Here at Earthtechling, we love tiny green houses. Whether they’re made out of natural materials (like wood) or out of recycled materials (like old shipping containers) — whether they represent the latest in modern architecture or an aesthetic straight out of The Lord of the Rings – the minimal physical footprint of these homes translates directly into a tiny carbon footprint. Such homes also tend to showcase smart, super-efficient design, offering inspiration for those of us who live in smaller spaces, such as apartments, in making the most of our space.
One such tiny green home that caught our eye recently is the House Arc by Bellomo Architects (which comes to us via Inhabitat). Like the Loftcube, the House Arc was designed with aesthetics in mind, and can easily be picked up and moved when and if you decide to relocate. (It was inspired by Bellomo’s Bike Arc design, a modular bike parking system that also found play in a solar carport concept.) Like both of these predecessor Arcs, the House Arc was made to be covered in solar panels, offering those interested in off-grid living an energy self-sufficient home.
The House Arc was originally conceived of as a modular housing system offering disaster-relief housing for communities in need, but the architects behind it see the structure as equally suitable for people interested in downsizing to simple, green, low-maintenance home. It encompasses a total of 150 square feet.
The home is a prefab, meaning that it is constructed in a factory, in pieces, and shipped to the construction site, where it is then assembled by the homeowner (and, ideally, the homeowner’s family and friends). The home weighs in at just 3,000 pounds, and comes packed in shipping boxes measuring just 4 x 10 x 3 feet. The idea here is a home that functions like a kit of parts so it can be assembled quickly, not unlike the kind of prefabricated, assemble-it-yourself furniture you’d find at IKEA.
Extremely compact, the house was designed to embody efficiency. It makes use of natural ventilation, with its lightweight structure (constructed of recycled steel tubes) resting on concrete footings that allow air to flow underneath. The home’s large windows help to make the space within feel larger while flooding the interior space with natural daylighting; a trellis mounted to the roof offers dappled shade, preventing undue heat from reaching the space within. Remarkably — considering its lightweight profile and sizable windows — the House Arc was designed to withstand tropical winds and weather.
If you’re in the market for a tiny green home, you’re in luck: unlike so many cool green home concepts, this one is actually for sale. The first home to be built from the House Arc design has gone up on the Big Island of Hawaii, and yours can be ordered by contacting the architects. The bad news is that the cost of this tiny home, currently, is not so tiny: base costs run around $55,000. However, CNN Money reports that Bellomo plans to automate the production process, which should cut the price at least by half.
Interested in getting a look at the House Arc for yourself? A full-scale section of the home will be on display at this year’s TEDxPresidio Conference, where the project will be featured.