Small but upmarket
by Mike Isle
With drills and hammers in hand, students at Ara Institute of Canterbury have spent the last 10 months constructing two brand new tiny houses, which will soon be up for sale.
Carpentry tutor Mick Cooke is excited about the growing housing trend. “I’d love one! Imagine getting one of these as a bach somewhere like Motunau or Cheviot; it would be ideal for a weekend getaway.”
Transportable and compact, the Ara tiny houses are 7.2m high and 2.5m wide, with a floor space of approximately 23sqm.
“There’s plenty of room,” Cooke says. “There is a bathroom, a storeroom big enough to fit laundry appliances, a kitchen and living area and stairs up to a mezzanine floor where the bed will go.”
“While already cheaper to heat than traditional homes, the insulation in the houses keeps heating costs down — made out of a combination of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS), OSB board, and polystyrene.
“The double glazed units are also tinted. We’ll hopefully have a composting toilet, or there’s potential to put in an incinerating toilet, depending what the client chooses,” Cooke says.
The two tiny houses will be up for sale to the public around the end of the year, and Cooke says they are already creating a big buzz.
“The Dual Enrolment programme is great for students who want to explore the idea of a career in trades. The learnings from this are going to set them up for the next stage of their career. For the majority of these guys, they’re either going into jobs in the industry after school, or they’re going into a pre-trade course. The outcome has been really good.”