At this year’s Home + Garden Show, Midwestern builder EPS Homes will construct a 912-square-foot home (plus loft) inside the Minneapolis Convention Center in less than 72 hours. And—for the first time in Minneapolis—it will include a full roof and sprinkler system.
“People are looking for ways to keep costs down while still getting what they want to live comfortably. They are realizing that they need an efficient, Durable structure first, and then they can do a lot with the inside finishes later.” —Lee Bergum, EPS Homes
Designed by Alchemy Architects in St. Paul, the home blends barn-house aesthetics with contemporary techniques to create a highly sustainable, energy efficient, and flexible home.
Of particular note: a 264-square-foot guesthouse. It's a cabin-like retreat complete with a bed platform that sleeps three, plus a full kitchen and bath. A studio for an artist? A mother-in-law abode? A teenage hangout space? This tiny home’s function is limited only by a homeowner’s creative imagination.
• Finishes are minimalist. Says Bergum, “In recent years, homebuyers have increasingly favored structural efficiency over expensive and ornate exteriors.”
• A lofted dormer overlooks a customizable lower level. This open space contains interchangeable kitchen and bathroom pods that, prior to construction, can be arranged to suit owners.
• Provocatively bare high-grade plywood skin provides a rustic, textured alternative to drywall. The exposed plywood grain, which can be whitewashed or stained, adds welcome warmth to the living space.
• HOM Furniture decor focuses on proportional, open, honest living with industrial chic. A leather sofa with flared arms in on-trend grey is right sized. A steel and vintage glaze coffee table on casters provides style and versatility. A wool rug with natural dyes is made in India by a manufacturer with a mission to empower women.
• Rustic siding covers an energy-efficient SIP exterior.
• Second story glass windows line the south side of the house, providing passive solar heating in cooler months and an aerial view of gardens in warmer months.
• Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are thermal resistant and airtight, and they arrive at a jobsite premade and precut. This minimizes labor and utility costs as well as construction time.
• The Garden By The Woods will showcase adaptable landscapes that allow homeowners to do a lot with limited hardcover, a concern many face with city restrictions and smaller properties.
• Introducing keyhole style gardening—a moisture retention technique commonly used in very dry climates. By surrounding a composting area with edible plants, the soil becomes self-fertilizing. (And there's no need for composting bins.)
• An aesthetically pleasing hydroponic waterfall also works to maintain an herb and vegetable garden that is integrated with the grill area.