Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to Make a Pocket Community a Reality....Quickly...




Thanks to Sara at Feeding the Soil for inspiring this post!

I have been interested in sustainable building methods and community planning for almost ten years now. Over the years, I've been interested in Monolithic domesCob Homes, Superadobe, Hexayurts and most recently Tiny Houses.

The Challenge

Going through the red tape of getting a community built can take years. How can one do it more quickly?

One Possible Solution

The Land

One family purchases the land and the other families pay a "community fee" (aka renting the land). A $300-400 community fee would easily help cover the cost of the mortgage.  Each family lives in their own "Tiny House." Most areas will allow a building with no permit as long as it is under the magic number of 120 sq feet. The nice thing about a "Tiny Village" is that you wouldn't need to buy as much land.

Or you could find a family who already owns a house and is interested in building a small community around their already existing home. The family could either continue to live in the house or they could move into a Tiny Home and the original home could become the Community Center.


The Houses

The most recent Tumbleweed Houses now come in kits which can be built in a weekend and are under $20,000, when you add in the extra cost of window, finishing the interior, etc... When you move you can take your home with you (either as a primary residence or use it as a yoga studio, guest house, and/or writing studio). I'm totally in love with the charming, new designs. This house may be my favorite.

Due to the nature of "Tiny Homes," residents spend much more time out in the community and outside in general. If there is more than one person living in the house, I would think it would be mainly used as a "Bunk House."


Community Space
If there is already a house on the property....then creating a Community Center would be easy.

If not, on the property you could have an Art House, a Library, a Children's Room, whatever needs arise. A temporary solution might be to use portable yurts as the community rooms.

 These folks might be a good place to go. I've been checking them out for awhile and they seem to have a decent product that lasts for a few years.


Utilities

Could be tricky, unless there is already an existing house on the property. Most people who live in Tumbleweed Tiny Houses are off-grid.


Throwing this idea out into the universe, although I know I'm definitely not the only one. Here are some people already in Austin thinking up similar plans. I can't wait see this idea coming into being!

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