Tiny House Appendix Will Be Included In 2018 IRC

The International Code Council (ICC) reported that public comment RB168-16, the tiny house appendix, has passed the final round of voting, receiving the required 2/3 majority vote. As a result, a tiny house specific appendix will be part of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), allowing people to receive a Certificate of Occupancy (COO) for their tiny house when built to meet the provisions of the adopted code appendix. A lack of recognition of tiny houses in the IRC had been a hindrance to the creation of legal tiny houses in communities across the U.S.

The approval of RB168-16 is a culmination of the efforts of Andrew Morrison (www.TinyHouseBuild.com) and a team of architects, builders, designers, and educators. The team initially defended the proposed appendix at the ICC public comment hearings this fall at which time they received the first 2/3 majority vote necessary to place RB168-16 on the official ballot.

Tiny houses have gained popularity in the last few years as a result of historically high housing costs, flat lined wages, and a grassroots movement towards minimalism. A tiny house specific code helps not only those wanting to build tiny but also local building officials overwhelmed with applications for tiny house projects.

“RB168-16 brings much needed safety standards to tiny house construction,” says BA Norrgard, volunteer coordinator at Habitat for Humanity and founding member of the Tiny House Collaborative. “This is a breakthrough that holds potential for positive change in the housing sector, which is in crisis.”

The approval of RB168-16 is historic; however, each jurisdiction currently enforcing the IRC must now adopt the appendix for it to become law. That is the next step for the tiny house appendix and one that Morrison’s team intends to meet head on.

Morrison, a builder for over 20 years who leads tiny house workshops and has taught over 2,500 students to date says, “We have a group of enthusiastic people in the tiny house community and we will work together to continue the positive movement forward for the industry.”

Atlas Roofing Supports Wildlife Biologists Expedition With Build of Tiny House

Atlas Roofing is supporting a group of Canadian-based wildlife biologists this summer on their expedition to study the whale and dolphin species of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Led by Katy Gavrilchuk and David Gaspard, in association with a non-profit organization, the Mingan Island Cetacean Study, the expedition will focus on the long-term monitoring of large baleen whales on an important summer feeding ground. With the assistance of donations from Atlas Roofing and several other companies, Katy and David were able to build an environmentally sound tiny house that will serve as their mobile research base. It will assist in their expedition, while keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum.

“This expedition is truly one of a kind and Atlas is very excited to be a part of this innovative project,” said Tom Robertson, wall insulation business manager for Atlas. “What Katy and David are doing with their mobile research base is both smart and unique. We can’t wait to see what they are able to achieve in both their studies and in the name of environmental awareness with the help of the tiny home.”

Background on the Expedition
Studying mammals, such as dolphins and whales, requires the ability to move at any time in order to properly observe and track these amazing creatures. In the biologists’ previous expeditions, that level of flexibility was not economically or plausibly feasible. In addition, the biologists had a desire to raise awareness of the consequences of global consumption and reduce their own personal impact on the environment while still accomplishing their research.

In order to address these issues, they came up with the idea of constructing a tiny home on wheels, giving them the ability to overcome the logistical obstacles of studying mammals on the move, while also raising environmental awareness.

Building the Tiny House
For Katy and David’s tiny house, they developed a set of criteria for the products used in the construction and one of the most important was that the supplier companies be eco-conscious.

The wildlife biologists found that Atlas products are highly energy efficient, water and fire resistant and are manufactured with sustainable processes.

While the environmental aspect of the tiny homes insulation was important, Atlas had to meet other criteria as well including:
·High thermal resistance: A smaller space can lose heat quickly and the tiny home needed to be used in varying weather and temperature conditions.
·Lightweight: Since the tiny house would be attached to a trailer, the biologists had to respect the maximum load capacity and save weight where they could.

After the wildlife biologists determined Atlas met their needs both environmentally and logistically, EnergyShield PRO foam boards were installed in the building envelope. EnergyShield PRO wall insulation features a high R-value, Class A durable aluminum facer that also serves as a water resistive barrier, all helpful qualities for the tiny house. In addition, the insulation boards hold a Class A fire rating and can be used for exterior CI (continuous insulation) for installation over concrete, wood, wood stud and more. Because of size constraints, it was important to get the greatest insulation value possible from the few inches of space that could be allocated to insulation. With an R-value of 6.5 per inch, the highest available in the market, EnergyShield PRO was able to provide a total R-value of 22 in a 3.5 inch product. Overall, it took the wildlife biologists four days to install the Atlas insulation.

What’s Next?
The expedition is 670 miles long, and the field season will last until September 2016. The journey to the whales begins in Montreal, where the biologists will be stopping along the way in Quebec City, Tadoussac, Baie Comeau and Sept-Iles. The journey to the Gulf of St. Lawrence will serve two purposes: raise public awareness about living sustainably and ecologically, as well as monitoring for whales along the north coast of the Gulf. To follow Katy and David’s journey along the way, visit http://venturebiologists-tinyhome.weebly.com/ or BigWhaleTinyHouse.com.