Source: Boneyard Studios, Shareable
A micro house, also known as a tiny house, refers to an architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. These micro structures are being designed to accommodate occupants at less than 300 square feet whereas the typical American home is around 2,600 square feet. In cities, the micro housing boom has increased over the last few years, and while the number of developments remains relatively small, they've seen early success. Some of the applications that make micro dwellings attractive include proposals for being able to provide a cheap housing option for the homeless, on-property accessory dwelling units for aging relatives or returning children, or to build co-housing communities in remote locations. In fact, with the financial crisis of 2007, the small house movement attracted more attention as it offers housing that is more affordable and ecologically friendly.
Some of its benefits are obvious: Smaller homes are less expensive than larger ones in terms of taxes and building, heating, maintenance, and repair costs. In addition to costing less, small houses may encourage a simpler lifestyle with reduced ecological impacts for their residents. In fact, a 2010 study of small homes by the Oregon Department of Environmental Equality (DEQ) found that among 30 different green construction practices, reducing house size had the greatest environmental impact in terms of greenhouse gas reduction. According to the DEQ, a 50% reduction in a house’s square footage corresponds to a 36% reduction in carbon emissions over its lifetime. Since they are small, some of the priorities of many tiny house designs are the optimization of space through dual purpose features and multi-functional furniture, and incorporated technological advances of space saving equipment and appliances.
But they do have drawbacks: Many municipalities haven’t made room literally or legislatively for tiny residences. It’s a challenge to find a place to park a tiny house if you don’t own land. And they often fall into a legal limbo. One of the biggest obstacles to growth of the tiny house movement is the difficulty in finding a place to live in one. Zoning regulations typically specify minimum square footage for new construction on a foundation, and for tiny houses on wheels, parking on one's own land may be prohibited by local regulations against "camping."
Some micro housing types include:
The Tiny Life | What is The Tiny House Movement?
Outside | "The Tiny-House Revolution Goes Huge"
The Washington Post | "Tiny house, big benefits: Freedom from a mortgage and worries — and stuff"
Pittsburgh Post Gazette | "Tiny House is a Big Deal in Garfield"