Generally when we talk about sustainability, our goal is preserving and improving the world for the next generation. But it can work in reverse as well.
When designing and building the small home, Josh thought about sustainability and what his father’s lifestyle would be like as he aged.
“All favor a retiree on a fixed income who is inevitably going to have changing needs through the course of ownership,” Josh told New Atlas.
The result is the perfect custom cabin for aging in place on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Josh has won many awards for sustainable design. He put his eco-expertise to good work on Mike’s Hammock.
He relied on local and recycled materials for most of the construction. For example, he framed the house with southern yellow pine sourced from a nearby housing development. The entire project produced less than one dumpster of waste. He minimized energy costs with a custom heating and cooling system. The average monthly energy bill is only $25.
“We designed a smart, double-wall exposed metal duct to distribute the air efficiently while simultaneously adding to the interior decor,” Josh told New Atlas.
Just inside the front door, the open kitchen keeps everything within easy reach. Ikea cabinet bases with full-extension drawers mean Mike can use the kitchen even if his mobility declines. There are no high cabinets or hard-to-reach shelves. The sleek kitchen countertops are built from locally made concrete and the peninsula features an integrated sink and space for eating.
The same southern yellow pine used for framing also warms up the bedroom. Pine shiplap covers one wall and continues up the ceiling.
Even though the home is small, minimal furniture means there’s plenty of space to move around between rooms. Doors are also wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. So is the bathroom, which is right off the bedroom.
The new house passed its first major test with flying colors. Hurricane Irma came through the area and brought damaging winds up to 110 mph. Though some nearby trees fell, Mike’s Hammock made it through unscathed.
The back of the house faces west. It overlooks a wetland home to birds and other flora and fauna. It is perfect for viewing sunsets.
We’d say Mike is definitely downsizing like a boss!