College and high school students are embracing the tiny house concept with gusto. One of the leading architecture firms in Sweden is right behind them with a series of affordable, portable micro dorms that are also environmentally friendly. The “10 smart square” dorms are only 107 square feet, but feature lofts, kitchen, living and dining areas and an interesting use of cross laminated wood.
Tengbom Architects is working in collaboration with wood manufacturer Martinsons, real estate company AF Bostäder and Lund University in Sweden to develop sustainable and smart housing for students. The first unit was on display in the Virserum Art Museum in 2013 and this year there will be 22 units available for students to move in.
Cross laminated timber is an engineered wood building system designed to complement light- and heavy-timber framing options. Because of its high strength and dimensional stability, it can be used as alternative to concrete, masonry and steel in many building types. The process is popular in Europe and is growing in availability in the U.S. The benefits are fast installation, reduced waste and improved thermal performance.
The units are made from cross laminated wood and are assembled on site. Each contain a sleeping loft accessed by wall-mounted stairs, laminated furniture, shelving and even a laminated kitchen counter. Each unit has a tiny bathroom/shower combo and strategically placed windows for light and privacy. The rent for these units will be about 50 percent less than larger dorm rooms on campus.
Photos courtesy of Tengbom Architects Text by Christina Nellemann