Design Study – Underground Concrete Pipe Tiny House Concept – Part 2

Here’s another layout that solves some of the issues with the first design. It’s a little smaller, 320 square feet, because it’s missing the custom concrete hallway that joined the pipe sections. It’s also missing the nice clerestory feature but this would be easier to build since there would be less custom concrete work.

In this design the four 12′ by 8′ concrete pipe sections are all facing the same direction with one overlapping the other pipes acting as a connector (bathroom section). This layout would also provide more passive solar heating since the living area and bedroom all face south. Only the connecting pipe with the bathroom would miss out on the sun.

All the rooms would have sliding doors set into framed and insulated end walls. Circular windows would be very cool but I suspect the cost would be as high as they were cool. I’m thinking that standard sliding dors would make more sense for the budget conscious. Rounded windows surrounding a sliding door would be really nice if the budget allowed.

The only space that would be poorly lit by natural sunlight would be the hallway in the bathroom pipe section. But it would get some indirect light from the kitchen and bedroom when the door was open.

The exterior would still be bermed to add extra thermal mass and a little custom concrete work would be needed to seal up the areas where the pipes overlap. Plumbing, electrical, and other systems would be run through the space below the floor but still inside the pipe. Solar photovoltaic panels would have to be placed on a tracker or other rack away from (or above) the house since this design doesn’t really have a roof.

The things this design is clearly missing is a distinct entry. Visitors would be fairly confused and if the parking were put on the bedroom side they would probably try knocking on the bedroom first. Very awkward. I’ll try one more iteration before I put this idea to rest on the back burner of tiny houses that would be cool to build.

I’m curious to know what you think. This is a bit of a hair brained idea but it seems to have some nice benefits. I could even see something like this making a good vacation rental for the curious and adventurous, especially if it were finished out nicely.

Continue to part 3 >


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