CLT Tiny House shows off Ecological Living Module

CLT Tiny House shows off Ecological Living Module

While active opposition to all climate progress reverberates from US leadership, the imagination of those plotting a course for a better future is not deterred. The Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture (CEA) has partnered with Gray Organschi Architecture to create a display project designed to meet United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. 475 is proud that several of the materials we distribute were chosen to meet the high standards of this exemplary building: The Ecological Living Module (ELM).

Designed for flexibility of use and adaptability to different environments, the ELM can be used for commercial or residential use; in urban, suburban, or rural contexts; and in hot or cold climates; all while addressing needs for energy, water, food, and shelter without the need for any grid or utility connection. Both active and passive energy efficiency strategies were used. Low-carbon and renewable bio-based materials were selected for the super-efficient building enclosure.

This “tiny house” packs a serious punch. At 240 sq ft (22 sq m), it’s similar in size to some NYC studio apartments, yet can accommodate up to four people - and feels spacious enough to hold an event inside. It’s capable of operating completely off-grid, producing solar power with panels chosen for their low toxicity, water collection and filtering system, natural roof daylighting, and collection of plants inside and out ready to filter the air and supplement occupants’ meals.

Intello x was taped with tescon vana to clt panels before assembly

A 2x4 wall was attached outboard of the CLT panels, then filled with Gutex THERMOFIBER


ADHERO was applied as the airtight WRB before siding installation, photo credit: @grayorganschi

The siding / planters were attached to complete the facade, photo credit: @grayorganschi

Photo credit: Gray Organschi

Photo credit: Gray Organschi

Photo credit: @grayorganschi

For the building envelope, the team worked closely with 475 High Performance Building Supply on the design, sourcing and construction of the high performance air, moisture and thermal control layers. The wall and roof assemblies both started with cross laminated timber (CLT) panels at the interior (we don’t distribute these, but we do support them). Pro Clima’s INTELLO X commercial-grade smart vapor retarder was selected as the interior air barrier system to help keep the enclosure dry year-round. A strong space frame for the CLT walls was created with 2x construction outboard of the INTELLO X, and cavities were filled tight with Gutex THERMOFIBER loose fill and THERMOFLEX batt wood fiber insulation. Finally, Pro Clima’s new monolithic self-adhered ADHERO weather barrier was applied over exterior plywood. For future iterations of the ELM in different countries and climates, locally sourced construction materials with similar performance attributes could be substituted.

In the press release UN-Habitat Executive Director, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif is quoted saying:

“Adequate housing is at the heart of sustainable urbanisation. The use of proper building materials, better planning and improved construction techniques can make energy use in buildings more efficient. If adopted widely, this practice can create jobs and prosperity with lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

The ELM was on display in United Nations Plaza in New York City from July 9th - 18th, then set off to the next tour stop: San Francisco. Keep an eye out, this forward-thinking design is going places.