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Kaid Benfield’s Blog

Downsizing the footprint with Tiny Texas Houses

Kaid Benfield

Posted May 6, 2009

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On the Tiny Texas Houses website, Brad Kittel states his fascinating architectural philosophy much better than I can:

"My goal is to show people what can be done with a concept I call Salvage Building, thus what you see is 99% Pure Salvage. That means that everything from the doors, floors, windows, lumber, porch posts, glass, and even the siding has been saved and used to create houses that we hope will last for at least another century. I believe that there are presently enough building materials sitting on the ground to build much of the next generation of housing. All it takes to make it so is pure human energy, spirit, and the desire to build something that will last for several lifetimes.

"I also believe we don't need as much space as we have become accustomed to in this country. Therefore I have created Tiny Texas Houses to demonstrate just how great it can be to downsize our carbon footprint, simplify our lives, and live in a house with a soul that will be energy efficient as well as beautiful."

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These creations have some spiritual cousins in the Third Street Cottages on Whidbey Island, Houston's Project Row Houses, LA's Watts House Project, and the cottages built to house people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.  While they are certainly not for everyone, that may not be the point. The images of Kittel's houses are exceptionally provocative, given the excesses of our society.

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I am certainly not the only one who has noticed: the Tiny Texas Houses have garnered a ton of press.  All the images you see here are from the website, and there's also a video:


Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment.  For more posts, see his blog's home page.

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Samir SuccarMay 6 2009 11:32 AM

I love these! Thanks for this great post. I just saw something else on "small living" here - browse through the comments - quite a war of words!

Nick WallsMay 6 2009 03:36 PM

Just wanted to say that i ran across this site today and have since read almost all the archived posts. Congrats on a fantastic series of posts that are very approachable for the novices but also fulfilling for those well versed in the general area. Thanks for your writing and keep it up!

Kaid @ NRDCMay 6 2009 03:42 PM

Nick, thanks so much for that feedback! It means a lot.

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