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LightHotel – 120 sq ft Shipping Container Tiny Home, Minnesota

LightHotel - 120 sq ft Shipping Container Tiny Home, Minnesota 1

Video
About Alchemy
About University of MN School of Architecture Students Site technology: WEDGETechnologies

Project LightHotel
Design Alchemy
Build University of MN School of Architecture Students Site technology: WEDGETechnologies
Containers 1 x 20 ft
Area 120 sq ft
Year 2016
Location: Minnesota

The LightHotel, a one room mobile hotel, stands as a beacon for ecotourism and sustainable living in the Twin Cities. It moves as the flow of the city requires, occupying places both celebrated and ignored. The city itself is its lobby.

The interior is efficient and luxe, making the most of limited space within the salvaged 8′ x 20′ shipping container. Just like most hotel rooms, there’s no kitchen, so overnight guests order “room service” from nearby hot spots. Built for the year-round Minnesota climate, it features a spray foam shell, triple-glazed windows and doors, solar powered HVAC, LED lighting and hydronic in-floor heat. The water system is self-contained, with a 250-gallon water tank that supplies an on-demand water heater and a bio-filter producing re-usable grey water. A high-end, roomy shower and separate toilet keep a body happy.

Mechanical detritus and applied typographic overlays entertain and provide functional insight. To be realized: an online public digital dashboard to map guest experiences and the LightHotel’s itinerary, educating guests on conservation and sustainability.

Led by Alchemy and weeHouse® founder Geoffrey Warner, AIA, the LightHotel is part of an ongoing effort to celebrate and create new paradigms for efficient living.

What is needed to use it immediately

Area + access. A solid, approximately level, ideally paved surface that allows for the LightHotel’s 8’ x 24’ footprint, and access to that spot by truck. Height is approximately 13’.

Water. Access to a water source (outdoor spigot) is helpful but may not be needed on a daily basis. The LightHotel accesses the water source with a garden hose. Its 250 gallon tank will last approximately 10-14 days with two guests.

Electrical. The LightHotel is intended to be fully off grid, but until it gets battery packs, it will need to be plugged in. A 100’ extension cord is provided.
240V outlet or site-wiring allows the solar array (3-240W panels) to power the condenser for the mini-split AC/heat.
A 120V power source will allow full use for everything but the condenser.

Gas: two 80# propane tanks are supplied to run the boiler.

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Video




LightHotel FAQ

Q What is the lightHotel?
A The lighthotel is a one-room, mobile hotel and postcard for sustainability. Over 18
months it will occupy places both celebrated and ignored in the twin cities. It was
designed by geoffrey warner, aia, principal architect at Alchemy Architects
(St. Paul, MN).

Q Why build the lightHotel?
A Half of the energy use in the twin cities is consumed by buildings. The lightHotel’s
high-end design creates a positive, aspirational experience to inspire an alternate
way of consuming both energy and space.

Q How much did it cost?
A This was built as a one-time public art project by Alchemy + University of Minnesota
students. We’re not exactly sure what it would take to replicate it, but it would be in
the range of an deluxe RV. The break down of this pricing goes as follows:

   Subtotal Fabrication Costs-External: $50,100
   Subtotal Design + Build Costs-Internal: $70,435
   Subtotal Donations: $50,450
Total Expenses To Date: $170,985

Q Can I order one?
A At this time, no, alchemy is not taking orders for lighthotels. We are, however,
planning and designing a new product called the lighthouse that takes some queues
from the lighthotel. The lighthouse is 3x bigger than the lighthotel, has on- or off-grid
potential, and is a fully functioning home that sleeps up to 4 people. We hope to
price it between $75-$125K “all in”. It can be used as an adu, studio, cabin, retreat,
student or assisted living. Stay in touch with us at www.weehouse.com for updates.

Q What makes the hotel green?
A The most sustainable part about lighthotel is its potential to inform people about the
effcient systems that make it work. A digital dashboard plots water and power
consumption and displays guests’ photos and experiences as the lighthotel travels.

Q What was the concept for the design?
A The lighthotel embraces the luxury of less. It has been crafted within a 120 square
foot, salvaged shipping container. We encourage you to live large and pack light.
The twin cities is your lobby and the lighthotel is your personal retreat.

Q What’s the big deal about energy?
A The average american home utilizes 900kwh each month. By adopting the same
systems that power, heat and cool the lighthotel, most american homes would spend
closer to 100kwh.

Q What is an energy pool?
A Think of the total amount of energy like a pool—it has many sources: coal, gas,
nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro-electric power. It also has many drains: transportation,
industry, buildings, and your laptop and phone. But buildings by far are the largest
consumer of electricity, accounting for half of all energy usage in the state of
Minnesota.

Q How about “green” energy?
A Coal and gas each contribute a third to the “pool” of energy sources. Renewable
sources, like wind and solar, are rising in contribution. The us has goals to produce
half the nations’ electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and minnesota has
embraced that endeavor with initiatives like the made in minnesota solar incentive
program.

Q Where does the water come from?
A The water that ows throughout lighthotel comes from a large reservoir underneath
the bed. The reservoir holds approx. 250 Gallons of freshwater at a time. The water
is then pumped through the utility closet and is heated and transferred to both the
shower and sink.

Q What is greywater?
A Greywater is essentially wastewater that has low levels of contaminants and if ltered
can be applied for non-potable uses. In the lighthouse, the greywater comes from
both the shower and faucet. It is then stored in the utility closet in a greywater lter
where any bacteria or contaminants that may be present are removed. Once the
water is ltered it can be used to water plants or reused for non-potable purposes.

Q Why should I care?
A Most water systems in use today combine both the greywater and blackwater further
contaminating the greywater and requiring professional water treatment. If more
homes and businesses adopted greywater systems, they can take advantage of other
ways of reusing greywater for applications such as dishwashers, laundry machines,
and toilet water– minimizing freshwater waste.

Specs

Design

Geoffrey C.Warner, AIA, Alchemy LLC

Build

Alchemy LLC + University of MN School of Architecture Students Site technology: WEDGETechnologies

Shell

8’ x 20’ steel shipping container from SuperCubes

Address Super Cubes LLC, 9240 Hillsboro Way, Savage, MN 55378, USA
Phone +18773745452
+19522832783
Fax +16124554029
Email sales@supercubes.com
Website https://www.supercubes.com

Windows & Door

Andersen Windows

Address Andersen Corporation, 100 4th Ave. N. Bayport, MN 55003, USA
Phone +18004264261
+18009333626
+18553378806
+16512645150
Website https://www.andersenwindows.com/

Wood wrap ( Door/wall/ceiling)

WD Flooring

Address WD Flooring, P.O. Box 368, Laona, WI 54541, USA
Phone +18776742210
Fax +17156744411
Email heidi@wdflooring.com
Website http://wdflooring.com/

Bathroom Tile

Daltile

Phone +18004493591
+18775565728
Website https://www.daltile.com/

Bathroom and Sink Fixtures

Dornbracht

Address Dornbracht Americas Inc., 1700 Executive Drive South, Suite 600, Duluth, GA 30096, USA
Phone +18007741181
+17705643599
Fax +18008998527
Email dornbrachtam@dornbrachtgroup.com
Website https://www.dornbracht.com/

Toilet

Separett Villa (waterless)

Address Separett-USA/EcoServices, PO Box 226, Barrington NH, 03825, USA
Phone +18006828619
Email info@separett-usa.com
Website http://www.separett-usa.com/

Sink

Alape provided by Montaggio

Address MONTAGGIO, 150 N 2ND AVE, MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55401, USA
Phone +16123336264
Email info@montaggio.net
Website https://montaggio.net/

Greywater Filter

Biolan

Address Lauttakyläntie 570, FI-27510 Eura, FINLAND
P.O. Box 2, FI-27501 Kauttua, FINLAND
Phone +358025491600
Fax +358025491660
Email sales@biolan.fi
Website https://www.biolan.com

Furniture + Bedding

Room & Board

Phone +18003019720
Address Room & Board Los Angeles, Helms Bakery Building, 3231 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034, USA
Phone +13107369100
Address Cherry Creek North, 222 Detroit Street, Denver, CO 80206, USA
Phone +13033226462
Address Westside Provisions District, 1170 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
Phone +14046825900
Address Downtown at Rush and Ohio, 55 East Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Phone +13122220970
Address Located at Newbury and Mass Ave., 375 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Phone +16173510020
Address Across from Galleria Edina, 7010 France Avenue South, Edina, MN 55435, USA
Address Chelsea, 236 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011, USA
Phone +12122047384
Address Pearl District, 380 Northwest 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209, USA
Phone +15032006900
Address Knox-Henderson District, 4524 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75205, USA
Phone +18003019720
Address University Village, 2675 NE University Village Street, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
Phone +12063364676
Website https://www.roomandboard.com/

Mattress

Restwell Mattress Factory

Address Restwell Mattress Factory, 8229 Highway 7, St. Louis Park, MN 55426, USA
Phone +19529083348
Address Restwell Mattress Factory, 7835 Southtown Center, Bloomington, MN 55431, USA
Phone +19528818871
Website https://www.restwellmattress.com/

Toiletries and Lifestyle products

Intelligent Nutrients

Address Customer Service Intelligent Nutrients, 983 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414, USA
Toll Free +18003115635
Fax +16126172005
Email customerservice@intelligentnutrients.com
Website https://www.intelligentnutrients.com/

Shower Door

Minneapolis Glass Company

Address 14600 28th Avenue North, Plymouth, MN 55447, USA
Phone +17635590635
Website https://minneapolisglass.com/

Signag

Archetype

Address 9611 James Avenue S., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55431, USA
Phone +19526419600
+18885121272
Website https://archetypesign.com/

Solar Panels

Itek Energy

Website https://www.itekenergy.com/

Tankless Water Heater (Boiler)

Navien

Phone +18005198794
Address 20 Goodyear, Irvine, CA 92618, USA
Phone +19494200420
+19494200420
Website https://www.navieninc.com/

Heating/Cooling

AEI-Applied Energy Innovations

Address 4000 Minneahaha Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406, USA
Phone +16125320384
Website http://www.appliedenergyinnovations.com

Lighting

Juno recessed lighting, Hennepin Made chandelier from JTH Lighting and Room & Board

Light Switches + Outlets

Legrand

Address 60 Woodlawn Street, West Hartford, CT 06110, USA
Phone +18772953472
Address 9024 Keele Street, Vaughan, Ontario L4K 2N2, USA
Website https://www.legrand.us/

About Alchemy

Philosophy

Our distinct hands-on approach to architecture and design combines a playful design process, collaborative relationships with clients, and partnerships with builders and fabricators, to create a harmonious blend of site, building, and community. With sustainable practices as a mainstay of our daily work, Alchemy utilizes recycling and reuse along with building strategies that reduce waste. Our multidisciplinary team draws inspiration from art, literature, history, and leading creative thinkers to create alternative and atypical project solutions. Alchemy’s innovation on the weeHouse prefab system and “tightwad panache” renovations has gained recognition on an international scale.

Design Services

While Alchemy is known internationally for our design of the weeHouse, a large portion of Alchemy’s business is more traditional architectural design services including new builds, commercial projects, remodels, renovations, and general design consultation. As architects, our job is to solve design problems and help bring your ideas to reality.

Alchemy’s completion of the first weeHouse in 2003, then just an inexpensive prefab cabin, gained international attention as a symbol of architectural optimism. Since then, Alchemy has widened its scope, developing the weeHouse as a prefabricated answer for cabins, houses, offices, rooftop studios, and multi-unit developments, and has completed over 3 dozen prefabricated projects around the United States.

Whether you are looking to build a single site-built 200 square foot studio or a 75 unit prefab condominium, be sure to contact us and we will further evaluate your project needs. We work on both a project fee and hourly basis depending on project specifics.

Address 856 Raymond Ave, Suite G, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114, USA
Phone +16516476650
Email info@weehouse.com
Website https://www.weehouse.com/

About University of MN School of Architecture Students Site technology: WEDGETechnologies

We build foundations for marketing, web, and IT services. Clients leverage our integrated approach to meet their strategic goals in a whole new dimension.

Quirky

“If it ain’t broke: don’t fix it!” We hear this one a lot. Just because something works doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tested, evaluated, and challenged. We’re big into this. To find areas of improvement, we challenge what we should expect from the world around us. Our curiosity and exploratory souls drive the way we work.

Innovative

When we challenge our worldly expectations, we find patterns of opportunity. Where a tool or solution doesn’t exist or provide the best experience, we take it upon ourselves to build it! We dream-up new ideas, systems, and approaches to solve problems every day. The typical needs the atypical to move forward.

Renaissance

We dabble in it all. We study the intersection of technology and creativity because we believe therein lies an untapped potential for problem solving. It’s challenging to do this because it requires we hold conflicting goals. Technology seeks to optimize and drives structure while creativity seeks emotions and drives humanity.

Wedge’s Vision

We desire to design a world where everyone can realize their happiness. In a world where reliance on technology is only increasing, we seek to abstract technical concepts so that everyone in business can access, understand, and leverage the powerful parts of technology. This is key to build space for creative problem solving.

Address 2406 James Ave N, Suite B, Minneapolis, MN 55411, USA
Phone +16514310666
Website https://wedgeus.com/

LightHotel – 120 sq ft Shipping Container Tiny Home, Minnesota

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