Tiny Houses

ASTM International’s committee on performance of buildings (E06) has approved a new subcommittee on tiny houses.

This new subcommittee (E06.26) intends to develop standards for several proposed subject areas for tiny houses, including but not limited to:

  • Best building practices
  • Test methods
  • Certification
  • A global quality assurance program
  • Requirements and auditing of third parties that provide plan review and inspect tiny houses
  • Tiny house community developments
  • Micro-grid utilities
  • Minimum construction requirements.

The subcommittee intends to address a lack of express, unified standards for tiny houses, as throughout the world they have been variously designated as impermanent residences or grouped together with recreational vehicles and caravans. An initial primary focus of the subcommittee will be to develop a uniform construction standard for a tiny house on wheels that will result in a new classification of housing.

“A tiny house is a marketing term, and at this time there is no official definition, classification, or statutory construction method applying to tiny houses on wheels,” says ASTM International member Janet Thome, founder and president of Tiny House Alliance USA. “The lack of uniform industry standards has sparked court cases, titling issues, unsafe building practices, the lack of financing and zoning, and a global debate: is a tiny house on wheels a building or a vehicle?” 

Thome notes that the subcommittee also intends to address residential health and safety requirements, road safety regulations, and foundation requirements involved in full-time living in tiny houses on wheels. It has currently drawn international expertise from end users, builders, legislators, building officials, and advocates, from North America, Australia, Europe and South America, and is welcoming further participation. 

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Anyone with knowledge of tiny houses is encouraged to contribute to the development of the subcommittee. JOIN ASTM.

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