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614 Sq. Ft. SOLETA Zero Energy One Tiny Home

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If you like tiny homes on foundations then the SOLETA might interest you.

It’s a zero energy tiny house created by Catalin Butmalai of the Justin Capra Foundation for Invention in Romania.

The house is on display at the United States Embassy in Bucharest.

Not only does it power itself thanks to solar and wind, but it can also be managed with your smartphone.

It’s 48 square meters downstairs and 9 square meters up in the loft.

That translates to 516 square feet downstairs and 96 square feet upstairs.

So 612 square feet in total living space without including the outside deck space.

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Solar & Wind Powered Tiny House with Smart Ventilation System

Solar & Wind Powered Tiny House with Smart Ventilation System

Images: Soleta.ro

I encourage you to enjoy the complete tour (including video!) below:

The Soleta Zero Energy One Tiny Home

The Soleta Zero Energy One Tiny Home

Living Area

Living Area

Storage Cabinet Doubles as Staircase to Loft

Storage Cabinet Doubles as Staircase to Loft



Sleeping Loft

Sleeping Loft

Japanese Style Dining Area

Japanese Style Dining Area

Extra Dining Space in the Kitchen

Extra Dining Space in the Kitchen

The Kitchen

The Kitchen

Climate is also controlled with a ventilation monitoring system that can be managed with your smartphone.

Notice the windows that open and close below.

The Soleta Zero Energy One Tiny Home The Soleta Zero Energy One Tiny Home

Video of this Tiny House (Not in English, sorry)

Floor Plan

Floor Plan Floor Plan Floor Plan

Images: Justin Capra Foundation for Invention

More info over at the Justin Capra Foundation for Invention.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 22 comments… add one }
  • anita
    December 12, 2013, 8:24 am

    I don’t have a problem with stairs going to a loft, but these risers look awfully high. Plus, no stair rail. After 3 broken bones in 3 years, I’m starting to get a little paranoid about aging and balance issues (shudder).

    Aside from that, I find it all pretty cute.

    My sister and daughter HATE the idea of my having a small house with a loft, even though I would have stairs. My sister (only half jokingly I think) said she would support the idea of a loft with stairs only if the stairs had one of those stairlifts! I got a good laugh picturing the absurdity of a stairlift installed in a tiny house!

    • Bill Burgess
      December 12, 2013, 5:30 pm

      There are some great Lift Ideas I like for old people like us. One I have is to put the lift attached to a wall and the floor would be inset into the floor. As the lift is activated the first tier lifts the handrail and the floor is lifted after 3′ of rail has lifted. I will put up some drawings on my 4Fathoms Designs FB page for you to look at as that site is dedicated to Seniors for the most part.

      • kristina nadreau
        April 15, 2016, 6:01 pm

        pleased to hear rational thought given to the aging population which is at least as large a population as the millennium youth, who can use stairs and ladders. I live in a foreign country where the building codes are not really enforced so I have seen some useful elevators that are also inexpensive. 2 inch angle iron, tow roape and a 1/4 horse motor and away we go!.

    • David C. Burdick
      December 14, 2013, 10:53 pm

      anita: I gather you’re at the age of not needing to climb stairs; me too. The idea of a stairlift is possibly very feasible though. If you’ll research getting w/ me via e-mail it’d be great (https://www.google.com/search?q=stairlift). I’m sure w/ the Tiny House movement well on it’s way and w/ the copious nos. of designs, both mobile & fixed slab, a staircase mfg. co. would want to consider production for that design configuration. dCb

      • susan cross
        March 1, 2014, 12:30 pm

        he has stairs here on his website. just like those but they have a 1/2 riser on one side of each stair. you have to go up right foot, left foot, right foot and reverse coming down but this way the rise is not too high per step. at the grandkids home here I just added a brick to the left side of the steps going up into their house on each of the three steps.

  • Virginia Garren
    December 12, 2013, 8:20 pm

    I really liked this. Might be because it wasn’t rustic. I am 72 yrs. old and would be interested in a chair lift but would start out using the loft for my sewing alterations and quilting and use a murphy bed downstairs.

  • Guy Madison
    December 20, 2013, 12:08 am

    Nice, I could live there also. One note… they used zinc plated bolts to hold it together, they should use hot dipped zinc bolts which are not shinny but… resist galvanic corrosion much better. Some of the bolts may fail in as little as 4 years depending on the climate.

  • Emanuele
    January 3, 2014, 11:28 pm

    Very nice, but how much do the various model cost ?

  • Mary Johnson
    February 28, 2014, 11:49 pm

    Do you have any used that can be payed out over time? And would you do the set up?

  • Richard
    March 1, 2014, 12:04 pm

    I think it’s unnecessary to have a sleeping loft in a home this large. Some kind of Murphy bed makes more sense. Retirees don’t need to be climbing stairs. Also: where does one wash clothes?

  • annie
    March 1, 2014, 2:55 pm

    Nice, but no one talks about cost.

  • Rinna
    March 1, 2014, 4:17 pm

    Wow I surprised myself by really liking this model. I went to the website and there’s tonnes of info but, much to my aggravation and like many of these types of designs, no simple pricing breakdown. For my family we’d need an extra room but its really a layout we could work with and be comfortable in. y interest in this one is extremely high so I may just email them for more details.

  • dino
    April 13, 2014, 2:01 pm

    It says in the video that the cost of the house is approximately 25.000 euros or 35.000 dollars.

  • LaMar
    May 9, 2014, 6:18 pm

    Well, they are calling it a zero energy house but when I visited the website they do not include any info on heating and cooling or hot water. I am very skeptical that they are producing the power for those systems using that single solar panel and wind turbine.

    It is an interesting design but that much glass especially at that angle on the walls would cause a lot of heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.

    I would want to see the actual energy figures before I will believe the hype.

    It has some nice features but angled walls make placing furniture difficult.

  • joseph wessel
    July 3, 2014, 6:17 pm

    I have tried contacting this company, but seems the Romainian Telephone System is on the blink. I have also tried to e-mail the webmaster for this site and it came back as failled. I am very serious about trying this design

  • Scooter
    September 12, 2014, 4:23 pm

    I like this tiny house. I would sleep where the living area is to be close to the necessary facilities and live where the Japanese dining area is. I think it would be important to have the windows be as insulating as possible with blinds.

    And 1,200 square feet is not the requirement everywhere in the USA. I talked with the zoning person in my small city in mid-Michigan, and he was surprised to be asked about minimums! 🙂 In my small home city, anything 400 square feet or more is allowed to be built. There is some language in the ordinance about having as a minimum 20 foot perpendicular walls (20 X 20 = 400) . This would mean both dimensions are at least 20 feet, and that wouldn’t work for tiny houses on wheels. As I’ve commented before, I don’t want to drag my home with me, but when I am home I’d like to live smaller and with less stuff. I believe my favorite designs–including this one–would be allowed because they include over 400 square feet total–even if both dimensions weren’t 20 feet. Meeting one of the criteria makes it easier for approving bodies to allow for some non-conformities to the ordinance guidelines. Check with the actual rule keepers and see what the minimums are and go from there. It might be the smaller houses are allowed without drastically changing any codes where you live, too!

    • Jodie Dew
      October 22, 2014, 9:02 pm

      my community too only requires that it be a minimum of 20×20, I double checked as I am getting ready to build a 20×28 on a lot I just purchased in town, and I wanted to be sure that I was going to be able to meet all the requirements before I purchased the lot. Even with having the entire thing built for me, and using average supplies and finishings I will have less than 75000 total including the purchase of the lot.

  • Cynthia Taylor
    April 15, 2015, 5:04 pm

    Would like to see a combo washer/dryer in the kitchen and the use of aquaponics in the pond. Breed salmon to feed the plants that feed the fish along with krill, phytoplankton and zoplankton. Keep the water flowing via a solar setup. Is the wind turbine along with the solar panels enough to power WiFi and basic electronics? Would like to see a recycling water system that uses grey water to water the garden. Would you build a sistern for water storage?

  • Canyon Man
    September 14, 2017, 5:31 pm

    I have left various posts about discussion of options. Stairs are one that is discussed a lot. I really like the idea of alternative’s. I think more discussion to stairs, insulation, basic construction would be beneficial to many. When I built solar homes we learned to insulate corner posts and exterior wall joining posts. I live in a poorly designed home but due to medical issues was not able to finish my dream adobe home. A properly built tiny home could end up have almost zero costs to living in.
    I have solar on my current home that produces twice the energy we use. Unfortunately my state does not allow me to benefit from the extra power I send into the grid.
    If my health would have made it, I would have built something totally off the grid. As long as you have to pay someone a monthly fee for things like power, water, heat or cooling it makes the cost of livening soar while income stays the same or even lessens.
    Frank Lloyd Wright had the right idea when he said learn to know the land before you build or even place a home on land.
    Land has mini-micro climates and those can be adjusted with foliage, shaded patios or other options. So many good ideas are being overlooked when we stay within the confines of standard design. Sometimes different is not only good but much better.

  • Marsha Cowan
    September 14, 2017, 7:52 pm

    So cool! Love othe dark wood stain.

  • P
    April 6, 2018, 11:37 pm

    I’m trying to find out if anyone has actually purchased one of these homes, and their experiences with the company. I’ve spoken with them over email and the communication’s was slow and not very helpful.

    I would be interested in speaking to anyone who has actually had any business with them.

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