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Flat-pack NOMAD Micro Home promises inexpensive off-grid living


November 7, 2013

The NOMAD Micro Home measures just 100 sq ft (9.2 sq m)

The NOMAD Micro Home measures just 100 sq ft (9.2 sq m)

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Canadian company NOMAD Homes has produced a new concept micro-home that measures just 100 sq ft (9.2 sq m), ships as a flat-pack, can operate off-grid, and is said to be easy-to-build. The firm has turned to Indiegogo to raise funds for manufacturing, and eventually intends to sell the base version of the home for under US$25,000.

The micro-dwelling shoe-horns a living area, kitchen, bathroom, and upstairs sleeping area into its small physical footprint, and is offered in three versions, with included features depending on price.

The base model sports kitchen cabinets, shelving, plenty of storage space, laminate flooring, lighting, and prewired electrical outlets. Shelling out more cash brings additions like a solar power system, grey water treatment and rainwater collection, while a wooden deck can also be added to offer some additional outdoor space.

Construction materials include metal structural insulated panels and galvanized metal siding, with baseboards and trim made from MDF. The company promises that the NOMAD Micro Home will be termite-, moisture-, and fire-resistant, and cites disaster relief, student accommodation, and low-income housing as potential uses for the unit.

The NOMAD Micro Home is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. Should all go well, the proposed starting price for the base model is CAD$25,000 (or around US$24,000).

Of course, it can be a long, rocky road before crowd-funded concepts evolve from computer renders into hard reality, but it's an interesting project that we'll be keeping an eye on.

If you're so inclined, the video below features the obligatory pitch.

Source: NOMAD Micro Homes via Indiegogo

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Just perfect! Great loft.

Seth Miesters

I could live there easily. Not so sure about the "off-grid" part, but a home like that would be sufficient to my needs.

Chuck Anziulewicz

My mom and I have been toying with the idea of moving, buying a single plot of land, and having 2 houses like this (one for each of us). This way we save costs and each get our privacy.

Zaron Gibson

I think this is really nice. I would not mind living in such a small yet cool house.


What an amazing concept. I would be quite happy to live in one of these once the kids eventually move out.

Wesley Dart

Great layout, cheap price, looks comfortable and practical. I like it.

There is just one fly in the ointment. How is this house heated? Because if it's not, it's just an upscale tent, nothing more. And if it's electrically heated, then it's hardly off-grid; the power bill will be as big as the house is small, what with the thin walls, big windows, and large surface/volume ratio.


Cute little house. I like the SIP construction. BUT, where the **** do they get the pricing on this? Are they trying to recoup their entire R&D budget (and amortizing the new SIP machine) on the first few dozen homes? At $25k, I'd expect a completely furnished house, rain/graywater/septic systems, solar panels and lights, all delivered and set up on my site.

Geeze, are they using titanium siding and platinum sink? I could build and sell a basic house like that for under $10k and still make a profit while charging for the assembly. I love these little concept homes, but pricing is still so un(ahem)real. Sign me -- NoCondo NoMBA NoBMW.


How well insulated are they? Are they suitable for cold climates? They're pretty small, why not make them modular.... hook a bunch of them together to make a bigger and bigger home as funds become available (or as the family grows).


Maybe okay for a weekend. Who in the third world could afford one? Or first world for that matter. $250 per square foot! The layout does look very efficient alright. How about a set of plans and material list for the do-it-yourselfer.

Robert Bissett

Nicely designed, and flat packed to boot! Very impressive.

Just one more thing to make me even happier. How about a handrail? Seriously, you are in bed, the tummy flu strikes, you have to go down these risers that are quite high on treads that are unequally shaped. Give me something to grab!

It's a pet peeve, I know. The building code - it's been saving us from ourselves for quite some time, now!

Ruth Vallejos

Your much better off buying a used 48-foot shipping container for about $2,000, and spending $23,000 for solar, wind, solar water heating, and having a welder and carpenter do cutouts and windows for you.


What is inexpensive about a $250 a square foot micro-home whose price is already 150% above stick build and labor is extra? And we have yet to find out if the insulation package is comparable to the standard home.

Why do you and many publications that feature new home tech, insist on calling "affordable" or "inexpensive" homes that are far more expensive than stick built, not to mention factory built?


Students, designers, and architects have been taking this 100 square foot challenge for a while now. They can design them so they look nice on paper and in built-model concept. Unfortunately the people who take the concept to the end and actually live in them sooner or later turn into crazy serial mail bombers. Can we please graduate to the 250 sq ft concept? At $250/sq ft. not including land, labor, permits, etc, these are no bargain, either.


Looks cool, but how would you change the sheets on the bed - where would you stand?


I like the idea and it is one of the better ones that I have seen, but working on something a little larger would be more practical. I think that this is a little too small to live in for any length of time, there is the usual problem of storage of clothing etc. Storage is disregarded in even much larger homes and I feel that you just have to be able to store.


My off-grid home, including solar electric system, woodstove, and a greenhouse, at a total of about 850 square feet cost less to build that this "inexpensive" $250 a square foot microshack.


You could build a 200s.f. Monolithic Dome home with an upper bedroom and would be hurricane, tornado and fire proof for less than that.

Lamar Havard

Since you can get a decent used double wide mobile home for $25K that has three bedrooms, where are the savings?

In addition, the stairs are an accident waiting to happen. Half of it has NOTHING to hold onto.

No....try again. I am not a designer and I could do a better job with 'open source' housing.


I want one

Kelly Buckley

I like it! Whether a mobile home is a better $$ then this to me is a little bit apples and oranges. I mean there's a difference between a Ford Fiesta and an Austin Mini even if they are both little cars. I know people who live in mobile home communities and the communities themselves are a bit dodgy. With little homes like this I'd love to visualize a sort of new-age, yippee (yuppie/hippie) kind of people who all lived in little spaces. Hey - lets invent that OK? Nomad Home Park…. It is refreshing to hear so many people have interest in tiny homes and say "this suits my needs". I agree! When I see these suburb monster homes I can't imagine who needs so much space, and what a tonne to clean and waste of land in a world where many people spend time a 4 ft area in front of the TV or in bed. I'd like to get one, and marry my neighbour, and then we'd build a covered walkway joining our homes and lives. Beautiful…simply beautiful. Hope you get the $$ Nomad; As a Gen Xer who spent almost 20 yrs paying off my student loans and still being under-employed, this is finally a home I can afford.


Look like steep stairs. Whats the tred and going?

Jason Lloyd
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