Tiny Village Klein Zuidbroek in Apeldoorn
At the end of 2019 we wrote about the Tiny House project that was developed by the municipality of Apeldoorn. A Tiny House location for ten houses with a term of five years. In June 2020 the project got real with the installation of the first Tiny House. It was high time to take pay a visit to Apeldoorn! So we we went to visit Mirrinte and Wouter, who were happy to show us around their cozy Tiny House community.
At the time of our visit there are seven Tiny Houses on the site, the eighth is expected in March. The municipality of Apeldoorn has designated a piece of land of approximately one hectare as the location for a pilot project with Tiny Houses. Nicely situated on the outskirts of Apeldoorn and next to the Zuidbroek park. Only the land was offered, there are no other facilities.
Next to the site horses are grazing in the pasture and you can walk straight into the park. Each Tiny House has approximately one hundred m2 of “private land”. There are no fences, only green boundaries are allowed. Mirrinte: “It’s a nice place, a bit on the outskirts of the city but with all amenities nearby.”
All Tiny Houses in the “Klein Zuidbroek” project are completely “off-grid”: self-sufficient in electricity and water and equipped with compost toilets and helophyte filters. The Tiny House of Wouter and Mirrinte moved to Apeldoorn in July, making it the second Tiny House that was given a place in Apeldoorn. The hull of the house was built in Almelo and the duo is now finishing it themselves. Mirrinte recalls: “It was very hot and dry last July and there were no facilities. Our water tank remained empty for a while due to the drought, so we had to shower with a watering can. ”
Mirrinte in front of her Tiny House
Not long afterwards, the group of residents decided to have a well dug on the field. The water quality is sufficient to serve as a backup when there is too little rain, the water is mainly used for the vegetable garden. A power line has also been installed for backup in winter, when there is not enough sun to provide all the houses with enough energy. Living off-grid is learning by doing: getting as far as possible with the resources of nature, but also realizing that you cannot make it 100%.
To be eligible for a place in the project, aspiring residents could register with the municipality from December 2019. In the end, seventeen participants took part in the draw, in which ten places could be divided. The happy aspiring residents then had to submit a plan for their Tiny House that was tested against sustainability criteria such as minimum emissions, circularity, material use and energy performance. Four of the ten participants eventually dropped out, so that the remaining residents started a new recruitment and selection procedure for the last four places in the project.
The residents are on average around thirty years old. There are three people living alone and all the other Tiny Houses are occupied by couples. The first Tiny House baby in Apeldoorn is also on its way: Bouke and Iris have moved to Zuidbroek in March and are expecting their firstborn. They also built their own Tiny House, quite the challenge while being pregnant!
The group of residents is well organized. They have a field committee, a vegetable garden committee and they organize a group activity day every week. During these activity days they tackle tasks together to make the site more beautiful. While we walk across the site we see the bicycle shed under construction and we see a group of residents planting pear trees. The vegetable garden project will start next.
It already looks very cozy and now that spring and the work on the vegetable garden has started, it will only get better. We wish the residents of Tiny House Zuidbroek a lot of fun and thank them for the tour and their time, especially Mirrinte!