With their clever design features and cosy interiors, tiny homes are highly instagrammable and ripe for popular Pinterest pins. However, they can also be efficient and cost effective solutions for housing and may just help with shortages in our more populated centres.
In order to create solutions for homeless youth and those transitioning out of care in Auckland, community trust Vision West has created My Whare, an innovative youth housing programme that places tiny houses on the properties of host families, who offer support for the young person as they become independent.
The structural components are prefabricated off-site using AXXIS® steel framing supplied by New Zealand Steel. They are then shipped to the manufacturer’s yard and assembled with COLORSTEEL® cladding and roofing, before interiors are built and finished. Constructed on trailers, they can be towed to the residential property ready to be used as a stepping stone for young people identified as being in need.
The benefit of prefabrication for these homes is that the components arrive ready to be used, causing less disruption to residents or neighbours, and without the need for a large construction team. Steel framing is a boon to tiny house builders as it takes up less space in the construction and helps the structure to come in at a lower weight overall. In fact, despite popular opinion otherwise, a steel structure will be one third the weight of timber, while being equally as strong.
Designed using integrated, 3D engineering software, there is less likelihood of errors, important in a small building. Manufactured to exact measurements, windows and doors fit precisely and services can be integrated in advance of building. This makes for a speedy construction process and fast delivery of the final product.
Steel also eliminates the chances of warping and movement of the frame as well as significantly reducing fire risk. Construction waste can be recycled and often mitigated altogether.
For Vision West, this means they can get on with helping young people find their feet, with a comfortable and warm roof over their heads.