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Healthy Home: Portland Loves Tiny Houses - February 12, 2013
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Accessory dwelling unit

Small homes come in many shapes and sizes. There are super cute bungalows, tiny homes on wheels and accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which have become quite popular since the City of Portland waived about $12,000 worth of development fees for these small and independent living units. Don’t worry, thanks to City Council, the waiver doesn’t expire until 2016, so you still have time to design your dream cottage for the backyard.

Living in smaller spaces follows a national trend toward affordable, tiny houses. Even Portlandia has caught on with a parody of micro-living.

Small homes offer a wide range of benefits for their occupants. First and foremost – they are less expensive to purchase or rent. They consume less energy and materials than larger homes, which keeps long-term operation and maintenance costs low. They also take less time to clean and can lead to a tidier and more organized home due to the lack of “extra space” for all that “stuff”.

The recent Sightline article Tiny Houses with Kids offers inspiring insights into the benefits of creative thinking in tiny homes…with kids!

And of course, thinking small lowers the carbon footprint. An Oregon DEQ research study comparing 25 green building practices showed that the environmental benefits of living small was the most effective green building practice for reducing energy and material use. So, small is green – very green.

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