With the average size of houses having increased over recent decades, there is a growing movement for people seeking alternatives to large, expensive, energy intensive housing. Australia currently holds the record for the country with the largest homes. The average size of a new Australian house increased from 162.2 square metres (1742 sq feet) in 1984 to 227.6 square metres (2444 sq feet) in 2003. The average new Australian home is now 10% bigger than even its U.S. equivalent.(1) Australian is closely followed by the U.S., Canada and New Zealand all having homes either over 200 metres squared or just under 200 metres squared (2200 feet squared). In contrast other countries have significantly smaller houses such as Germany (109 m2), Japan (95 m2), Sweden (83 m2), UK (76 m2), China (60 m2) and Hong Kong (45 m2).
While the trend over the last decade has been for larger homes, the tiny house movement is becoming popular among those wishing to be more sustainable and wanting to live simpler less consumerist lifestyles. The small house movement is about reducing the overall size of dwellings to less than 1,000 square feet or approximately 93 square metres. Following the Global Financial Crisis and Hurricane Katrina both of which helped spark interest in the small home movement, there is a small but growing younger demographic moving toward living with less. While still a relatively small sector, the tiny house market is set to see more interest over the coming decades. As housing affordability deteriorates along with economic conditions people will seek alternative ways of living. (2)
One such couple who have embraced the tiny house movement with their passion and skills are Jola and Justin from New Zealand. They have combined functional and practical with quirky and fun. They have created a three level road worthy house truck with its own turrets! The 40 square meter ‘Castle’ truck is an engineering masterpiece. The Castle truck includes biofold doors, a loft, a rooftop bathtub, a large food dehydrator, a full working kitchen complete with oven cook top and refrigerator. The bathroom facilities include a shower (within one of the turrets) and composting toilet (in the other turret) and a washing machine. Solar panels pull out to provide power for the family and recycled materials have been used throughout the vehicle. (3)
Don’t take my word for it see for yourself what the team over at Living Big in a Tiny House have done to showcase this quirky, fun and functional engineering masterpiece.