tiny-house

Chemical Free Tiny House

May 14, 2014

A tiny house on wheels built using no chemicals in British Columbia, Canada. More info. here.

24 Comments

  • Reply James May 14, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Chemical free?! That’s not just good architecture, it’s a Nobel Prize-worthy miracle of science! From what anti-universe was this tiny house birthed? And how did the builders interact with it without being completely annihilated?

    • Reply Kathy May 15, 2014 at 11:36 am

      This is why Intro to Chem teachers should collect students’ phones before class. Back to your textbook, sonny, and my sympathies on your inability to scroll. Don’t laugh at scrolling impairment, folks, it’s a terrible way to go through life.

    • Reply Kayla October 5, 2014 at 2:07 am

      My thoughts exactly! Too bad that every time it rains, it will become saturated with that pesky H2O 😉

  • Reply Douglas May 14, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Psssst! EVERYTHING is chemicals! Absolutely EVERYTHING! All matter in the universe is “chemicals.”

    And I see some rather noxious ones in your picture. I see plywood (glues, resins), plastic (stove, refrigerator, electrical outlets, light fixtures, windows), cutting board (glue), light bulbs (mercury, lead), Wiring (noxious insulation and fire retardants) Halogens (cooktop), refrigerants (Refrigerator, air conditioner), Sink (Stainless Steel is made from Chromium and Nickel which are toxic) and an air conditioner/heat pump which is full of nasty.

    So I guess what they’re really saying is they didn’t use any wood stain or paint. Two things that can be pretty benign in comparison.

  • Reply Emily May 14, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Hey Douglas – Check out the dude’s website, he’s not messing around. Chemical-free is just shorthand, what he means is eliminating as much of the toxic chemicals that he’s sensitive to as possible.

  • Reply Ben May 15, 2014 at 1:43 am

    It was pleasure building this home and even more so that the owner is experiencing better health. We drastically reduced the amount of chemicals and EMF’s than a conventional building. The Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/chemicalfreetinyhouse) and blog (http://mychemicalfreehouse.blogspot.ca/) have more details for those interested.

  • Reply H May 15, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Douglas,
    how about being less of a jerk? Yes, technically everything is chemicals, but that is not how the work is used by the vast majority of the population. If you take the time to go on the linked website you will find out that the owner of the house has put considerable thought into what kind of materials to use. Obviously not everything can be bought “natural”, kinda hard to get wires without plastic. Her concerns also seem to be with materials that don’t give of fumes, not with not using anything artificial at all. So metals locked inside a lightbulb is hardly an issue.
    But then looking into that and thinking about it would have taken time. Time you rather spent on writing an unfriendly comment. Try to be a bit more constructive next time.

  • Reply Kathy May 15, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Well, Douglas, it’s technically correct that everything, including water, is a chemical, but what the author was referring to was non-toxicity, and if you’d bothered to click through to the blog she has on her house, you’ll see that she has multiple chemical sensitivities, that she took immense trouble to construct a place that would not make her ill, and was civic-minded enough to try to help inform other people about what she had learned along the way.

    Your snarky dismissal is based on, for one thing, your erroneous assumption that you’re looking at plywood (it’s poplar, and the walls are a “cementitious” board that’s less toxic than drywall), and for another, misunderstanding of the aim of the house, which was to have somewhere to live that did not secrete fumes that would be toxic to the owner. If that stove is there, it’s because it doesn’t make her react.

    In fact, you might want to abandon quick once-over diagnoses before leaving snide comments, since your eye could not pick up the immense amount of work that went into wrapping the wiring, insulating the walls, building a mould-proof shower, using steel plates in the floor, finding special adhesives, etc. You just end up with egg on your face, and you know how it makes you break out after repeated exposure.

    I don’t have bad reactions to chemicals (I’m using that in the conventional, non-smarmy sense) as a rule, but avoiding toxic gasses where you can seems like a good idea to me. This is also a beautiful little house with well-used space (the half stair/half ladder loft solution, for example), so kudos to the owner for making such a lovely thing.

    • Reply James May 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Or maybe it is possible to be critical of the “chemical-free” label and also appreciate the alternative building methods at the same time. The client’s sensitivities are a non-sequitur, and don’t justify the misuse of language.

      Nobody is arguing against avoiding toxic substances, so I’m not sure what you are trying to defend.

      • Reply Douglas May 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm

        This. So much this.

        No one is claiming certain people can’t have sensitivity to certain chemical compounds. But to title something “Chemical free” is nonsense.

        • Reply sc May 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm

          Like the others have said, instead of being a word nazi, try to suggest a more accurate, shorter and easy to say alternative.

          • James May 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm

            Okay. They should call it a “low allergen house” instead of a “chemical-free house.”

            I don’t get how asking for words to be used in a manner consistent with their meanings makes one a word-nazi.

          • Kathy May 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

            Thank you. It’s too bad when a person works so hard to construct something of beauty, only to be the subject of drive-by smart-asses who can’t be bothered to click a link before off-gassing.

            Since they’re all about terminology, although the original title was understandable to most reasonable people, may I suggest “non-toxic Tiny House” as an alternative? Or,”Minimally Toxic Within The Limitations Of Human Endeavor As Most Of Us Comprehend That Sort Of Thing Tiny House.”

            And maybe then we can go back to the subject of tiny houses. That would be swell.

      • Reply Kathy May 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm

        Far from being a non-sequitur, the client’s sensitivities are at the heart of the matter, since she’s unfortunately been involved with the subject of chemical sensitivity for fifteen years and is likely to employ common terminology that other people dealing with the same challenges would use.

        This supercilious, picayune quibbling over the post’s title was not presented out of the love of language, but to belittle someone. A smart grammarian or observer of linguistic niceties doesn’t sh*t on the efforts of well-meaning people. The Language doesn’t need “defenders” who use it to enhance their egos at others’ expense.

  • Reply ET May 16, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Why not write “Chemical free”?

  • Reply Annette May 16, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    This partial loft with hallway makes an interesting change from the prevalent full-loft idea where people try to deal with limited headspace and storage. It looks like one could enclosing a closet on the far end of this little hall adjacent to the ladder. I might be tempted to have a barrier up to the first ladder rung to keep dust/debris from walking from falling into the kitchen/fridge. Also, I like that the bathroom is not next to the kitchen as it usually is in these little spaces.

    Cool project.

  • Reply Leah Cochran May 19, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Lovely little house. Enough said!

  • Reply dan May 20, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Instead of attacking Douglas, why not attack the person naming the house?!?
    You’re defense if the person that referred to thus place as “Chemical Free” is evidence of your over-reaching political correctness. Douglas pointed out FACTS, then YOU chastised Douglas for not spending his time reading and understanding that the builder had used tons of chemicals in the construction if this house, but had spent lots if the researching and learning and teaching about how those chemicals are less reactive to her… and then named her house Chemical Free????
    That defies ALL logic…
    But then, you’re quite likely a Liberal and don’t require logic.

  • Reply greg watts June 1, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    cunts !!

  • Reply Mick Gill June 2, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Hey, I like the lines of the house . The bedroom is more easily accessed, which is a very cute design feature. Very well done. I’ve just purchased a 8′ x 20′ trailer, this design is one of the better uses of space when you consider the kitchen, bedroom and storage (steps). I’ll use some of these design elements in mine. Thanks.

  • Reply Jacqui June 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I have a chemical free tiny house…. I don’t have a tiny house yet…

  • Reply Anila July 17, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Awe, come on people. Despite the title and bickering you have to admit it is still a lovely tiny house. Be peaceful. :)

  • Reply Eve November 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    It is absolutely possible to build chemical free anything. I suggest to everyone to read the books, “Cradle to Cradle” and “The Upcycle,” by Michael Braungart and William McDonough.
    Or better yet (much faster for those who don’t read books) check out the website from the writers of Cradle & Upcycle chemical-free certification site: http://www.c2ccertified.org/
    They also have their design chemistry website (they test products for their chemical composition and design/find products that don’t have chemicals in them to replace harmful chemicals/products: http://www.mbdc.com/cradle-to-cradle/c2c-framework/

    Ask yourself how and why chemicals invaded products when there weren’t chemicals there to begin with…

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