Tiny House Extreme Weather Challenge

Tiny House Extreme Weather Challenge

See How it Stood Up to Summer in Arizona

If you had a tiny house, where would you call home? Would you chase ocean sunsets? Seek sweeping views from a mountain? Or just find a quiet place to settle down for a bit?

The mobility and functional minimalism of tiny houses have sparked widespread cultural interest, leading to TV shows, DIY classes, and even entire communities. It’s easy to romanticize the idea of a small home that you can pick up and move on a whim to any locale. But can you expect that home to always be comfortable year-round, especially when temperatures hit triple digits or blizzards send snow your way?

The Plastics Make it Possible® Tiny House went to Phoenix, Arizona, where it was a temporary home for several special guests. During their stay, they woke up to the grandeur of the Superstition Mountains on the horizon and vestiges of the Old West in their backyard, all while putting our Tiny House to the test in an extreme desert environment.

During their visit, they experienced how the advanced plastics used in the construction of the Tiny House can help make almost any sized home more energy efficient, comfortable, and resilient—while giving them a new perspective on their environmental footprint.

More about the Plastics Make it Possible® Tiny House:

Constructed in 2015, the diminutive dwelling has traveled across the country, wowing museum and science center visitors in Pittsburgh, Orlando, and Los Angeles. Along the way it has served as a real-world example of how we can do more with less through the intelligent use of innovative plastic building products to create a comfortable “go-anywhere” living space. The Tiny House demonstrates how to improve energy efficiency in homes of almost any size, using the latest in modern building materials.

How can this 170-square-foot tiny house stand up to a wide range of environments?

It starts with the building envelope—the physical barriers between outdoor heat/cold, air, water, light, and noise and the inside conditioned space. Think about the last time your house was too hot or too cold; what was the cause? Maybe it was drafty windows, air-leaks in the framing, gaps in the spaces around doors, or poorly insulated walls. This Tiny House uses advanced plastic building materials to tighten the building envelope and improve energy efficiency.

The best part? All of these innovative plastic building products are available today to improve homes of almost any size:

  • Spray polyurethane foam insulation expands into the wall cavities to help block unwanted movement of air and heat/cold
  • Polyiso foam board helps prevent heat/cold and untreated air from coming into contact with the wall materials/framing, further insulating a house from the weather
  • Vinyl windows with plastic frames and multiple chambers improve the insulating properties and provide tight seals to minimize air leaks
  • A polyurethane clad front door with an insulating plastic foam core improves resistance to heat/cold
  • Vinyl siding and trim provide an additional barrier between indoors and out. They are also resistant to water damage and reduce painting/maintenance needs

Some of our guest photos from their visit: