When winter temperatures dip below freezing, a tiny home is probably one of the last places you’d want to seek comfort. You may change your mind, however, once you see Leaf House Small Space Design & Build’s recently completed micro house, the version.3. Created as a case study for tiny house construction in cold climates reaching -50 degree Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit), the energy-efficient and lightweight version.3 packs an impressive array of green and high-performance insulation features in a very small footprint.
Located in Pelly Crossing, a small community north of Whitehouse, Yukon, the 97-square-foot version.3 tiny house currently serves as the home for the instructor/coordinator of the Yukon College Campus. To keep the inhabitant warm in frigid temperatures, Leaf House installed vacuum insulated panels (VIPs) with an impressive claimed R value of R30 per half-inch. The floor and roof are insulated to R68, and the walls meet a value of R38. Quad pane windows were also selected for their high R-values.
The energy-efficient, 800-watt electric radiant heaters keep the tiny house toasty at just under 15 amps. A Lunos E2 heat recovery ventilator—one of the first commercially available HRVs suitable for tiny house construction—was installed as well. A ventless tankless propane water heater powers the 30-gallon tank hot and cold water system.
To make version.3 lightweight, the designers swapped heavier, more conventional siding for metal mesh open joint siding. Shear strength is increased by the use of exterior metal X bracing and foam sheathing, which also helps save a significant amount of weight. The house also features ultra-lightweight concrete countertops made from foam backer boards and concrete micro-toppers.
Crafted with FSC woods and reclaimed materials, the micro-home is decked out in LED lights and touch dimmers to save energy. A custom murphy bed and full-height mirrored wall helps create the illusion of spaciousness. The house also comes with a shower and composting toilet, compact Energy Star-certified fridge/freezer, kitchen space, and is finished in safe coat paints.