I’ve done a bit of research in this area, and selecting a trailer is a challenging task. And now that I’m building something lightweight, rather than the hulking shipping container from several years ago, I needed to start from scratch. The landscape has changed a bit since 2015, with I began this journey. There are many vendors out there, some with features that I like and others with more than I need. Some of you may be already following me on Instagram, where I’ve shared some early concept deigns.
For those who haven’t see it yet, a bit of background on the Bento Studio project: I’m designing for myself and very soon to build highly insulated to Passive House principles (not planning certification). It will have interior and exterior insulation, and a weather resistant barrier (aka house wrap) completely around the envelope of the studio, isolating it from the trailer and therefore reducing as far as possible thermal bridging. There will not be a loft as traditional in many other designs. So the finished floor height doesn’t have to be as low to the ground as possible in this case, but we’ll take all the help we can get.
With all of these and a few other factors in mind, such as accurate detailing and minimal foundation preparation, I’m selecting Iron Eagle trailers. With multiple locations on the west coast, they are built to order, strong, and have a long track record with many other projects using them. Steel is of course one of the most highly recycled materials in the construction industry, so I’m confident a life cycle analysis will mean these don’t impact the embodied carbon footprint of my project much, and since I don’t own land, are kind of a must for future mobility.
When I reached out to the manufacturer to see if they were operating, I received a quick reply and they assured me they are indeed still operating and taking adequate steps to ensure worker safety. Delivery lead times are minimal (just a few weeks). They included a series of really helpful links in the email, including one showing that Tiny Nest has modeled accurate representations of their designs in SketchUp, and those are available for free. Stoked! Since I’m an Autodesk FormIt fan, I thought I’d open it here and show you the results.