Q: How difficult is it to assemble NOMAD?
A: NOMAD has been engineered for ease-of-assembly. Assembly should be performed by at least two people with the technical knowledge and skills of a “handyman” defined as follows: “A person skilled at a wide range of repairs, typically around the home. These tasks include trade skills, repair work, maintenance work, both interior and exterior, and are sometimes described as “odd jobs”, “fix-up tasks”, and include light plumbing jobs such as fixing a leaky toilet or light electric jobs such as changing a light fixture.”
Q: What kind of foundation does NOMAD require?
A1: For ease-of-construction and mobility, NOMAD is designed to rest on two beams supported by either cast-in-place concrete piers, or “screw piles” (metal piles screwed into the ground by machine). These systems minimizes disturbance to the environment and can be easily removed if necessary. Conventional foundation systems can also be used such as concrete walls, concrete slabs, stone, and treated timbers.
A2: Even though NOMAD weighs much less than a conventional homes, the approving authorities may still require the foundation system you choose to be confirmed by a locally certified structural engineer.
Q: What kinds of services do I need to connect to NOMAD?
A1: NOMAD’s flush toilet, shower and sinks require connection to a municipal sewer and water systems, your adjacent home, or existing septic field. If these services are not available, NOMAD Treatment for off-grid applications can be installed (see pricing and specifications on NOMAD’s website). The discharge from this system is clean enough to be dumped directly into a sandpit or natural watercourse and is approved by government in many locations within Canada and the USA.
A3: NOMAD’s lights, plugs, electric heat, and fans require connection to a municipal power grid, or an existing electrical panel located in an adjacent structure.
Q: What municipal permits do I need before installing NOMAD?
A: NOMAD is designed to be shipped world wide; therefore, meeting the requirements of local building codes must be confirmed by the purchaser in advance of a purchase. In many areas structures not exceeding 100 square feet, or 10 square meters are considered similar to a garden shed, and do not require permits. Upon submitting a 10% deposit deposit as part of your purchase, NOMAD can provide a set of permit drawings to submit to local authorities.
A2: Most areas also have bylaws, or zoning regulations relating to density, permitted floor area, height, siting, maximum number of structures, setbacks, etc. These bylaws should also be confirmed by the purchaser in advance of a purchase.
Q: Can NOMAD be disassembled if required?
A: Yes. Each of NOMAD’s components can be unscrewed, stacked, moved, and then re-assembled.
Q: Has NOMAD’s structure been engineered for earthquake, wind and snow loads?
A: Yes. NOMAD’s structure has been reviewed and professionally endorsed by a registered structural engineer practicing in the province of British Columbia, Canada. However, soils, wind, earthquake, and snow loads differ in each location and the approving authorities in your area may ask for a review by a locally-certified engineer.
Q: How is NOMAD’s plumbing installed?
A1: As a safety precaution, connections for NOMAD’s toilet, sinks, and shower drain should be installed by a certified plumber.
A2: Drain and water lines are installed underground by your plumber prior to assembly and aligned with the holes provided in NOMAD’s floor structure.
A3: Upon completing NOMAD’s assembly, your plumber will come back to make the final connections to the fixtures mentioned above.
Q: How are NOMAD’s electrical services installed?
A1: As a safety precaution, connections to NOMAD’s electrical fixtures should be installed by a certified electrician.
A2: The power line that services NOMAD is installed underground by your electrician prior to NOMAD’s assembly. If electrical services are not available, NOMAD Solar for off-grid applications can be installed (this system is currently under redevelopment).
A3: Upon assembling NOMAD’s structure and finishes, the underground service is connected to a waterproof electrical panel located on the exterior face of NOMAD’s wall. Wiring is then distributed to NOMAD’s interior fixtures shown on the permit plans, via three separate wiring runs on the exterior. Fixtures are controlled by wireless switches (included) that can be placed in preferred locations. A wireless hub can also be installed that will allow NOMAD’s fixtures to be controlled remotely by a smartphone.
Q: What heats NOMAD’s water for sinks and showers?
A: NOMAD’s water can be fed directly from an existing hot water source in an adjacent structure in an underground insulated pipe, or a hot-water-on-demand system can be supplied and installed by your plumber, or electrician.
Q: How does NOMAD’s shower work?
A: NOMAD’s bathroom is designed as a wet room, so it doubles as a shower. Simply pull the end of the faucet out (like a kitchen pull-out sprayer) and connect it to the wall bracket. Mix the water to the desired temperature using the single-handle faucet, draw the curtain across the front of the toilet, and and soap up!
Q: Which appliances can be used with NOMAD?
A: NOMAD can accommodate a standard undercounter fridge, cooktop, and range hood. The type of appliances depend on the services that are available. NOMAD can supply the appropriate appliances to suit available services, or you can source them locally to save costs.
Q: How is NOMAD’s air quality regulated?
A: NOMAD is equipped with manually controlled exhaust fans that draw from both the bathroom and the kitchen in the main area. A vent in the exterior wall is located behind the under-counter fridge and supplies the home with tempered fresh air as it travels over the heated coils on the back of the fridge. Opening windows on the main and upper floor also provide passive ventilation and cooling through natural convection.
Q: Does NOMAD have a smoke detector?
A: A battery-powered combination smoke/CO2 detector is located on the ceiling of the upper floor.
Q: Is NOMAD subject to termite infestations?
A: NOMAD is constructed of insulated metal panels that are termite resistant.
Q: How much insulation does NOMAD have?
A1: NOMAD’s floor, walls and ceilings contain a similar amount of insulation to a conventional home. R-Values (resistance to heat flow) for walls can be either R12.5, or R25, depending on the wall thickness selected (3” or 6”). Floor and roof insulation can be either R25, or R33 depending on the wall thickness selected (6” or 8”). It’s also important to note that NOMAD’s almost air-tight and frameless structure provides superior energy-conserving performance.
A2: Additional insulation can be added to the exterior face of NOMAD’s structure for extreme climates.
Q: How fire resistant is NOMAD’s structure?
A: NOMAD’s structure is made of metal insulated panels that exceeded industry standards when tested for flame-spread and smoke-development in accordance with the UL Standard “Fire Test of Interior Finish Material”. It is also important to note that NOMAD’s solid-core construction eliminates the “chimney effect” that causes fires to spread quickly through conventional wood-framed walls.
Q: Where can I store clothes, shoes, and other things I need?
A clothes closet and room for a wardrobe and wall cabinets is available in the loft space, as shown in the images located on the Gallery page of the website. An Ikea shoe rack can also be installed on the wall at the bottom of the steps.
Additional storage can be found within some types of couches and coffee tables. Wall storage units in the living room can also extend to the upper loft if necessary. If this is still not enough storage, NOMAD Grow can be purchased that offers an additional 100 s.f. for storage.
Exterior storage is available by purchasing the secured metal storage box listed as one of the website “Add-ons”.