The Minim House’s green credentials include walls made from highly insulated prefabricated SIPs, a 960 watt solar array, a 290 gallon rainwater treatment system, and all LED lighting. Inside two people can live and work comfortably. There is a 10′ galley kitchen, a 8.5′ couch, 5′ closet, office space, bed, bathroom, large windows, a flexible dining table/bar/coffee table, a full audiovisual system and even a 5′ desk that opens up to reveal a full sized keyboard. The openness of the interior gives it a light and dynamic feel.
Brian Levy spent his teenage years living in a relatively large family home with an accompanying long list of chores, high running costs and large number of possessions. During a trip to visit his sister, who was at that time working on an organic farm, he was impressed by the intimacy and efficiency of her small trailer living quarters. Brian’s Minim House updates the aesthetics and liveability of Tiny Homes such as those popularized by the Tumbleweed tiny house brand. Within its context at Boneyard Studios, it’s also an attempt to promote a lifestyle that offers the possibility for ordinary people not to be tied down by huge amounts of debt, maintenance or the responsibility of managing larger homes. The idea is simply that living with less makes life easier.
There are challenges to be overcome in Washington. D.C.’s zoning laws, which state that single residential dwellings are only permitted on alley lots of 30 feet or wider. Only a handful of such lots currently qualify. More broadly, the Boneyard Studios founders hope to change opinions about what affordable housing can be. While there are thousands of mobile housing communities across the USA providing low cost housing, they are not generally considered beautiful places. By providing a showcase of attractive affordable housing, Boneyard Studios hopes to expand the places where such micro home communities are welcome. Boneyard Studios hosts open house events, demonstrating the livability, simplicity and beauty of micro homes with the intent that attitudes and regulations can be changed to allow more of them, everywhere.
Lead image © Tafline Laylin for Inhabitat, all others courtesy Brian Levy