Sustainable Lifestyle Podcast with Ethan Waldman

Recent interview with my friend and fellow tinyhouser, Ethan Waldman. Learn how to live a sustainable lifestyle in a net zero tiny house!

Click here to listen.

Tiny House Fest Vermont

I bringing the Silver Bullet Tiny House to Vermont this weekend! Join me and others who are bringing their homes for you to view!

More details about the event schedule :

Join us in Brattleboro, Vermont for four days of fun, September 1-4 this weekend!

Friday, Day 1 : See Vera’s exquisite reclamation gowns at Gallery Walk on Flat Street

Day 3 : “Living the Sustainable Tiny Life”, Vera’s Talk at 1PM on 1 of 2 Flat Street stages

Day 3 and Day 4: Tour her Silver Bullet Tiny House at the Tiny House Village

For tickets :

How 2016 Begins for the Silver Bullet Tiny House

Yikes! It has been a busy 2015 bringing the Silver Bullet Tiny House to 95% completion, facilitating my own and other tiny house leader workshops, speaking regionally and nationally. The good news, is that I’ll finally be able to get out on the road and meet you all and have the privilege of inspiring others to live the “sustainable tiny life”. The bad news is that my commitment to my sustainable education non-profit, my funding work, tiny house community work and construction have kept me too busy to blog frequently. That will change.

I am still refining the interior and waiting to install the wooden stove (it has taken months to be hand-crafted carefully) and add the permanent solar solution before trekking out on tour this summer. I am so excited to help others dive deeper into new renewable technologies, smarter products, re-up their resource stewardship, learn reclamation and resource repurposing, understand social and cultural responsibility, improve their sustainable lifestyle choices and find more affordable and efficient ways to embed those into their lifestyles.

Most of all, I cannot wait to meet all of my fellow tinyhousers and hear your amazing stories and journeys to a simpler more substantive lifestyle.

This year I will be blogging from the road about our direct engagement and outreach to individuals, families and workers through our continued speaking engagements, co-sponsoring of workshop events, and our Silver Bullet Tiny House American tour this summer. The tour schedule is just beginning to take shape and will remain fluid with stops at corporate sponsor locations, universities, schools and community locations across the country. The tour schedule will be posted later in Spring. See you down the road…if you have an organization, college, university or tiny house group along the way that would value a visit, please notify me in the comments.

In the mean time, a quick heads-up about my mentor, Deek Diedricksen, tiny house luminary extraordinare. He has a stellar cast of tiny housers at his next workshop, Feb. 5-7 at an amazing venue, the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. My friend Palo, Martin, and others will be speaking and working right along with you! Make sure you sign up quickly as he sells out fast! Click on this link, BUILD SMALL.

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Note from the fashion world. What do you do with leftovers from a tiny house or micro shelter build? I have free-cycled them, given them away AND repurposed them into eco couture to raise money for one of my other favorite sustainability non-profits, Long Way Home. Check this out from Benjamin Obdyke:

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Biomimicry in Tiny House Roofing?

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What is biomimicry in construction design and planning? You can find some examples of biomimetic architecture here.

Traditional solutions like plywood, roofing felt, and shingles is basic residential roofing, right? I grew up in, purchased and lived most of my life in homes built like this without realizing how toxic those materials can be to human health and how little their manufactured design prevents rotting, mold, airflow and longevity of the life of the resource/product. And that’s not even thinking of how to recycle, reuse or repurpose those resources!

For my tiny house/classroom build, I chose to use healthier alternatives while applying biomimetic principles by creating a traditional looking structure as close to mimicking our integumentary and skeletal systems as possible. After all, our bodies are incredible human machines! And if we treat them right, they are quite sustainable!

I choose innovative and well designed products AND manufacturers that embody sustainable practices in their product’s manufacturing and/or their management/operating practices.

I designed the Silver Bullet’s “envelope” to imitate nature with great “bones” (advanced framing) and great “skin and hair” to be waterproof, regulate temperature, and circulate air to dry itself  (or should I say Zip panels by Huber and Homeslicker Rainscreen or CedarBreather by Benjamin Obdyke).

This material comes in about a  62′ long roll, 39″ wide and is very easy to install, especially for a novice builder like me. And the manufacturer was helpful in explaining to me how to install their product for my customized purposes.

CedarBreather is a nylon mesh type matrix that has repeated mesh 3D cupcake forms across its surface. This 1/4″ compressed layer provides cushioning, eliminates moisture, prevents cupping, rotting, and is fire resistant. Ideal for the common issues that normally plague all tiny-housers.

Below you can see the layers I built. The Zip board over the rafters, the Cedarbreather over that, then the corrugated steel panels. CedarBreather allows controlled airflow over the roof deck between the ridge beam, baffled rafters and vented eave louvres.

Another tiny house construction project completed by an amateur successfully! Yay! And this means the sound of rain on the roof will be a little softer as I fall asleep looking at the stars in one of my lofts. And the last thing on my mind will be the effects of moisture on my tiny house structure!




*Check out a similar ventilated underlayment, Homeslicker Rainscreen, I installed on my walls here.

Article in Green Builder Media about the Silver Bullet:

A Tiny House that Breathes?

Three years ago I was thinking about my future tiny house envelope and chose to incorporate biomimicry as much as I could. This traveling educational exhibit, traditionally designed, to educate others on sustainable lifestyles and building retrofits, rehabs and/or repurposed construction can still incorporate biomimetics in its product choices. My next tiny house will be far more organic in design, with eco-skins, almost imperceptible from its natural surroundings. But I digress.

Nature’s design as inspiration is not new (Sacred Geometry, Golden Mean, etc.). Biomimicry, Cradle to Cradle or LCA (life cycle analysis) concepts are basic inspiration for Smart Sustainable Design.

Deciding on a vented breathing roof and rain screened walls delayed my build a bit and it was well worth it. I began installing Benjamin Obdyke’s product, Homeslicker rainscreen in late Spring during a workshop I held for tiny house enthusiast’s, video below.

My siding applications were done in sections around the house over the summer.*

Later Rainscreen

Note in the middle picture that 3 inches of screen was folded around the edges to allow drainage but discourage insect infestation. More about how to install Homeslicker here.

Homeslicker is a nylon mesh matrix that comes in a 40″ x 46′ roll and has little vertical channels that direct rain flow down the walls surface. It is very easy to install (I’m not a builder) and provides about a 1/8″- 1/4″ air layer, when compressed, between my Zip panels and my metal or wood siding.

Homeslicker will protect your wall assembly from rot and mold, allow moisture to escape, a thermal break, and prevents damage from surfactants between your vapor and siding. A great solution for tiny housers!

*Check out a similar ventilated underlayment, CedarBreather, I installed on my roof here.

Article in Green Builder Media about the Silver Bullet: