Architecture students think small in Saanich

160 square-foot home being constructed in Gordon Head

Ryerson architecture students Douglas Peterson-Hui (left)

Ryerson architecture students Douglas Peterson-Hui (left)

If you’re looking to downsize from your current home – I mean, really downsize – some architecture students in Gordon Head may have just the right house for you.

Douglas Peterson-Hui, Daniel Sobieraj and Gregorio Jimenez have spent the last three months constructing a 160-square-foot home on a 20-foot-long trailer, rethinking the traditional concept of bigger is better when it comes to home ownership. The idea came from Peterson-Hui’s grandmother as a summer project that would use the skills they’ve developed thus far in university.

“This was her idea since we were close to finishing our studies at Ryerson University in architectural science,” said Peterson-Hui, 20. “It’s something that’s manageable but it’s quite a large project, even though it’s so small.”

While still a work in progress, the team has been innovative in their ambitious design of the tiny house, working out the most efficient ways to hook up heating and plumbing systems to provide the comforts of a larger home. The tiny house features a kitchen, bathroom, fireplace, a small loft and a lounge, making the most of every square inch.

“We’re always trying to find multiple uses for everything we can,” said Jimenez, 36. “Our first design was maybe in March, and we just kept designing, keeping in mind the structure. We’re still tweaking things.”

“It’s harder to design a small space and cram everything in rather than have a 4,000-square-foot home where you can have an entire room for one thing,” said Sobieraj, 21.

The house is designed to run both on and off the grid, with options for solar panels or to connect to a generator. The stove, fireplace and on-demand water heater run off propane to save electricity for other parts of the house.

Sobieraj said B.C.’s red-hot real estate market, which has outpriced many residents from owning detached homes, also factored into the inspiration for the tiny house.

“You want to challenge the stigma of having a tiny house,” he said. “People think it’s like a mobile home or an RV, they think of trailer parks, but we’re really saying, ‘You can have a house smaller than an RV, and you can live in it.’”

Peterson-Hui said tiny homes are currently classified as recreational vehicles or “Ubilt” trailers, meaning they can only be lived in part time. The team hopes to lobby local governments to redesignate them as a full-time solution to the province’s shortage of affordable housing.

“It’s complaint-based, so if you were to be living in a tiny home on a piece of property, the only time the city would interfere is if someone complained,” he said.

With the fall semester starting up in a few weeks, the team is aiming to finish the project over their Christmas break. Peterson-Hui said they’d like to document its completion before selling it.

“This is kind of a portfolio piece for us, too,” he said. “We want this project to stand out and we want to display it to other people. We’re thinking of taking it somewhere scenic and take some pictures there and document it.”

 

 

 

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read