In 2006, Toronto-based Sustain Design Studio unveiled its flagship project – the miniHome. Designed to be small and portable, miniHomes are green dwellings constructed as travel trailers for difficult climates.
Sustain’s miniHomes are ideal for off-grid setups and have optional renewable energy systems.
What Makes miniHome Prefabs Unique?
Sustain built their miniHomes with sustainability in mind. Each of their homes had the following features:
- Natural lighting: All of the windows in miniHome models were positioned strategically to maximize natural sunlight. Taking this approach reduces the need for artificial lighting and helps reduce energy costs.
- Green materials: Sustain focused on using renewable materials and avoiding toxic finishes. Cork flooring and formaldehyde-free cabinets are two examples of toxic-free finishes found in these homes.
- Renewable energy: All miniHomes have the possibility of using renewable energy sources, including solar and biomass.
- Option for green roof: All homes in the miniHomes collection can be fitted with a green roof to boost insulation and help with water absorption.
Homes are built off-site and can sit on a pier foundation, which minimizes excavation to reduce site disruption.
Mini Home Modular Mini Home Models
Sustain Design Studio has three models in their miniHome collection: Solo, Duo and Calimini.
The Solo miniHome is designed for people who need very little living space. There are three models in this series:
Solo 24 Bunkie
The Solo 24 Bunkie is the smallest miniHome and offers 288 square feet of internal space. The porch and small loft area bring the entire square footage to just over 500 square feet.
The Bunkie is a studio, so the bedroom, living and kitchen areas are all in one space. A separate bathroom and loft storage make this model feel a little more like home.
Solo 36 Bunkie
The Solo 36 Bunkie’s exterior is made from treated wood. While still considered a studio, the 36 Bunkie has more square footage, a flat roof and a more structured loft area.
The Solo 36 is a mix between the 24 Bunkie and 36 Bunkie. Similar materials are used to construct the home, but there is more of a separation of living and dining areas.
The miniHome Duo is a prefab offered in two main sizes:
The 36+12 is 36’ long and 12’ wide. Treated material is used on the structure’s exterior. Inside, the home offers:
- Living room
- Additional large room
A loft can be added to the plan to provide an extra sleeping area and transform the space into a two-bedroom home.
The second version of the Duo has a 36’ x 24’ space, boasting a very similar exterior to the 36+12 model. Architects of this design have changed the patio slightly, but it’s the inside that features:
- Larger rooms
- Two official bedrooms
- Dining room
- Living room
- Loft space
- Single bathroom
- Additional space for storage or another bedroom/office
The Duo spans 475 square feet, and offers insulation up to R40 on the walls, roof and floors.
The Cali Solo 1, or Calimini, is a stunning one-bedroom, one-bathroom home that spans 640 square feet and comes with a 140 square foot deck. Owners of the Solo 1 step up into the dwelling, which is separated in the middle to create its own outdoor breezeway.
Stunning, full-wall windows lead you into the kitchen area and allow for natural light to fill the space.
In the kitchen area, two walls are filled with windows, and next to the stainless steel fridge, there’s a recessed wall portion that’s great for storage. Above the cabinets, you’ll find two transom windows and a ledge that owners use to store items, such as step stools.
This side of the home includes:
- 13.5’ x 13’ kitchen and dining area
- 7.5’ x 9’ bathroom with space for a washer and dryer
- 10’ x 13’ Master bedroom
On the opposite side of the breezeway, there is an 11’ x 13’ living area. A loft plan adds an additional storage space of 13’ x 10’. Calimini’s walls are made with Birch plywood, the floors are made of cork, and R-20 insulation is used on the walls and ceilings. An R-38 insulation is available for the ceiling, too.
To build your own miniHome visit Sustain.ca