You’ll love the iconic ‘Street’ at the Auckland Home Show
The Street is a full scale walk-through feature of the latest innovations in landscaping materials, construction and lightweight or portable buildings. Constructed in an idyllic cul-de-sac of outdoor inspiration it features ready-built homes with fully landscaped sections, complete with gardens and water features. Complementing the garden designs will be the latest examples in innovative, cost-effective building concepts including lightweight mobile units and exciting portable home concepts.
What makes a Tiny Home?
They’re usually characterised by clever use of space that delivers a one or two bedroom home in an incredibly small area. They’re always made with exceptional levels of insulation, they’re usually solar powered and they’re often on wheels to get around local body issues and permits. Whether this movement is driven by economic reasons – due to high cost of building or renting – or whether it’s a desire to go off-grid, the Tiny House is now being seen as a viable housing option.
The Talk of the Street
Tiny Steps for Tiny Build
When Build Tiny first came to the Auckland Home Show two years ago, their cleverly designed house was a hit and they’ve never looked back.
“We’ve been busy over the last two years building many custom tiny homes, in-fact, we’ve never built two the same!” says Gina Stevens.
“We pride ourselves on this fact, making sure that every client has something truly unique to suit their needs,” Gina says. “We no longer have ‘Models’ to pick from, we’ve morphed into a bespoke building company, and our core team of three has grown into a team of nine.
The “Kingfisher Tiny House” they’re bringing to the show is an actual home built in their Katikati workshop for a client who’ll take possession of the home for the first time the Monday following the show. It’s fully off Grid, has two sleeping lofts (one that you can walk into rather than crawling) and with the addition of a pull-out sofa, it could actually accommodate up to six people!
“We’ve learned a lot about building tiny homes since the last show,” says Gina. “Notable changes are the light weight construction materials we use, and the trailers we build on. We also use a new innovative detachable trailer, so you can actually jack the house up and pull the trailer out for maintenance.”
The Build Tiny team are becoming accidental internet stars with a massive online following.
“Every time we complete a build, we film a video tour to show off all the features. They usually have a reach of around 50,000-200,000 views each, but one with a net loft had unprecedented viral success with more than 13 Million views!”
Build Tiny now has 21 homes installed on properties in Auckland, Coromandel, Hawkes Bay, Tauranga, Katikati, Wellington, Motueka, and Dunedin and have many more builds on the schedule for the remainder of the year.
See Build Tiny in The Street
Living the Ecopod Life
Steve Brackebush of Ecopod Concepts started making pods after an O.E. showed him the incredible potential of new building techniques from around the world.
Learning to build log homes in Canada, it sparked his passion for building cabins. And later, in Europe he discovered alternative building techniques and developed an appreciation for high quality work that doesn’t cost the earth.
Then, back in NZ, some friends asked Steve if he could create a cabin for them. “I recognised that there was a real need in the market for good quality, well-designed relocatable buildings, so I decided to address the demand by setting up Eco Pod Concepts,” says Steve.
“I now have a team of experienced, qualified builders and support staff who have helped make this dream a reality.
What is the most important thing to get right about pods?
“Bringing down construction costs and building smarter is key, with factors such as all-weather building, economies of scale and sub-contractors coming to a central location, all contributing to cost savings.”
“We are also focused on the aesthetic and are passionate about good design. We want them to fulfill the needs of our clients, look amazing and be just as functional.
“I think we will definitely see people downsizing their living spaces, as people enjoy independence and free themselves from large mortgages, as the cost of land and building continues to rise. I’d like to see more timber construction as it’s versatile, beautiful and more sustainable than many other materials.
EcoPod is offering the chance to win a weekend for two at Woodside Bay on Waiheke for people who sign up at the show.
See Ecopod at The Street.
Gavin Barr of Ecospace has always had a strong drive to follow his intuition and create off grid solution housing and minor dwellings since his apprentice days.
“The housing market we are participating in is becoming more and more financially inaccessible for those who need it most,” says Gavin. “Buying a home in today’s market can cost in the ballpark of 6-8 times a household income, not to mention the ecologically-unsustainable practices of the construction industry, and the increasing amount of pressure that society is placing on the environment.
“We love construction, and we are truly passionate about providing an adequate solution to the current issues faced by many Kiwis in today’s housing climate.”
Gavin says that no two people are the same, and so listening and accommodating people’s specific needs is the ethos behind all of their projects.
Ecospace offers a range of different units, from a 10m2 ‘Granny Flat’ to a 21m2 Tiny House with mezzanine bedroom upstairs. All are customisable to suit our client’s needs and wants.
So, what are the key principles to making a successful tiny home?
“Efficient and practical use of space is a key principle that needs to be considered throughout the design and construction process of any good tiny home. However, we believe it is just as important that potential tiny home owners are committed to the positive lifestyle change that tiny homes have to offer.
Each stage of the building process is undertaken with sustainability in mind. Units are architecturally designed by Eco Habitats – specialists in eco-friendly architecture – and they have done away with traditional timer and steel stud applications for the primary structure of the units. Instead, they use Formance SIPs, an environmentally friendly product with superior durability, maximum warmth, and energy efficiency of the building envelope.
“We live in a society today that is hell-bent on filling every bit of space that we have, without considering the negative impact it has on us and the environment that we live in. Studies show that the average floor area for New Zealand houses doubled in size between 1974 and 2011, whilst occupancy inside those houses reduced. To put it simply, larger houses are being built to house fewer people. The impact that this has on the environment is well documented; from energy use to waste created in the construction and maintenance of larger homes.
“Switching to a tiny home involves a conscious decision to simplify one’s lifestyle, and understanding that bigger is not always better,” Gavin says.
See Ecospace at The Street