Small Eco-friendly Housing | Teen Ink

Small Eco-friendly Housing

May 21, 2021
By danielle-kyra BRONZE, United Kingdom, Other
danielle-kyra BRONZE, United Kingdom, Other
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments

The Earth does not have enough space for all of us. The population is growing rapidly and expected to be around 10 billion by 2050. The average home in the US is 2,301 square feet, up from an average size of 2,057 square feet in 2000. Growth in population combined with growth in home size is a key driver to continued loss of wilderness, with forecasts suggesting that there will be no significant wilderness left in less than 100 years from now. In addition, the size of a home determines its carbon footprint including energy usage (heating/cooling), furniture, maintenance and cleaning.
There are a number of new ideas to meet the increasing housing needs of the growing global population, with lower environmental impact, that have recently cropped up and are in fact available for purchase. The tiny house movement is a movement that is trying to encourage living in smaller spaces, generally homes smaller than 400 square feet, a fifth of the size off an average home in the US. Essentially, being as environmentally friendly and conscious of the large population as possible. It has grown in popularity and has gained many supporters within recent years. The tiny house movement provides additional financial benefit to households that are not able to afford large homes and access big mortgages. Many ‘tiny’ homeowners choose this option due to it providing them with the financial freedom of owning a small home outright and not need to pay off a large mortgage over the working life.  
FBM Architects have recently gained planning permission to create a residential scheme where shipping containers will be converted into a complex of houses. The homes will be low cost and take up little space while having all the essentials a home requires. These will be particularly useful for students as they are single person accommodations. A garage-site which was not being used will be turned into a lively neighbourhood with the upcycling of existing structures. The containers will be arranged in a terrace order to give residents privacy. There is the opportunity for more than single storey units in the future due to the shipping containers ability to be stacked on one another in the future which would decrease the space being used for housing as well as increasing the housing available. In pictures, as shown above, of the potential complex being created, there is greenery seen as being placed on top of the shipping containers which increases biodiversity in the area and absorbs pollution surrounding the area.
The Pod Idhala is also an innovative tiny home that was produced by South African architect Clara da Cruz Almeida and the design firm Dokter and Misses. The pod is prefabricated, and each unit is about 200 square feet including the deck area. Despite the limited space, a pod has a bedroom upstairs, a kitchen, a lounging area and a bathroom. When the pod is built, it is built with the most abundant material close to the building site. Pod Idhala’s manufactures believe their homes provide a happier life because of the little time required to clean the home, the low long term running costs due to little maintenance required for the house and there is also a distinct lack of house hunting.
Pod Developments, based in South Manchester, are on a mission to produce eco-friendly living spaces. They encourage micro-living and minimising your carbon imprint in reference to your living space. They are building a future to combat the threat of a housing crisis in the future. They provide 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom pods, which are all environmentally friendly and focus on being able to house families comfortably. The pods are made of FSC timber, which is a system that allows companies and consumers to buy timber from recycled materials and forests that are well organised for procurement of timber. The pods are easy to install, meaning building time and the emissions from that are cut significantly, small, meaning they take up minimal space and are conscious of the incoming housing crisis, and fairly priced. Pods are also said to last up to 60 years which means they could be a long-term solution to the future housing crisis.
I am hopeful that home buyers of the future will consider the impact on the environment when they start looking for their new home, and that innovators and movements mentioned above gain traction providing alternatives to large traditional homes, helping reduce the impact on our planet.
ECO POD DESIGN. 2021. Living Pods, Granny Annexes and Log Cabins | ECO POD DESIGN. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21 May 2021].
POD / idladla. 2021. POD / idladla. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21 May 2021].
FBM Architects. 2021. Gatehouse Road / Aylesbury - FBM Architects. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21 May 2021].
Statista. 2021. Median size of U.S. single family house 2000-2019 | Statista. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21 May 2021].
Johnston, I., 2021. World’s wildernesses set to disappear by 2100, experts warn. [online] The Independent. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 May 2021].

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photo credit: FBM Architects 

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