By Holly Burns
If you have ever lived in New York City, chances are more than likely that you’ve inhabited a small living space at some time or another. Usually, this happens out of necessity due to the high cost of living and lack of space. But if given the choice, would you opt to live in a home that was less than 100 square feet because of concerns about your impact on the environment and because you would prefer to maintain less unused space? That’s exactly what Jay Shafer has been doing since 1997.
When I first read about Shafer I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn’t reading an article out of the Onion. I was flabbergasted, intrigued, and instantly wanted to learn more about the tiny houses and this person who so clearly embodies the ideas of living simply and designing efficiently. Shafer, a designer specializing in sustainable architecture and urban planning, has lived in three “tiny” houses; the most recent being 89 square feet. He calls the first series of his small, hand-built houses Tumbleweed.
In addition to his Tumbleweed projects, he has made many other small buildings. When he designs his projects he not only pays careful attention to the energy efficiency of the homes as well as the light, warmth, and proportion of the structures, but he also carefully minimizes transitional spaces in order to make the most of the cozy and simple space. The tiny houses are on wheels, eliminating the need for a building permit and making them perfect for almost any place that you would plant an RV.
How far would you go to reduce your energy consumption? If you would like to learn more about the Tumbleweed Tiny Houses Company, Jay Shafer, or how to build a tiny house, visit http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/