Toiny Cabin - Steel frame T01
The Toiny Cabin started out as a challenge to the conventional prefab ideas out there. It tries to bring bioclimatic approach and real land connection to such a small project. The position does matter, even if it's really tiny! The Toiny comes in more than one flavor. The steel frame has a funky-looking apparent frame, a green roof, beautiful detailing that's not tricky to install and a gorgeous shaded deck.
As a permanent home in a temperate climate, the Toiny uses the Sun to heat the place all winter, and shade it in the summer. It bring Sunshine in the morning where you need it and keeps you protected from the harsh summer afternoon heat. It gives you natural light without glare, it opens you up to the environment when the weather is nice and keeps you comfy and warm when cold comes. Everything has been thought-out so that you can utilize your climate to the max. Flexibility is key when building small.
The ideal position for this home is South facing, with the bedroom towards the East (for northern hemisphere). A North protection like a hedge or other building is nice, but not a must, as there are few openings and deeper insulation on that side to keep you protected from winter winds.
Foundation and terrain
The slope can vary quite a lot, so the best option is to lift the whole thing above ground. The structure is light enough for pier foundation in most use cases. Crawlspace or a slab foundation are perfectly fine solutions too.
You can add as much insulation as you want on the inside of the structure. The more insulation you will add on the inside of the structure, the more living space you will loose. The tricky bit with this funky plan is keeping the structure apparent without loosing heat or creating thermal bridges (where the metal bringing cold from the outside). Cold weather projects might be better off going for the wooden structure t02 (here) that is more manageable insulation-wise.
Sliding doors and panels
The sliding doors can be as fancy or as DIY as you wish. Some of you might only need wooden panels that you can remove or slide away when the weather is nice. Others can go towards more airtightness, with glass panels on a track.
For tropical climate, the position changes, but so do the lateral openings. You need to place the openings on the longer side and place the whole house on the prevailing breeze direction. This way, the cooling breeze will come through the tiny openings on the back wall and come out through the large openings in front, cooling the whole space. The fact that this layout provides ventilation underneath the house is a great advantage in tropical regions, though the roof should be changed into a reflective material instead of greenery. Sorry.