ROOTS Solutions ceased operations 9/1/2016. These web pages are for historical reference only.
We urge you to contact the worker cooperatives that were started or the individuals who participated directly. The ROOTS Solutions club had no ownership in or control of those individuals, cooperatives, or businesses.
Larry designed, funded, and built this prototype as a proof of concept and training experiment using his own time and money. You can contact him with questions.
Larry, our engineer, named the prototype he built TEENA: the Tiny Energy Efficient Necessary Abode .
Comfort and Luxury Features
|It’s not a pile of heavy lumber : TEENA starts life as a pre-cut stack of galvanized steel studs, channels, tracks and TEK screws. This gives TEENA a lightweight and extremely rigid structure—a foundation frame strong enough to eliminate use of a traditional trailer. Instead, it uses a simple, lightweight dolly: jack up the house, and insert the two halves of the dolly, one from each side, and connect them with a series of bolts. Then, attach the hitch, and it’s ready to be pulled behind any reasonably-powered pickup truck.|
|Engineered, not just cobbled together. The use of jigs ensures the perfect fit of trusses. Using an exterior channel virtually eliminates any thermal bridging. An extremely strong roof framing stiffens the entire structure like a bridge beam. 1/4″ plywood screwed in a one foot pattern overall creates a membrane skin (similar to aircraft construction) for extreme light weight but with high strength.|
|Fiberglass is great as a fishing pole, but is a poor choice for insulating . Shown here is the application of castor bean oil insulation foam. A full 4.5″ with some areas such as floor with a full 7″.|
|Foam insulation has been used, providing total sealing and great R value. It is also quiet as a tomb.
R value is one thing in determining energy efficiency, but there is no comparison with foam and typical bats of fiberglass. Like a filter, bats emit energy wasting air flows. When using foam insulation any crack or hole no matter its size is filled in and sealed. The majority of a homes heating and cooling losses can be due to air infiltration.
|All electrical wiring is done using 12ga and larger NM metal shielded wire embedded inside exterior channels to ensure long lasting, secure, trouble free service.|
|Six 280 Watt photovoltaic modules for 1680 Watts DC . Delivers power to two separate Midnite Kid charge controllers regulated to 24 VDC nominal.
Ten tube Apricus evacuated solar hot water tubes in custom cedar manifold trim provide hot water needs (shown on the left in the image).
|6 kW Inverter 120/240 VAC with built in battery charger. Tankless water heater for unlimited hot water. 10 gallon custom stainless steel water heater with built in electric elements for absorbing any available excess power and hot water from the evacuated tube collector. 10 kWh of storage in high quality lithium batteries. All enclosed and hidden in book case cabinet.|
Unlike most tiny homes TEENA does not use the traditional trailer for transport. The stiffness and overall structural strength allows us to use a removable dolly and tongue arrangement. Retracting the two bay windows makes it highway compliant. Six independent torsion elements and a lightweight frame are simply bolted on using 1/2″ bolts. Four hardpoints are permanently fastened to the foundation frame and manual screw jacks are inserted in sockets. Raise the home and remove the dolly and tongue, and then lower to a level pad if desired.
You can also simply insert the jacks, level the home and retain the wheels in place if desired. Although TEENA weighs less than 4000 lbs, allowing transport without axle brakes or larger vehicle greater than a 1/2 ton capacity, the six wheel arrangement with individual independent torsion elements insures a smooth ride no matter the road conditions.
Note that the dolly is in two sections which allows easy placement and it also allows storage in a small space as it can be tilted up to set flat on the wheels and tires.
Also, the tongue is designed to allow folding into a smaller area for storage economy.
A full set of DOT-approved lights and reflectors are attached using magnetic brackets so you can remove them after transport for a clean appearance.