“We like to say, ‘All you need but nothing you don’t,’” James Gregory of Shelter Dynamics says of his net-zero Pod House. The 432-square-foot home was on display at the 2016 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show as part of NGHTV’s Tiny Town. The oblong structure and arched ceiling echo the sailboat Gregory built for his wife, and the tiny home is just as self-sufficient. It also has a similar storage capacity, he says.
Thanks to its solar panels and BMZ lithium battery, the house can be powered for about a day and a half per charge. The Toto shower gets warm thanks to an AET solar water heating system. The Swiss Roll-shaped house has R-40 insulation and triple-pane windows and was designed to withstand 150-mile-per-hour winds. The compact interior is full of tech, with lights and Yale smart locks that run on AT&T’s Digital Life platform.
It cost about half a million dollars to build the Pod House. “So much of it has to be sort of invented as you do it,” says Gregory, adding that, “once you have a prototype you can start making more of them.” Future iterations would be around $160,000, not counting the pedestal Gregory and his wife plan to sit the building on when they move in.
Gregory is also working on other projects, like a pocket neighborhood in Colorado. The homes would be between 600 and 1,200 square feet, connected by sidewalks, and would share a common lawn. And instead of individual garages, there would be detached parking farther away from the homes. Gregory’s thinking in planning this community was that because so many people live alone now, housing should be multi-generational and built to take care of social as well as physical needs. He thinks smaller and more functional homes are the future.
“We are a demonstration,” he says of the Pod House. “We’re also a direction.”