The challenge

A facade of residual wood, a compost toilet and tight living space. Peter Melis, who has been professionally involved in the energy transition for years, put his money where his mouth was and built his own sustainable tiny house.

“As chairman and consultant in the field of the energy transition, I talk a lot about how people can live as sustainably as possible. Heat pumps, solar panels and insulation are subjects that are regularly reviewed.

When I started building my own tiny house, I also wanted to tackle it sustainably, in harmony with nature. That was still quite complicated. What I mainly learned is that there is no one best solution. The more experts you ask, the more opinions. Ultimately, you have to choose which approach suits you.

I first had it calculated how much energy is needed to live in a house of this size for a year. In it I could, for example, see the energy consequences of my wish in front of a large window. ‘

Test unit

‘After I made the decision about insulation (24 centimeters of wood fiber) and the installation of the windows (HR double glazing), the next challenge arose: how do I ventilate and heat?

To heat the house I made a call if someone wanted to install a test unit. Triple Solar, a Dutch producer of PVT heat pump panels, responded with which you generate heat, hot water and electricity. They had another test heat pump that source water that runs through the back of the panels.

The solution

This heated water is converted in the heat pump into warm air, which enters the house through three large holes. The type of pump is not yet widely used in the Netherlands. With this test unit I supply data to Triple Solar.

The basis of the house is a kind of DIY package from Mindful Homes. I was able to make the design myself and then I received a kit that I could use to put the house together.
The construction is made of compressed wood chip plates and I deliberately left a wall unpainted. If you look closely, you can still see where the plates hook into the frame of the house. “
Everything has value
“The facade of the house consists of planks of different widths. This is because it concerns leftover pieces of preserved pine. My kitchen worktop is also made of residual wood. This is made by Herso, a circular furniture maker. The owner knows exactly the origin of every piece of wood.
And of course I have a compost toilet, because everything has value, even your poo, as compost! Now, during the corona crisis, I have a little less work and more work from home than before. Fortunately, my fixed costs are low, so I don’t have any money worries yet.
In addition, I now have more time to work on the house. Little by little I make the house even better. I consciously do this gradually, it reminds me that life is not about haste. “

Tekst: Dayinta Perrier
Fotografie: Elmer van der Marel
Magazine: De Ingenieur

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