We’ve seen more minihomes than we can count in recent years – everything from 10 feet by 10 feet spaces with crafty beds that appear from behind walls and toilets tucked behind sliding doors to super-chic super-cool prefabs and almost anything else you could imagine in between. But what most of them have in common is the idea that in today’s world, space is at a premium. There are just so many of us that sooner or later, we’re going to need to start shrinking our living space – which is where the mini prefab home comes in.
Lloyd Alter, of TreeHugger, used to sell mini modern prefabs. He had a hard time shifting them, and he thought it was mainly due to the fact that people had nowhere to put them. Land is pricy and putting additional properties onto your existing land usually entails a minimum square footage requirement.
Services are often expensive, too, and because some of the more modern and eco-friendly prefabs can cost upwards of $125,000 for a mere 375 feet, they were pretty difficult to shift.
So, he decided to do something a bit different. Many people who buy a modern prefab do so for leisure reasons – so that they can use it as a retreat at the weekends, as a haven at the end of the garden or even as a holiday home that they can tow. But the main issue was that people didn’t want to spend so much on something that would end up in a trailer park. Those who love the idea of an eco-friendly modern prefab wouldn’t quite “get” staying in a trailer park – and the people at the trailer park wouldn’t quite “get” the people spending so much on such a small home. Lloyd came up with what he thought was the perfect solution – the trailer park to end all trailer parks. Modern, green spaces where people could own the prefab and lease the land around it seemed like a great idea. Unfortunately, zero sales later, Lloyd quit the prefab business.
The designer of the minihome that Lloyd had fallen in love with (the Sustain Minihome), Andy Thompson, started having talks with the owner of a hotel and small park on the shores of Lake Ontario. These talks developed into action and soon, a brand new concept was born – the eco-park. Complete with a new road, constructed wetlands, green space, eco-friendly sewage systems and a “reinvention” of the modern trailer park, the eco-park is the perfect spot for the super-cool green prefab home. We only hope more crop up around the world so that more and more people can enjoy them – although Lake Ontario is a pretty good place to start! We think the perfect eco-park would include a nature reserve, a spot for families and children to play together – and, of course – a swimming pool. But that’s just because we love swimming pools! What about you? What would you include if you could build your very own eco-park?