Amazing AirBnb driveable house

It’s a house Jim but not as we know it

Planners usually allow you to build a pod within the curtilage of your house. This one follows the rules but it comes on wheels. So what’s the point of that? Well for a start there are no foundations to worry about, just a bit of hardstanding will do. Then there is the ability to drive it; an all electric 4×4 chassis enables you to go for a trundle, down to the pond to watch the sunset for example. Steering is done from the front or from outside.

With the front wheels turned to full lock the whole house can rotate to track the sun, making full use of the 4.8kW photovoltaic array. So yes, it’s all off grid and only needs to dock occasionally to empty some tanks and to refill others.

Design – To make it all really feasible the design is based on off the shelf parts. So the house part is a modified 20′ shipping container supplied from a specialist constructor. The chassis part is from a 110″ Landrover with all the steering, gearbox and axles – a simple electric motor to drive it (cheap 240V, nothing fancy). Wheels are small and fat from a lawn tractor.

The solar panels are offset to make a canopy over the front porch.

Is it worth all the bother? Absolutely, for rental to eco enthusiasts this is a thrilling bit of kit. Imagine their delight when their pod comes round the corner to pick them up and take them to some lovely spot – all filmed from various points to give them a memento of an amazing experience. You can charge a lot more for that than if you were just offering a shed (I think they call them shepherd’s huts these days)….. is this a self powered off-grid shepherd’s hut then?

If you want to use this on your piece of land you might put a 3-point hitch on the back and call it a tractor – great to sit in a comfy chair while you mow the lawn!

N.B. With proper PV panel dimensions this is a preliminary sketch to see what it might look like.

Part of the drama is the house slowly turning to face the sun 🌻 a few times a day.

12 panels, 4.8kW makes another 14% through tracking the sun so it’s effectively a 5.5Kw array. Makes a useful UPS with it’s batteries. This machine will easily run your heat pump so it’s going to solve your heating problem too – at least an extra £1,000 in your pocket every year from that. Once hooked up to your main house the power can flow either way so the mini-split heater in the driveable house will always be useable, even after prolonged dark winter days.

So, £3,000 worth of electricity, £1,000 heating savings and over £1,000 a week on Airbnb + sales of the book and the experience video. Compare this with a buy to let house and with a build cost of circa £50,000 it doesn’t seem so mad after all. You could get your money back in 2 years and then live off this thing.
Guests are filmed as the house arrives, they get in and drive away to the viewing spot where there is a facilities block along with power and TV hook-up.
 
There’s a nice design for the hook-up to the facilities block. Ask me for details when you build this.
 

 

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Tiny Affordable Eco house

Tiny Affordable Eco house

view - South side

view – South side

Eco house from the end showing garage door

Eco house from the end showing garage door

Check Google images for tiny house, small house, eco-house, pod, green living module or just a modern house. See anything you could imagine building very cheaply then living in?
Here’s the Original Twist idea of a simple modern looking house which, by using blocks or ICFs for the first floor and SIPs (structural insulated panels) on top, is quick and correspondingly cheap to make. It is also quite small which leaves something in the budget for all the latest mod cons like the home cinema, a nice car in the integrated garage and of course the eco kit – 24 solar panels and the heat pump pod in the garden.
The actual building is conventionally cubic, clad in vertical wood, with all the metallic looking curvy edges added on later. The edges conceal wires and pipes and are made of polystyrene or zinc covered forms. The upper south side is nearly all glass which adds to the feeling of space and allows for enough solar gain to take us into passivehause territory.
Small it may be but it is huge inside with the main living area 6m x 10m and a similarly massive room downstairs, both with cavernous ceilings. The raised bed platform gives a visual separation from the seating area and allows the big room to be a sitting room, bedroom and dining room all in one go. It will feel like a large expensive modern house but without the heavy price tag.
The main seating backs onto the big step and faces the partition wall which neatly houses a huge 4K TV, and all the usual kit, beneath a roller tapestry. This prefabricated wall incorporates storage on the reverse side and integrates all the gear for home automation, security and communications.

To convert the living space into a dining room the table comes up from the floor – (see magic table on http://www.originaltwist.com)…… the TV disappears, the bed tips up and away and the sofa glides back into the recess behind it; fanciful maybe but it makes excellent use of the space and easily accommodates large dinner parties. The sofa mechanism is quite simple with the sofa parking on top of the cover door when it is deployed.
With all the clutter cleared away there is plenty of room for partying with the ‘bar height’ raised platform making a safe place to put food and drinks. This house really is an entertaining machine.
There is a doorway either side of the big screen; one for the upstairs loo and the other to the kitchen. The generally high ceilings allow for an optional extra bedroom over the upstairs kitchen, accessed by a stairway along the back wall. It has to be very light and airy looking to preserve the cube like look of the main structure.
The house is suited to be built on a sloping site so access to the first floor would come from that level and ideally via a glass entry vestibule to the front door on the wall opposite the big glass south wall.

Conservatory, kitchen, bedroom, car - what else do you need?

Conservatory, kitchen, bedroom, car – what else do you need?

Downstairs the large breakfast room enjoys a wrap around conservatory and incorporates a second small integrated kitchen. Doors to the rear lead to an en-suite bedroom, a loo and the garage.
The daily grind won’t seem so bad when you start with a cuppa in bed watching the morning news then a shower (in the small shower-room on the bed level) before going downstairs to a sunny breakfast before nipping through to take your Porsche off to work.

Of course the eco-technomologicalness will be state of the art. The 24 Sunerg hybrid solar panels actually dictate the size and shape of the roof and the red trim panels are fixed directly to the panels (PV and wet solar are all 2m x 1m).  4 of the panels on the steep roof will be wet to give a massive 8sqm to feed my own twin tank heat bank design – my speciality. The other 20 panels use micro-inverters to give a nominal 6kWp and a real 2-3kW in the winter to run the little air source heat pump which also does some neat heat recovery from the house and uses some ground heated air too.  Batteries make a huge UPS which, combined with the batteries in the electric car, largely makes the mains supply more like a backup.

Eco pod

Eco pod

At the moment this is just an exploratory sketch but with serious intent. Local councils are being encouraged to make space available for self build houses and after a bit of polishing this design might gain some followers. If this is too radical for you, have a look at the more acceptable Brexit house.

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