These DIY tiny home kits are made of recycled plastic and coffee husks
The tiny home movement has gone through generations of innovation, from very basic design to opulence to portability. While the tiny home craze was touted on TV, in print and all over the internet as a minimalist lifestyle option, it’s also being looked at as a solution for housing shortages. One non-profit based out of Los Angeles, called Housing Innovation, decided to tackle this issue by drawing attention to creative solutions across the globe that may inspire similar projects locally.
One such alternative comes straight from the foothills of Bogotá, Colombia, where Woodpecker WPC has designed a tiny home kit that even a less experienced DIYer can build themselves. Dubbed “The Latte Chalet” by Charly Ligety, managing director at The Housing Innovation Collaborative (HICo), materials for this 250-square-foot home are made using recycled plastic combined with a natural agriculture waste product in the country — coffee husks. Coffee husks are the skin casing around the coffee bean. With the massive coffee production in Columbia, husks are typically burned or thrown away. But Woodpecker WPC found a way to combine the fibrous qualities of the husks with the durability of 100% recycled plastic polymer to offer a modular housing solution. The Latte Chalet can be moved around the same lot without being dismantled or can be taken apart for longer journeys.
Alejandro Franco, CEO of Woodpecker WPC, explained that each piece of the framing, flooring, roof and walls is made from WPC, which is short for wood plastic composite. WPC is a durable material that can withstand earthquakes and strong winds. It’s also waterproof, insect-resistant, splinter-free, lightweight, easy to install and fireproof. The kit pieces are pre-painted in chemical-free paint color options of yellow, brown, orange or cream. Franco called the material “logs of the future.” His company has built over 2,700 of the tiny homes, many of them offered to citizens by the government.
The tiny houses offer a solution for rural areas, where traditional constructions systems like concrete and brick cannot go. The architectural design is made up of blocks that fit together in an interlocking grid, similar to the way log cabins criss-cross lumber. With this design, the homes do not require glue or screws to build. They are literally blocks stacked on top of one another. In fact, two or three people can put an entire home together using nothing more than a screwdriver and hammer.
The components for the home stack flat and can be shipped on pallets. When put together, the layout includes a sitting area in the front with a kitchen behind it. Off to the side is a private bathroom. Appliances are not included with the kit and are added by the homeowner after construction. An upstairs loft houses a bed, and the entire second floor is expandable to fit the occupant’s needs.
This DIY tiny home kit and many other rapid shelter solutions are in the spotlight through The Rapid Shelter Showcase, the world’s largest collection of rapidly-deployable shelter solutions.
Images via Housing Innovation Collaborative and Woodpecker WPC
Written by Dawn Hammon