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Blockhouse Sustainable Tiny House in Spokane


Here’s a vacation you can feel really great about. Book a stay in these 290 square feet Blockhouse studios, and you’ll know you’ve left a net-zero carbon footprint.

The Pacific Studios were designed sustainably, using reclaimed materials and more. Solar power gives you all the comforts of home, and there’s a Murphy bed to sleep on. Book your stay on Airbnb and check out the video tour below.

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Net-Zero Living in the Pacific Studios

I’m not usually a “modern” fan, but these are gorgeous units

They encourage you to meet other travelers during your stay!

There’s a full kitchenette so you can make your own meals.

During the day, this is a living area.

The coffee station and artisan cutting boards.

There’s a Murphy Bed on the wall.

They used recycled timbers inside and out.

Time to sleep!

Beautiful full bathroom.

Sustainable products provided.

How awesome is it that they produce more energy than they use?

VIDEO: Sustainable Stay at Blockhouse Life Perry

Description:

All of our Blockhouse Units are focused on an eco-friendly design. We are proud to provide you with a ‘Net-Zero’ living experience, meaning we have almost completely eliminated our carbon footprint, and produce more energy than we consume. Whether it be through forest restoration, recycled materials, or utilizing solar energy; BlockhouseLife is placed in the community, for the community. And rest assured, you can expect to find all the comforts of home while living the BlockhouseLife experience.
You’ll be staying in the Pacific Studios; our micro-studios designed with our travelers in mind. You’ll have the entire unit to yourself. Each unit comes with its own private entrance, private bathroom, and a stocked kitchenette. The unit is accessed via smart-lock for your security and peace of mind. Free on-street parking is available in the friendly Perry District neighborhood.

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Marsha Cowan
    August 8, 2021, 10:47 am

    I’m sorry, but I don’t like it. Recycled wood means that it was once used and now, instead of throwing it away, it is going to be reused on another project. That interior wood looks like either new cedar or redwood, and especially in today’s crunch for building products, no one would give that away or not reuse it themselves. Perhaps they planed it from the sustainable forests that were mentioned, but I doubt that is reused wood. I am guessing that they were newly bought from the building supply store or from a builder going out of business. The exterior is harder to determine because it has been stained. I also can’t imagine coming home and entertaining in those chairs after a long day at a meeting or sightseeing. You would have to lower the Murphy bed to have a comfortable place to sit and relax, eat, or use the computer. I guess if you had guests, they could curl up on the bed, too? Are these units kid friendly or just for those without kids? Perhaps there are longer living arrangements that can be had by tenants. Some of the buildings did not have solar panels on them. Are they using solar electricit, too, for the larger building, or are they not off grid? The panaramic view of the neighborhood shows some really lovely homes whose yards have been usurped for parking of guests and dumpsters, and whose views are blocked in every direction by these 2 story industrial looking buildings that all look the same. All the shade trees are relegated to the outside of the block of homes. Poor neighbors! The noise of coming and going at all hours by tenants, the loud whining of garbage trucks (usually in the wee hours of the morning) banging the containers to empty them, and the sweltering heat from the sun on houses that probably used to have shade. Sorry, I am not impressed. Grant you, this is my first impression based solely on what I see in the pictures, the video, and from the descriptions. I could be totally wrong; show me proof of recycling and testimonies of happy neighbors in those houses, and I will happily recant. One of my biggest concerns over these types of dwellings is that when they are paid for, and staisfactory profit has been made, they could be sold at a bargain to someone who may lower the the price (and possibly the standards of living by reducing ammenities) to keep the units full. Then there could be problems with overcrowding which can lead to undesirable situations in the neighborhood. I have to say that I don’t like to see things like this planted in neighborhoods with existing single dwelling homes of an entirely different genre and time. Put it in an area all its own so that whatever happens with it will not affect the existing neighbors who may not want to leave their family homes for the sake of industry.

    • Alpine Pedestrian
      August 8, 2021, 11:34 am

      Well said, Marsha. The first thing I noticed was no couch to sit on. Just chairs. I also didn’t like that gigantic, scary face picture dominating the room, and no blinds to cover the glass on the door for privacy.

    • August 8, 2021, 11:46 am

      Good points all so you might check out Tiny Texas Houses to see what is possible with REAL used materials…Keeping in mind the labor costs to tear down, clean, resurface, organize and transport as well as store and market used materials properly….It better be a labor of love because getting rich is not in the cards….I too would rather see more efforts in the use of Hemp and Bamboo in construction materials. The advent of Hemp/Bamboo SIPS would go a long way in sustained structures IMHO. Laminated Bamboo structural members and Matted Hemp for insulation and security would make sense. But then I design in the Park Model RV format and have little interest in multi family rat warrens….

    • Alison
      August 8, 2021, 3:31 pm

      Many municipalities are encouraging increased density in neighborhoods that traditionally have had only single-family dwellings. In California, the state has made it so towns can’t keep many of their zoning restrictions (accessory dwelling units generally must be allowed). The justification is that we need more housing, but when the new units are used for short term vacation rentals, the goals for regular housing aren’t met. There are, of course, regulations about where short term vacation rentals are allowed, but those have proven difficult to enforce. (I’m speaking about what I’ve seen in Santa Barbara, CA. I don’t know anything about Spokane.)

    • James D.
      August 8, 2021, 5:48 pm

      Well, recycled can also mean it was discarded or unused materials that would otherwise have been considered waste. It’s not necessarily always reclaimed materials that were previously used…

      Mind, there’s a ton of waste in the construction industry, more than several thousands lbs of waste is produced with the building of every home and that skyrockets when you add homes being demolished, renovated, and remodeled. Along with all the things we replace with new products instead of fix and repair… Even from just the lumber yards, not all wood is considered sell-able or cost effective to sell and thus quite bit gets thrown away as they carve up the logs. Though, the process has become more efficient over the years, the point is there’s a fair bit of material that could be recycled into usable products and that’s something we’ve started to see as more and more companies have started to produce products from recycled materials…

      While part of the reason lumber prices went so high was because the housing market was turning out a lot more homes, and with people stuck at home, getting stimulus checks, etc. created record high numbers of people doing renovation and remodeling projects.

      So, while some people started saving wood, the amount of waste produced still provided a lot for other companies to produce recycled products…

      Recycled also doesn’t mean it needs to be left in a used stated, since as long as there’s enough materials it can be processed to a like new state. Just like other new products made from recycled materials. Wood’s weathering, etc. is usually only skin deep and planing or sanding can remove that layer to reveal the fresh material below that will return it to like new appearance, nail holes can be filled, pieces/scraps can be finger jointed into larger or longer pieces (a lot of trim molding is made that way and is just painted to cover it), chips can be turned into OSB, saw dust can be turned into MDF panels, etc.

      There’s just a diminishing returns on turning otherwise waste materials into usable new products. So they can easily end up costing more than the normal new material products and thus is typically more about the environment and sustainability than cost effectiveness.

      However, examples like the one Bill pointed out with Tiny Texas Houses is a great example of large scale use of reclaimed materials that is cost effective. Along with promoting DIY, fix it yourself, etc. that moves away from industry and consumerism…

      • Mary McGuirk
        August 9, 2021, 9:37 pm

        The $8.00 2 by 4s are back to less than $5.00 now. The supply and demand is getting back in balance. Since the new economic programs ADD VALUE to society, things rate to continue growing. This is a very livable home.

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 8, 2021, 10:43 pm

    My point was that redwood and cedar are in such demand that you cannot find them in the stores. Even builders have to special order them, so you won’t find cedar or redwood being reused or recycled. You can only find it new by ordering it. That’s okay, just that “you gotta’ lotta’ ‘splaining to do, Lucy” if you won’t me to believe that this housing project is using that much recycled wood (especially cedar or redwood) on the outside and inside. I’d just like to see the proof.

    • James D.
      August 9, 2021, 3:02 am

      I could be mistaken but I believe you’re making a couple of erroneous assumptions here Marsha…

      1) This wasn’t just built, it’s an example of one of their completed projects that they’re already put on AirBNB and started promoting since November 2020. So the present shortages may not have applied at the time of construction began on that project well over a year ago when they started in 2019…

      2) Lack of supply at the stores doesn’t mean anything to recycled material products as they would be made from waste materials that would not be sold at most stores and follow a completely different supply chain. If anything that could have made it easier for them as there would have been less competition for the recycled material…

      3) Appearance can be deceiving with wood because it can be veneered or even have different treatments to make it look like a different wood species. Recycled materials, especially, can be made from even completely different materials from what it has been made to appear to look like… While the builder’s site indicates they use a lot of cross laminated timber, which means they are primarily constructed with pieces glued together… So a little could go a long way…

      4) The lumber shortages weren’t actually due to shortages of supply but rather over demand and distribution problems. Since the lumber market relies on predicting demand and lumber orders are typically made over six months in advance, the system is vulnerable to miscalculation on demand when demand unexpectedly spikes. While they resist changing demand because it would hurt them if they increased production only for that demand to disappear. So the saw mills, etc. typically wait it out and let the market take care of itself…

      Add, the distribution system has a number of vulnerabilities as well with similar slow to adapt to changes issues but this mainly resulted in delays in deliveries. So construction projects still progressed, the delays and high demand just made the costs go through the roof and anyone not at the front of the line was left looking at empty shelves at the stores but those at the front were still getting work done. Ultimately, the fact the housing construction projects and people doing home projects never stopped shows people were still getting their materials, albeit there was a lot of competition…

      So I would have to disagree that it’s hard to believe they used recycled materials. It was just likely an expensive project. But we’ll see if they provide more information on their material manufacturing process… There is a question of how much of the material was recycled, that’s often actually a percentage, and it would be good to know what other materials were used and some may be concerned about the glues, etc. for off-gasing, etc. concerns…

      Regardless, the distribution problems have largely been resolved now and we are starting to see prices for lumber start to come down. So, while it’s unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels, things shouldn’t be as insane as last year going forward… Barring any new developments…

  • Linda Baker
    August 9, 2021, 9:39 am

    So many good points have been brought up but I would like to add one – a comment made about putting this in an established neighborhood has one advantage – the utilities/sewer/water access was already in place so not as much disruption to the existing neighborhood putting in sewers etc so vacant land was kept available while this land was probably reused – making multiple living/housing available does have some advantages and for the solar to work and for the construction some trees had to be eliminated – lets hope they planted some elsewhere to make up for that loss – as far as down the road use of these structures they could be used as units for previously un-homed individuals (yes homeless) getting back on their feet or seniors wanting to drastically downsize – I see their size as the biggest drawback here – certainly only sized for temporary living , even a thow is more useful for long term use. This doesn’t look like the only “modern” structure placed in this neighborhood with yards taken up for parking – lets hope some type of water retention or specialized drainage was added with all that cement coverage – more sustainable parking areas would have been mu choice over so much concrete coverage – if they get snow pile up that parking is going to become scarce.

  • JF
    August 9, 2021, 10:36 am

    Lord in heaven Marsha. “Reused” and “recycled” do not mean you got the material for free. It just means it had at least one stop between the tree and your new project. There are tons of businesses that buy materials from the owner of a building that is being decommissioned. Those businesses then re-sell those materials to builders and consumers. It does not mean that the builder got it for free.

  • M A Neuschwander
    August 9, 2021, 11:47 am

    I am sorry – but these are very ugly! I feel sorry for the neighbors that have those built right next to them – The cool craftsman houses in that area are beautiful!

    What is wrong with leaving our footprints on this earth? We are created beings and why should be so quickly be forgotten by our family and friends? All this carbon neutral crap is so sad!

    • Mary L McGuirk
      August 9, 2021, 9:43 pm

      are you used to getting what you want from stating your opinion? I love Craftsman Bungalows too, but these are also appealing. and they will be decades from now as the wood ages gracefully. It is a start at a net zero lifestyle. I am in favor of that.

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