A Tiny Office Design by Sett Studio

Today’s blog post is an exciting one as it marks my first post with someone who actually builds tiny offices. A few weeks ago I was doing some digging and found this very neat little project online. The first thing to catch my eye was the simple and eloquent use of materials, then I was further intrigued by the price tag and the energy efficient strategy used on this custom design.
Photo Credit: Blake Gordon

About the Builder:

Sett studio is a design-build company in Austin Texas that specializes in high end custom homes and sustainability. The studio is headed by CEO Mike Speciale. Mike has 25 years of experience and is an expert in sustainable design. His work has been featured by well known outlets such as Architect Magazine and Dwell to name a few. 

Check out their work, blog and podcast at the link below. 

Sett Studio – Modern Homes – Austin Home Builder – Homes for Sale

As i mentioned early on there are number of unique qualities that pack a punch with Sett’s “Work Room” design. Keeping consistent with their energy efficient approach, they utilize SIPs (Structurally Insulated Panels) to create a Prefab Assembly in-house that limits waste and creates a more energy efficient structure. 

For more information on SIPS (Structurally insulated panels) See link below. 

What are SIPs Overview | Structural Insulated Panel Association

Another quality that makes this project so unique is the exterior wood cladding that utilizes a technique known as Shou-Sugi Ban. This decorative style was created in Japan and has been used for centuries.

The office space totals 96 square feet and the price tag starts at a surprisingly affordable $15,000. 

Sett Studio’s small spaces don’t stop with offices, in addition to their unique “Work Room” they also have a “Peace Room” which offers a minimalist space that utilizes light and a distraction free atmosphere to create a space for relaxation and balance. You can see design concepts for both spaces below. 
Speaking with Mike, I had a chance to ask him a few questions about the work he does, specifically as it relates to small structures and sustainability. When asking Mike what how his approach was different when changing the scale from a larger home to a small accessory space, he had the following to say:
Designing a small space takes a lot of thought and care. Knowing how something should be used is where it starts. I found out long ago that you don’t need a large space as long as it is designed purposefully. Wasted space in homes is something of the past. 

Great and smart use of space is one of the things that has set us apart from the rest, aesthetic design is just the icing on the cake. We definitely were not the first to build in a small format, but I do believe that we have been one to listen to our clients and protect accomplishing their needs.

Designing buildings with even numbers in mind helps to reduce waste and labor. Small things like that help reduce costs”
Mike also had some interesting opinions about the concept of “Sustainability” alluding to the idea that sometimes the term is misused. He mentioned that in some cases builders may use a material that is more sustainable but are actually using it because it’s more cost friendly when buying in volume. Mike said that he believes “sustainability is not only in the products used to build but how much energy a structure utilizes once it is completed. That to me should be the main measurement of sustainability.”

Discussing building with the CEO of Sett Studio was a great opportunity and they have many more amazing projects than the ones shown here. Check them out if you’re looking to build small!