on the outside, and white oak wood flooring and reclaimed white oak trim inside, the Sturgis' airy interior boasts one big space-saving trick we are now familiar with in tiny spaces: a retractable queen-sized bed that can be lowered down from the ceiling with the push of a button.
The kitchen sits in the centre, and is outfitted with plenty of storage, a two-burner induction cooktop, and an under-counter refrigerator and freezer. The bathroom has been designed as a 4’ by 8’ wet spa bath. The frosted glass makes the space feel more continuous and therefore larger.
There's also what the company calls its “obsession space”: a raised platform located on one end of the unit, which has its own remote-controlled gullwing door. Seems a bit over the top, but the company envisions it acting as a display case and storage unit for prized things: perhaps a nice work of art, a walk-in closet, a wine cellar, or a mini-garage for a motorcycle or some mountain bikes. If anything, it's basically an extra-large storage space.
The Sturgis doesn't come cheap at a base price of USD $99,000. But as the idea of creating functional, livable and well-designed small spaces becomes more mainstream, it's an encouraging thought that more innovative and eco-friendly materials will be at least integrated into the mix, as we've seen here. Get a more detailed look at the Sturgis' specifications, or visit Cubist Engineering.