Tiny house, big plumbing

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This Tiny House on wheels may be small, but it is big on features. At a cozy 150 square feet, the home is nothing short of luxurious, with high-tech building systems combined with high-end appliances and furnishings. Designed in collaboration with 30 architects, engineers, and materials specialists, this safe and sustainable home has helped educate and inspire over 50,000 people who have toured it since 2015.

Tiny House_Case Study_Tracey Powell
The homeowner, Tracey Powell, also happens to be its designer and builder. She and her brother, Trever Powell, wanted to ensure her home was safe, sustainable, durable, functional and technological. When it came to choosing a plumbing system to meet all of her needs, she first did her research, and then called Uponor.

image1 (1)Like many homes in this growing community, Powell’s tiny house is on wheels, and code-compliant for frequent transport. “We were worried that most plumbing connections wouldn’t hold up to vibration and movement during transport,” said Powell. “So thank goodness we found ProPEX® expansion fittings, which are highly leak-resistant and get stronger over time.”

Sustainability was an extremely important aspect of the project, especially when choosing a plumbing system.

“I wanted the quality of my drinking water to be high,” explained Powell. The fact that the ProPEX® expansion fittings don’t need adhesives and glues like other fittings was very important to me. I don’t want chemicals seeping into my water.”

Tiny House_Case Study_Interior 1Every inch counts in a tiny home, so Powell was pleased with the flexibility of the ½” Uponor AquaPEX® tubing. The bend-radius made it easy to install quick turns with each change in direction, without having to stop and cut a fitting. Building a tiny house comes with challenges, but Uponor helped tackle these challenges with a little creativity.

“We wanted to prevent the PEX tubing from touching the spray foam insulation, but needed it located as close to the interior conditioned space as possible and in a very narrow wall cavity,” said Powell. “Even though ProPEX resists freezing and condensation, we took extra precautions and used Uponor’s Ecoflex® insulation to protect the PEX tubing—it’s worked out great.”

Because the tiny house includes numerous high-end technologies, there are many plumbing fixtures with metal fittings. Powell was impressed with how easy and seamless it was to connect the ProPEX expansion fittings with the wide-array of metal fittings.

Tiny House_Case Study_Exterior
In the future, Powell plans to consult other homeowners in designing their very own tiny houses and wants to help navigate them through best products, practices and processes—and she says an Uponor AquaPEX plumbing system is definitely on her list.

“The Uponor plumbing system is the easiest and most efficient piping for any tiny house,” she said.

Project Highlights:

• 150-square-foot tiny home
• Uponor AquaPEX plumbing system
• Distributor: The Granite Group
• Engineer: RW Sullivan

Project Data:

• ½” Uponor AquaPEX
• ProPEX Fittings


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