A Twist On The Tiny Home: The Ecocapsule

Just once, in my sad attempt for small talk, I would like for whomever I’m talking to to say something more exhilarating and surprising than “We’re buying a house”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I get the whole investing your money, settling down, preparing for the rest of your lives like its doomsday mentality – but come on, people! Investing in property doesn’t always need to mean surrendering to the pull of suburbia that you so bravely have been trying to defy for your entire lives up into this point.

What I’m trying to say is this: houses can be cool, too. I myself didn’t realize this until a year or so ago. Up until that point, I had always thought – a house is a house. But, on one magical evening, I visited a friends house for the first time. Enter rad architectural design, wall-to-wall windows, a secret room, space for a Ping-Pong table, and for the first time in my life I was sick with house envy. What a wonderful epiphany it is to realize that you don’t have to have A 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house with a formal dining room that is too fancy to bring food into. Nope. Houses can be cooler than that – much cooler.

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Case in point is one of the (albeit extreme) latest housing inventions – a portable capsule home. Described by Science Alert as “perfect for the zombie apocalypse or your next getaway”, this home was meant to help those that want to live off the grid.

Now, let me digress for a minute. Why anybody would want to live completely off the grid is beyond me. I mean, the grid has its negatives – with email bombardment, social media temptation and more being at the top of the list. But the grid has a lot of benefits – like P.F. Changs, shopping malls and human interaction. But again, to each their own.

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The portable capsule home was created to be entirely self-sufficient for up to two adults. It is equipped with a retractable 750 W wind turbine and 2.6 square-metres of solar panels. It’s nice and cozy, measuring only 2.55 m x 4.45 m x 2.25 (about 86 square feet) in total.

Shaped like an egg, the home has been fondly names the “Ecocapsule”. While the shape is fun, it also serves a purpose. The shape allows the home to collect rainwater and dew. From there, the home funnels the collected water into a tank below the pod’s floor were it gets filtered to remove any bacteria. The pod is also outfitted with a 9,744 Watts hours battery to store a solid amount of power for a day with less than ideal weather – meaning you can rest assured that you will have enough power to live on, and even charge your electric car!

So what kind of comfort commodities fit inside a pod home? In this home, there is a toilet, shower, mini-kitchen, bed, table and storage. Adding to comfort, the walls feature sufficient insulation to keep the home a comfortable temperature no matter where the pod is located.

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A spin on the now semi-traditional (or at least widely known) tiny home, this home was an invention by Bratislava-based architectural studio, Nice Architects. Speaking about the project to Bored Panda, the innovative architecture group said “The biggest challenge was to integrate all the different technologies into the pod and still have some space left for people.” The company envisions the pod being used for modern camping, off the grid living for up to a year, research stations, or emergency residences.

Speaking further to his own perspective of the product, studio partner Igor Zacek says, “It was designed as a self-contained system which is able to sustain long periods of time without external resources. Something in terms of Swiss-army knife­ – it packs everything you need.”

Although pricing is set to be released later in 2015, FastCo Design points out that the shell is made out of plastic, which keeps production costs low. The capsules are also sized to fit into a standard freight shipping container, so in theory they could be delivered worldwide for just a few thousand dollars. The company is also looking to create a wheelable camper van version sometime in the near future.

While I can’t honestly testify that I would be able to get by in an 86 square foot egg, I can certainly testify to this home’s “cool factor”. Now I will just wait patiently while I’m silently suffering through small talk for someone, somewhere to say “We’re buying an egg!”

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