Tiny Drop mobile home on cutting edge of efficient living

If big things come in small packages, eco-builder Shannon Bryant and her partners have built a mansion.

Measuring in at a seemingly minuscule 150 square-feet, their Tiny Drop mobile home is an ultra energy-efficient abode that boasts cutting-edge technology, durability and a carbon footprint as tiny as its name suggests.

“Our company, Tend Building, does small, energy-efficient homes and studios and we love to build out of salvaged materials,” Bryant said during Tiny Drop’s open house on Wednesday at Crazywood Gallery. “We were doing high-performance houses, and we wanted to do something to where we could show people what we can do and that meant putting it on wheels.”

Bryant, who is from Vermont but now resides in Houston, makes houses like Tiny Drop for folks who want to live a bit more ecologically and efficiently. Built almost entirely out of salvaged and repurposed materials, Tiny Drop is at the forefront of a new-age building movement.

“We became interested in the tiny-house movement, and we decided to build one and bring it around so people could see what it is like,” Bryant added. “All the people who have been in it so far say it feels really expansive, so we’re able to talk to them about what we do and why we do it.”

Upon entry, the interior space feels much larger than the outside suggests. Natural lighting and a host of windows in every corner helps connect occupants to the world outside and shake off any feelings of claustrophobia.

In keeping with the natural theme, Tiny Drop also uses a fresh-air system to circulate oxygen into the cabin and odor-free building materials, along with a moisture-removing vent fan to keep the interior clean and pristine.

Not one to skimp on the necessary amenities, Bryant also installed a spring water-filtration system, an on-demand water heater and an exhaust-controlled furnace for chilly nights on the road or in the park with everything being powered through solar panels on the roof.

“In creating this space, we were really focused on things that have two or more purposes to be able to fit everything in there,” Bryant said. “Having such a small footprint, not having to clean the house so much and not having to have a big mortgage gives us more time to be able to do the things we really want to do.”

After working with nationally renowned eco-builder Dan Phillips for a few years, Bryant said she was bitten by the same bug he has and now looks endlessly for free and usable materials to repurpose for larger projects.

“He is a big inspiration to me,” Bryant added. “Working with him made me see things differently and now as I’m driving down the road, I’m always keeping an eye out for new materials.”

“She joined my crew about three or four years ago wanting to become a builder and she basically taught herself everything she knows,” Phillips said. “I just gave her an opportunity to learn and now she’s got her own company and she’s building houses that are just beautifully done.”

For more information on Tiny Drop or to find out more about Tend Building, visit tendbuilding.com or contact Bryant at shannon@tendbuilding.com

Author: Joshua Yates

Interdisciplinary artist Joshua Yates was born in Clearwater, Florida and moved to Houston, Texas at the age of two. He has received Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with Highest Honors in Photography and Studio Art from Sam Houston State University while completing his Undergraduate Honors Dissertation in Performance Art Studies. With more than 10 years of experience behind the lens and a proven track record for enhancing digital and social media outlets, Yates has a passion for multi-platform journalism and visual communication in the digital space. He currently works as a Linux administrator for HostGator in downtown Houston.

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