Costa Rica – the first bus home
Amidst the universal problem of affordable housing, young people particularly are turning their backs on traditional housing solutions in favour of something that better expresses their lifestyle choices.
Into that growing market steps a stylish housing idea by Micromacrocostarica who have re-purposed a bus into a very well designed micro-home.
Behind the idea is musician, filmmaker and creative director Alex Catona who teamed up with Architect Francesco Bracci – both of whom have let their visual flair take centre stage. Not only is the bus stylish, and cleverly designed – but the level of craftsmanship is enviable.
In Costa Rica, by law, Public Buses have to be taken out of service after 20 years – so there are plenty of buses available for conversion. At the moment only 15% of the materials are recycled – turning a bus into a house puts that figure much nearer 100%!
In its 38m² of floor space it has an outside terrace; King sized bed plus sofa bed; dining room for four people; shower room and kitchen.
The kitchen features all the appliances you would expect to find: gas stove, refrigerator, microwave, washing machine.
The seating area has a TV, it also has 20 led lights so that you can reflect your mood – plus the computer and phone charging points you expect in a new home. The accommodation also benefits from a 9000BTU Air Conditioning unit. An unusual feature is the hydraulic door. As the only entrance to the property is provides security. The door is raised on two hydraulic pistons – whose appearance and performance are improved by being made from stainless steel, and can be left fully extended to provide a roof the to the outdoor seating terrace. The nominal consumption of the pistons are 335W each, 240V split phase.
The power installation was carried out by HCG Ingenieria (Victron Energy Distributor in Costa Rica) – Nundi Technologies. Project director Luis Fonseca says that: “the greatest challenge for this installation was ‘space’. You have to find the right place for the equipment and for the batteries. We managed to install them in the luggage compartment. The advantage of this is that the installation has support from the bus chassis – a very strong structure. Also the solar panels had to be well secured to a structure capable of withstanding strong winds, and of course we had to find a tidy way to run the cable connectors from the panels to the charge controllers.”
The installation chosen comprises:
- 2 PV panels of 325W each, by Trina Solar
- 2 Multiplus compact 12/2000/80
- 1 Smart Solar MPPT 100/50
- BMV 702 Battery Monitor
- Battery protect
- System control uses a GX device
- Battery bank of 490Ah
Nundi Technologies specialize in solar energy solutions and energy storage, in small and medium applications.
MicroMacro point out that buses were designed with people in mind. They offer a well-lit, well-ventilated, insulated space which needs no foundation because it is already raised off the damp ground.
Those who value financial freedom, a space to call their own and playing by their own rules are invited to visit our tiny bus home, either via Virtual Tour or by making an appointment in person.
Sceptics will become converts sooner rather than later. sayMicroMacro. The multi-functionality of all handmade furnishings, the overall practicality of every square inch and all the other high end interior design touches we’ve managed to squeeze in this surprisingly spacious model, will win anyone over who values, independence and style over clutter and wasted space/time.
Not only will does the new home owner get a house but a level of luxury not found in conventional housing.
You won’t have to understand Spanish to enjoy this tour:
By Justin Tyers