Sustainable homes are coming to a trailer near you. Carleton University students are working on a tiny wheeled house which generates its own power and stores its water supply. This project is to see achieving net-zero energy in a home is possible, according to this news report from CBC News.
Sustainable Homes | The Northern Nomad
Right now it looks more like a shed than a house. But when it’s finished, the Northern Nomad could be one of the first tiny houses built in Canada to achieve net-zero energy.
Carleton University associate engineering professor Scott Bucking dreamed up a challenge for his students. That is, they will be building a tiny mobile home that will be able to produce its own energy, store its own water, and be entirely livable. Additionally, it must also be mobile, able to go on-and-off the grid.
Bucking believes that this can be challenging to his team. Most tiny houses are designed to have electrical hookups from the get-go. The Northern Nomad, however, is unique in this aspect. It will be designed to independently produce and store its own power, doing away with the conventions of a power grid. Bucking and his team is aiming to have the Nomad generate enough power to last it for a year.
He and his staff have an idea on how sustainable homes of the future will have to be built and designed. Bucking’s students have come up with a plan that is just 220 square feet big on a mobile platform. It has sustainable features such as vacuum-insulated panels for insulation, which include sensors that test how well these groups will fare.
And, of course, sustainable homes of the future will have to be smart. Eric Ho, a student, working on the home’s mechanical systems, is wiring up the Nomad to be automated. Doors, heating and cooling systems will be controlled from a smartphone app they are developing.
Despite the enthusiasm from his students, sadly, there are some difficulties.
“We don’t have guidelines to build these things, unlike bigger houses,” says Sandra Lunn, a member of Bucking’s class working on the project. “The Nomad won’t be meeting any codes. It’s somewhere in between an RV and a home, so we kind of frame it like a house and go from there.”
The Future is Here, and it’s Tiny
Tiny house mania to invade Ponce City Market with tours, ‘Sustainable Village’ https://t.co/Ia3CRfAjP9
— Chelle (@HerTechy) August 19, 2017
In the future, sustainable homes will be more of a requirement than a novelty. With resources fast draining all around the world, there will be a call for more lasting and eco-friendlier alternatives to home living.
Projects like the Northern Nomad are an exercise on what we can actually do in terms of living sustainably. Most people would never really need a big 2,000 square-foot property with multiple rooms and bathrooms. Indeed, big homes require big maintenance, which draws upon too many resources both natural and monetary.
However, it still will be quite some time before we start seeing mobile homes like the Northern Nomad floating around. Still, it’s a great start for sustainable homes!
Tiny Spaces, Big Dreams
Look it’s the Tesla solar-powered Tiny House on Wheels! Towed by a Model X too I believe. https://t.co/uzS7B1MRsi
— @TinyHouseTalk (@TinyHouseTalk) August 31, 2017
TV had us thinking a big home with a pool and a huge backyard was the American dream. Thankfully, people are starting to realize that those were dreams of generations past. We are all starting to see the benefits of living sustainably, and the Northern Nomad is just one of the many manifestations of that philosophy.
There are plenty of sustainable homes right now, much like the Northern Nomad! If you wish, you could purchase your own tiny home right now. Better yet, design it yourself! Each step you take is a big one towards full sustainability. Dream big, but think tiny!
Here is another one of the many sustainable homes right now from Living Big In A Tiny House!
Do you have your inspired plans of your own sustainable homes? Let us know in the comments!