17-meter square the Ursa Tiny House is constructed primarily utilizing a lightweight steel frame, with secondary structural supports made out of wooden. The CEO of Madeiguincho say:
Set the challenge of designing and constructing three prototypes of houses on wheels (primarily based on the concept of trailers) with completely different lengths (4m, 5m, and 7m), 2.5m in width, and a maximum height of 4m, in keeping with the size regulations for motor vehicles. The concept of mobile homes is intrinsically related to the concept of tiny homes and implies rethinking our trendy lifestyle to suit the assorted aspects of living (eating, sleeping, lounging, bathing, working, socializing) right into a tiny house.
We decided that this Tiny On Wheels (TOW) project, which we named Ursa, could be completely off-grid. So, the roof was designed with a 5% slope to allow rainwater to run down the facade and the oval window towards a gutter that leads to a particle filter earlier than reaching two water tanks with a complete capacity of 650 liters. The rainwater may be reused by a pressurized water system that pumps water to an 80l heat accumulator tank that provides water to the three plumbing fixtures (kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower).
A 3-stage reverse osmosis filter was put in underneath the sink to provide drinking water. All of the water used in the three fixtures is stored in a tank and later reused for watering plants. The water pump, water heater, fridge, and glass-ceramic cooktop are all powered by 5 solar panels installed on the roof facing south, which may be adjusted as much as a 30% inclination to maximize energy production in all seasons of the 12 months. The energy produced is converted and saved for later use. To close the cycle that allows this TOW to work completely off-grid, we put in a dry bathroom that’s connected to electricity (12V) to produce compost.
The layout of TOW Ursa was developed along with the client, meeting their needs (two sleeping areas for 2 people every, work station, kitchen space, full bathroom, and an outside deck) and based on the ideas of “small is gorgeous” and “passive house design.”
The construction of this TOW consists of a primary steel frame and a secondary wooden frame. The interior walls and ceiling are covered with birch plywood panels (18mm and 9mm), and the exterior is covered with heat-treated timber (thermowood). For insulation, we adopted the concept of thermal envelope (passive design) and used 40mm thick expanded cork boards. For the windows and doors, we used solid plywood and double glazing with tempered glass.
We had the privilege of having the ability to design and construct all in a single place (carpintecture), however one of many biggest challenges of this project was the large oval window, for which we developed some fittings utilizing a CNC cutting machine and taking inspiration from the connecting system of the wooden train tracks that all of us used as children. In the future, we intend to integrate food production systems in the TOW that can allow us to transport our food while traveling in our house on wheels.