The tiny house movement (aka “small house movement”) is a description for the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. Currently, no set definition of tiny house. is agreed upon; however, a residential structure under 46 m2 is generally accepted to be a tiny home.
Pachamama is a community of creative individuals living in the forest outside Rheenendal, Knysna, South Africa. The land was purchased in 2016 with a few structures on it, which were created on site, using different types of wood.
As our projects grow, we would love to bring new structures to the land, predominantly to live in and better function together as a community. We plan on building homes and other structures in a workshop format and as part of working-bees. This gives us a base to share knowledge of certain building styles with individuals who might be interested in learning.
Our vision is to experiment with a variety of innovative building techniques and materials, building structures that:
- Suit our local climate
- Is as eco-friendly as possible
- Is energy-efficient to live in
- Is built using locally available materials where possible
Some ideas of interesting tiny space building projects we have considered, include : A yurt, geodesic structures with state of the art technology and a log cabin, built using wet logs and no nails or bolts.
We live on a farm with many alien trees that are being systematically removed as part of a large forestation project, where many indigenous species of trees will be planted. Our main source of building material will thus be wood, as we have an abundance of it to work and play with.
Homtini Foresters together with volunteers from Pachamama have been working hard at processing the felled trees. The on-site woodmill is used in turning this wood into planks that will be used as part of tiny home projects in the near future.
Watch this space to follow our first tiny log cabin build.
The Homtini Tiny Homes contribute to the sustainability and social-ecological transformation of the Pachamama eco-community and the wider Kraaibosch citizens.
This project will provide employment for three to four people in the local area, contribute to the apprenticeship of one or two people, remove half an acre of alien invasive trees from the land buffering the Knysna Forest.
The Homtini/Pachamama community has formed a collaboration with the South African National Parks (SANPARKS) Board to develop and maintain a sustainably used, ecologically sensitive buffer zone around the park. For every four Tiny Homes commercially commissioned, we are able to co-design and build a tiny house for a family in need in our Kraaibosch community, offering a caring, creative alternative to the South African RDP housing conscious). Our Tiny Homes provide more humane, personalised and eco-friendly alternatives to RDP housing while empowering the community to better their own living circumstances.
Living close to nature and climate resilient housing
Our Tiny Homes are created from sustainable materials. The water and sanitation are built along simple eco-friendly technologies (i.e. rain water harvesting, grey water systems, compost toilets and solar lighting, natural insulation). In our area, fire and flooding are real risks. Weather patterns and positioning of location is taken into account like wind direction, sunrise, flood and fire risks ect.
In 2017, our region was hit with fatal wildfires and 700 homes were lost to the fire. Many of our Tiny Houses are built on recycled trailers and truck chassis and are therefore portable. This means that in case of an emergency or pending disaster like flooding or fire, people can have their homes moved to safer territories. In the era of climate change and unpredictable weather, having a movable home is climate-smart.
The new forest cabin pictured below was part of the inspiration to build a Tiny House
View our accommodation page here.