Germans are increasingly choosing to holiday in their homeland and holiday home ownership is still rising. But as the cost of living and heating a dwelling increases, owners are also concerned about reducing their overheads. One Amberg-based company has come up with a neat retreat-in-a-box solution that uses solar ventilation to reduce bills.
Freiraum’s Zinipi Tiny House is made from one of the most energy-efficient and sustainable buildings materials – wood. The modular walls are made from beech with large dowels that slot into each other, without the need for glue or screws, while the exterior façade uses weather resistant thermo-treated timber. The floors are formed of spruce and Swiss pine and a titanium-zinc roof keeps the cabin snug and water-tight.
Solar ventilation is integral to the structure – Freiraum uses Twinsolar ventilation technologies provided by Grammar Solar. The unit consists of a fan powered by a photovoltaic module which ensures a consistent flow of fresh air to ventilate the interior and take stale air out. The smart system can also heat the airflow, shutting itself off once an ideal temperature is reached. The result is lockup-and-leave cabins and portable trailers that don’t suffer from moisture and mould damage.
Heating is usually provided by infrared natural stone ceiling heating or a wood-burning stove. But for homeowners keen to go ‘off-grid’, photovoltaic panels are offered as an extra, as are compost toilets and a self-sufficient water system.
The basic Zinipi shell weighs 2.5 tonnes, with floor space of 7 m2, and can be adapted to a tiny house, or sauna. A lodge version of 11.8 m2 allows for a separate bathroom, and other models include a mobile home with 25 m2 floor area and modular house composed of a series of 18 m2 blocks.