Are rooftop tiny houses becoming a trend in big cities? That might be a far stretch, but it’s an idea that’s slowly been catching on because if you’re in a city, there’s just no place for a tiny house on wheels, so rooftops could be an option for some. And it’s not the first time something kind of like this has been done.
That’s what el Sindicato Arquitectura did with its Casa Parasito project located in Ecuador’s capital Quito. What do you think of the idea of tiny homes being built on the rooftops of buildings? Is it a good idea or a bad idea? Why? Would you ever consider this if it were an affordable housing option?
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Rooftop Tiny Houses Built On Top Of City Buildings
Other Rooftop Tiny Homes We’ve Talked About…
Sources & Credits
- New Atlas
- El Sindicato Arquitectura
- Images: Andres Villota, Pablo Olalla
Manhattan Rooftop Garden Cottage Appears in This Video…
Our big thanks to Peter Stephensen for the tip and to El Sindicato Arquitectura for collaborating with us!🙏
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Thank you for sharing!
What an amazing view! The tiny house is also beautifully simplistic. I can’t imagine this happening in the US due to all of our codes and bylaws but it would be really neat if we could build on rooftops. I’d live on a rooftop in a heartbeat!
Actually, New York has a few… Like 8 stories above Broadway, on the southeast corner of 97th Street, There’s an Apartment building with three little houses on its roof that serves as penthouses…
There’s also a clapboard house with brick chimney on top of a 4-story apartment building, I think it’s on 3rd Avenue…
And multiple other examples….
Though some were made either as part of an art project or as a joke/ad gimmick, this is not a new idea, not limited to New York, and there are situations where it would be allowed…
There was/is a really nice one in Manhattan but sadly I believe the city is battling the owner. There was a YouTube video on it but it was taken down. Let me see if I can find it and link to it here…
It appears here lol… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezmsKxwIEkc
I’ll add this video to the post, it’s a fun watch
Unsealed OSB? No. Thank. You. I want to live to a ripe old age, not die from exposure to the offgassing of OSB.
Actually, for anything made in the last few years, unless you’re cutting or burning them it’s not really a risk. You can get much higher VOC from peeling an orange than just standing next to OSB…
Most VOC risk is from what’s used on the interior of homes, like the cabinetry and furniture that’ll off-gas up to over a hundred times greater concentration as well as include other harmful chemicals. Since, UF resins, which are found in composite materials used in cabinets, shelving, paneling and other products, are more toxic and out gas significantly more formaldehyde than PF-based glues.
This is further exaggerated in modern air tight homes that don’t have good ventilation as then those toxic chemicals become trapped and can be at much high concentration in the interior air of the home.
But structural engineered wood products manufactured for construction applications, including structural plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and glued-laminated timber, are made with low-emitting, moisture-resistant PF-based adhesives.
Many people just lump everything together and assume there’s always the same level of risks but that’s not actually the case…
One thing to realize is VOC is actually common in nature. Even regular real wood will off-gas to an extent but you don’t see people getting sick and dying from those low levels. Btw, fun fact, your body can even handle low levels of cyanide. Since our bodies do have ways to dealing with things and it’s mainly a problem when they get overwhelmed, which is a good thing considering cyanide can be found in foods such as spinach, bamboo shoots, almonds, lima beans, fruit pits and tapioca…
Even eating an orange (another example of a natural VOC source) can expose you to higher levels in the air than standing next to OSB would… So it actually takes a certain concentration to be a risk…
I had been told that OSB off gassed toxic VOC’s. Quick search shows that not to be the case. Allegedly. I say that because a) experts “have” been wrong before and b) I wouldn’t put anything past big business.
Another fun fact… bananas have arsenic. But in such small quantities that it is not a health hazard.
NYC isn’t for me but I have been living in a penthouse in Quito Ecuador which is more than 3000 ft above sea level but located at equator there is a tropical climate at least daytime. The capital is located in a valley and there is nearly no flat lot available but you get stunning views.
Therefore it makes absolutely sense to use flat roof tops.
The pictured Casita Parasitos may be suitable for a single person, appears to me very simple and visible chip board everywhere even on the floor isn’t so nice. But their modular system allows more spacious ones with covered porch, too.
Overall its a great idea and I believe its a way to go when it comes to tiny living in a big city where pace on the ground is very limited .
My main complaint about the OSB is the appearance. I’d want it all covered.
I do look forward to zoning laws allowing more and more types, smaller sizes, and greater numbers of THs, although if you put it on a roof, there has to be some assurance that the roof can safely handle the weight.