This weekend the Mini B Passive House made its way across Seattle to land in its temporary home – the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center parking lot.
The Mini B is a very unique Passive House. It was designed to be small and in Passive House land small makes it harder to reach the Passive House requirements. Joe Giampietro took on the challenge and designed a 300sf building, that set in the right orientation in the Seattle climate, will achieve Passive House goals. He did this so that the Mini B, short for Mini Bungalow, could fill a much needed niche – that of an accessory dwelling unit, more commonly referred to as a Mother-in-Law cottage.
Seattle has made code changes that will allow setting a home, like the Mini-B within the city limits. This will increase the density of neighborhoods in a manner that will also allow families the ability to plan for a future that would allow a grown child to still live at home, but more privately, perhaps take in an aging parent, but allow them privacy, or even be a rental until with the idea that perhaps the homeowners themselves would one day live in the smaller structure and rent out their larger house.
The Mini-B is also a wonderful size for a backyard office, cabin, or temporary structure. Designed to be built offsite and trucked in, it can also be trucked back out and moved to another site as needed. This weekend I got to see just how they offload the Mini-B from the delivery truck. It was really cool.
The Mini-B was built by the carpentry students at Seattle Central Community College. They built it on raised piers so that a trailer could be slid underneath to haul it away. They did a remarkable job with the construction and were on hand to finalize its delivery at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood center. The house arrived on a large flatbed truck and was skillfully backed into place. The students had built temporary support piers to hold the Mini B for a few days until the final attachments could be made to piers that were sunk in the ground. Once the flatbed had the Mini-B in the proper location, it lowered its hydraulic bed so that the Mini-B could rest on the temporary piers. After a few adjustments the piers where set and braced, the truck lowered itself further and pulled away.
If you are near Seattle, you will be able to tour the Mini-B while it is at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood center. I'll bring you more information about when it is officially open and you can visit, until then if you would like more information about the project, visit the Mini-B project page.