Renovate

The Future of College Dorms Lie in Tiny Wooden Houses

The Swedish student housing company AF Bostader had a young lady live in a tiny house-box a few years ago. The lady was from Lund, and lived in a house that was not even 10 square meters big to test the concept of a cheap, environmentally friendly and cheerful smart student unit which included a bed, kitchen and toilet.

Linda Camara of Tengbom Architects says that she in fact thinks the lady still lived there. Tengbom Architects is the company behind 2013’s iteration of a living pod which comprised of a pale wood offset with lime green stools, plant pots and cushions.

The cube premise, which has been in the works since 2007, is quite reasonable. While everyone needs a toilet, students still live and die on cheap housing. It was only after six years that the tiny houses were whittled down to the present cross-laminated wooden test model forms.

While the large kitchen as originally squirreled away in its blueprint, Tengbom redesigned it after student feedback proved it to be a prime area. The present design is space-efficient with a patio and vaulted sleeping area. Its rent is also 50% lower than standard rent rates, which sounds like music to any economically bereft young adult. While the city’s housing regulations stipulate that student apartments in Sweden have to cover at least 25 square meters, Tengbom’s cubes, which were designed for students at the University of Lund, are first exceptions. Camara states that they had a deficit of student units in Sweden. It was however possible to maintain social sustainability by quickly getting more cost-efficient and high quality buildings.

Locally sourced wood is used for building the units. The unit’s reduced surface area and the minimal transportation expenses for local renewable construction materials also help reduce the units’ carbon footprint. Moreover, students don’t end up freezing their socks off. Camara says that they need to insulate them to help them endure the Swedish winter. She also states that while cross laminated wood is enough for use in most houses or in warm climate, it is necessary that the final version lasted for at least 100 years. While it takes less than a week to put the test model together, each cube reached the site as an IKEA-style flat pack. Camara and her Tenghom team plan to roll out a mini village in 2014 wherein an initial test run will be done on 22 units, in blocks of eight.

Camara is trying to develop the project in such a way that tiny towns will emerge on university campuses throughout Sweden. However she cannot promise that each of these units will resemble the prototype in having a swish green hammock hanging from the kitchen’s pseudo-ceiling. She states that the design on display resembles a concept car or the dream version which they will fight to make real. At present, there is a smart student unit prototype on display at the Virserum Museum in Sweden until December.

The Swedish students who have keys to the starting cube rollout will give the new definition for good life as eating, sleeping and eating like a high-functional hamster.

*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

dajine

dajine

Top Posts | Green Building

Solar iBoost

The sun is the most abundant source of energy in almost any part of the world. However, the process of acquiring an adequate amount of this energy source can be very challenging. The UK has undergone significant strides in making solar a highly available source of energy. Solar iBoost presents an a ...

Your Home Needs to Go Green

No matter what area of life you take into account, ‘green’ is the new buzzword and it’s been like that for some years now. People everywhere are trying to minimize their energy usage in whatever way possible. This will help to have an overall positive effect on the earth as well a ... ...

Green Building Materials Finding Greater Demand

The hottest new trend in architecture today is being ‘green’. Architects that were once idolized for their out-of-this-world designs are now being looked down upon because of the fact that their buildings don’t work without an unnecessarily large amount of energy. Buildings today ... ...

Why You Should Use Bamboo When Building Your Home

For many years, bamboo has been the choice of those living in Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific to build their homes. Bamboo is a strong material that easily bends in the wind without breaking and has a high resistance to termites. Bamboo is also one of the fastest growing plants on earth. Within ...

Innovative Technology Changing How Your Home Works

In the recent year, we’ve witnessed nothing short of a revolution in the field of technology. Because of the rapid speed of development, answering the question of what the future holds is next to impossible. The variables of the development pace, market search, and efficiency create a co ... ...

Think Green When Designing Your New Home

When sitting down with an architect to design your new home, give them your eco-friendly ideas. Keeping your new home green is excellent for the environment and can save you money on your energy bills each month in the long run. Consider these 4 ideas when designing your new home to make it a littl ...

Adding Onto Your Home Without Adding To Your Eco Impact

Over time, many homeowners discover that they are outgrowing their existing home. While relocating to a larger home with a more functional floor plan is one option, the fact is that adding onto your existing home may be more beneficial. However, you may be concerned about the environmental impact a ...

3 Greenhouse Heating Tips You Can't Ignore

Greenhouses can provide great environments for growth because the materials normally used (such as plastic and glass )are very effective in allowing heat and light to enter as well as allowing heat to escape. However, one major problem is that they can overheat during the day if there is no control ...