Sustainable 'Tree House' Could Come To A Parking Lot Near You

'Elevate' is bringing the discussion around tiny homes to new heights.

A company in Hawaii is elevating the conversation about tiny homes -- literally.

A unique, tree-like structure called Elevate addresses some of the problems facing tiny houses, such as security and parking, while also offering solutions for sustainable living and small businesses.

Plus, it's cool looking.

Designed to blend in with nature's surroundings, Elevate was "created with the vision of bringing a practical space that addresses global and environmental concerns," said Nathan Toothman, co-founder and CEO of Elevate, in a promotional video.

Toothman and his wife, Tiffany, both engineers, originally saw the unit as an off-the-grid housing solution for Hawaii's remote areas. But in the process of developing the prototype, they saw how it could be adopted for different types of commercial and residential applications.

"It can be used as a micro-home, a cafe with rooftop seating, or a studio," they write on their website. "Every unit is customizable and the design team can create specifications that bring value to the community."

The structure features a rain water collection system, solar panels, "living" walls that help mitigate CO2 and serve as a natural cooling system, and a hollow "trunk" that allows for parking below and increased security for the main unit.

In addition to providing a solution for affordable housing issues, which Hawaii is well known for, the Toothmans say Elevate structures could transform open parking lots by providing drive-through windows, offices, or homes without taking away parking spaces.

A home or office the size of the 250-square-foot prototype would cost anywhere from $75,000 to $125,000, depending on the amenities.

In order to showcase the commercial application of the structure, the Toothmans have launched a Kickstarter campaign to lease space in a public parking lot.

Check out their pitch video below:

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