WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

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Living Small: Micro Housing Grows Up

For decades, bigger meant better for U.S. homeowners. U.S. houses ballooned from under 1,700 square feet in the early 1970s to 2,500 square feet more than three decades later. But following the housing crash, small homes – and even micro units – are sweeping urban areas. In the District of Columbia, developers are including units as small as 330 square feet in their projects. And tiny houses are now popping up in once-defunct lots and alleys. We explore the design challenges and lifestyle considerations that come with living small.

A Look At Tiny Houses

The Minim House, designed by Foundry Architects and Brian Levy and built by David Bamford (Element Design+Build), Tony Gilchriest and Brian Levy, has 210 square feet of interior space.

The home, a bit bigger than some other microhouses at 11 feet by 22 feet, was constructed from "SIP"s (structural insulated panels) prefabricated off site. Among its features are a rollout, full size bed, a 5 foot closet, a 10-foot galley kitchen, 8.5 foot couch and a wet bath.

A table can be repositioned in several locations around the house to serve a number of functions, from coffee table to an extra desk. The home also has a 290 gallon capture/treatment rainwater system.

Click through the slideshow below for a tour of the home.

Want more pictures? Check out the Studio Shed and 140-square-foot Matchbox home .

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