Tiny House makes a big impression in East Berwickshire

Tiny House East Berwickshire

AIRTIGHT vapour control membranes and windtight breather membranes from Ecological Building Systems (EBS) have provided a complete sealing solution for a unique mobile ‘Tiny House’ being built at a community riding facility in Lamberton, East Berwickshire.

‘Tiny House’ will provide overnight accommodation for guests to Eat Sleep Ride, a community-based riding school and social enterprise based on the Scottish Borders.

Tobi Kottwitz is the builder of the Tiny House, having constructed his first compact dwelling on wheels six years ago in Germany and towed it back to Edinburgh to live in. His mission was to build a similar house for Eat Sleep Ride, so he relocated to the farm at Lamberton, founded the ‘Tiny House Experience Ltd’ company and started building.

Tobi was working from a German design for the house and Pro Clima products had been specified for their ‘sustainability, energy efficiency and performance’.  Due to the regional differences in some of the product names, he contacted EBS as the UK distributor for Pro Clima, for technical advice and to enquire about purchasing materials.

For the timber frame walls, Pro Clima Fronta WA, described as a highly vapour permeable breather membrane for external use, was chosen and Intello Plus, an intelligent hydrosafe vapour control membrane, fulfilled the requirement for airtightness and vapour control internally.

Pro Clima Adhero 3000 was selected for the roof as the project required a membrane that was appropriate for the particularly low pitch of the roof whilst providing protection from wind-driven rain during the construction phase and the required level of vapour permeability for the lifespan of a building.

To complete the specification, Pro Clima tapes were selected to provide permanent, airtight and windtight seals. They are designed to last the lifetime of the building, even in humid climate conditions.

Interior of Tiny House, Berwickshire

Andy Cook, EBS’ technical specification advisor, explained, “Moisture control is often a problem in mobile buildings. This combination of highly vapour permeable external membranes and intelligent vapour control layers from Pro Clima helps reduce the build-up of interstitial condensation, meaning the risk of damp, mould or rot is minimised, the insulation is optimised, and the timber structure is protected.”

Because this is a community-based sustainable project that aligns with its values, EBS supplied the Pro Clima breather and airtight membranes and tapes free of charge.

Andy Cook added, “We were so pleased to donate products to help Eat Sleep Ride in their mission to provide overnight accommodation. Eat Sleep Ride do some fantastic work providing equine-assisted therapies and equine-facilitated learning, which have been proven to have real benefits not only for the local community but for people from all walks of life across Scotland and the UK. We wish them well with the Tiny House project!”

Tobi Kottwitz commented, “In a small building like this, occupants and their activities can produce a lot of humidity which could get trapped inside and create condensation and mould. The Pro Clima membranes are perfect as they are able to control the passage of moisture vapour, while allowing the fabric of the building to breathe. We’re very grateful to Ecological Building Systems for donating these materials which will make a huge difference to the energy efficiency and comfort of occupants in Tiny House.”

Tiny House utilises many sustainable natural materials, including hemp wool insulation and Poplar plywood for the internal walls, larch cladding boards for the external walls and spruce timber from a local wood mill. All the windows and the door were salvaged as locally supplied, second hand materials. Due to its airtight and well-insulated design, Tiny House does away with conventional electrical and gas-powered heating systems and requires only a small woodburning stove for use in the coldest weather/

The dwelling is classed under normal caravan regulations as the house will be towable and roadworthy. To meet the regulations, its weight had to be under 3.5 tonnes and it must be no wider than 2.55m or higher than 4m. As a result, the walls were around 14cm thick.

Eat Sleep Ride CIC provides facilities for the community, with 24 acres and around 20 horses. As well as being able to ride horses, visitors have the opportunity to work in the community allotment and view the butterfly garden. Guests can also play a part in caring for chickens, as well as taking part in activities such as mountain bike riding and exploring the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Eat Sleep Ride also has an eco training space, with two yurts, with plans underway to introduce a rainwater fed hot tub.