Amanda Komar

Multi-company collaboration hopes to inspire the tiny house sector to become more sustainable and healthy

Jacksonville, Fl. – (Oct. 24, 2018) – EcoRelics and Norsk Tiny Houses are pleased to announce that its 198-square-foot tiny house project, LEEDing Tiny, has been awarded LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification available under the LEED rating system by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The project is the first tiny house to achieve LEED and was completed in partnership with the USGBC Florida community.  

“We are thrilled with this achievement and that we were able to build this tiny house with 89 percent repurposed materials,” says Annie Murphy, co-owner at EcoRelics, a strategic partner on the project.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the world’s most widely used green building rating system. It can be used on all building types that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. There are nearly half a million residential units that have earned LEED certification globally.

“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “The tiny home project is a reminder that from the tallest skyscrapers in big cities to the smallest homes in local communities, LEED works for all project types.”

A home can achieve LEED certification under the LEED for Homes program after undergoing a technically rigorous process, including on-site verification and performance testing. The sound design and operation of the home is tested and measured using tools such as a home energy rating system (HERS) audit and onsite inspections.

Other strategies and solutions incorporated in the project’s LEED Platinum certification involved high-waste diversion, solar PV, submetering and real-time usage data sharing, exceptional material efficient framing and environmentally preferred products, and locating the tiny house on previously developed infill and near transit and many community resources, making walking to common places a true option. A typical 1,000 square foot house in the U.S. creates 4,200 pounds of construction waste. The tiny home project created 960 pounds and was able to recycle 557 pounds of waste. In addition, the tiny home is highly energy and water efficient, and has exceptional indoor environmental quality. The project used paint with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and materials that are free from formaldehyde. All stains used were natural and non-toxic.

“We spend 90 percent of our time indoors, so where we live greatly impacts our health and wellbeing,” said Sarah Boren, director of market transformation & development, USGBC Florida, and one of the project leaders for LEEDing Tiny.

In addition to achieving LEED Platinum, the project team hopes the house will become a home to a local veteran in need, and ultimately, create a community of tiny homes. Partnering with the Clara White Mission to start a tiny home community for veterans in downtown Jacksonville, the proposed tiny house community would serve once-homeless veterans, and is in the process of seeking strategic partners and sponsors of individual homes.