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Tiny Homes (for the big picture)

Identifying ecologically just solutions to social issues is a labour of love for the Brunswick Ecological Justice Hub, writes Jesuit Social Services’ Strategy and Projects Leader MAY LAM.

It’s 6.30am on a dark Sunday morning on the last day of March. Stuart Wilson and Michael McGarvie from Jesuit Social Services’ Ecological Justice Hub in Brunswick are towing the tiny home built at the Hub to the Sustainable Living Expo at the Kensington

Michael McGarvie (L) and Stuart Muir Wilson with the Ecological Justice Hub’s Tiny Home

Community Festival. It’s a strange adventure, the culmination of a year-long process of design and building. But it’s well worth it. Over the course of the day, the house is a festival drawcard, attracting 200 visitors and many delighted feedback comments.

The ability to be relocated is one of the home’s many appealing features, along with its ability to support off-grid living through battery-stored solar power, rainwater tank, compostable toilet, and a biogas option for cooking. Refrigerator-standard insulation keeps temperatures under control, and the use of reclaimed windows and recycled timber for interiors demonstrates how design and construction can be realised in environmentally sensitive and sustainable ways.

Visitors’ feedback expressed astonishment about how cosy, spacious and homely the house was on the inside, describing it as ‘airy, appealing’, ‘simply gorgeous’, ‘cosy’, ‘looks bigger than you think’ and ‘fantastic unit with full size features that really could be a home away from home’. The enthusiasm was backed up by multiple enquiries about orders, including from one person who wanted four, for his extended family’s holiday beach block.

Planning is now under way to realise our goal to promote eco-design and construction skills among young people, while demonstrating how we can create and live in a more ecologically just habitat.