We’ve waited a long time to talk about this little eco-friendly gem, and now we’re glad we did, because the Sustain Design Studio team has recently added many fantastic images to their website. With a new color scheme and a bunch of interior shots, we can now get a sense of the whole package, and we like what we see.
Sustain Design’s miniHome distinguishes itself from its peers in terms of ecological responsibility. Unlike some “eco-friendly” prefabs, which tout their greenness as a selling point while barely superceding traditional standards, the miniHome emerges from a design strategy that holds sustainability as its central tenet. If LEED granted rankings to mobile homes, the miniHome would be Platinum and then some. To begin with, the manufacturing of the miniHome involves no toxic processes or components, and produces a structure that eliminates site distruption and stormwater runoff issues. The mobility and low-impact quality of the unit means that it can provide habitation in some out-of-the-way places, and can easily be relocated if necessary.
Then we’ve got the usual arsenal of green building features: a roof garden, natural ventilation, low-VOC materials, sustainably-harvested lumber, minimal construction waste and 100% renewable energy systems including passive solar.
Designer Andy Thomson wants to create homes that are not only green, but affordable. His work to establish an ecological trailer park stands to eliminate any connotation of “trash” from the term.
If trailers are already inexpensive and efficient to heat, use fewer resources to build, and are light on the land – what would a trailer park look like that was conceived on the basis of sustainable development – that sought after an aesthetic of natural beauty, of forests and unpaved streets, with community gardens and aquatic facilities powered by solar-thermal and solar-electric panels, that featured community-based power and heating and composting toilets?
Well we think it’d look pretty good. And if Toronto residents are lucky enough, they just might get to find out.