Student-Built Tiny House No Small Feat

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Monday, January 10, 2011
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Students will sell the Tiny House in the spring (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

Students will sell the Tiny House in the spring (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

Students enrolled in a sustainable design-build course at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont closed out 2010 by building their own house – a rather tiny house. Covering a mere 96 square feet, the structure cost only $20 a foot for a total price tag well under $2,000. No small feat for a bespoke building, especially considering this tiny house has gone green in a big way.

The 8-foot by 12-foot Tiny House (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

The 8-foot by 12-foot Tiny House (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

All materials on the house were either reclaimed or locally sourced including two-inch blueboard and locally collected sheep wool insulation. Doors, windows, and woodwork were recycled and salvaged instead of using new materials. The structure has been designed to collect rainwater from its sloping roof and later this year will be outfitted with solar cells allowing for a completely off-grid lifestyle. Later, the house will be put on the market and sold.

While living in a sub-100-square-foot space might seem cramped, students incorporated a sloping back wall for a more roomy interior. A student-designed lofted area and interior furnishings help to maximize the small space.

A student works on the Tiny House (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

A student works on the Tiny House (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

Inside the Tiny House (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

Inside the Tiny House (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

One Response to “Student-Built Tiny House No Small Feat”

  1. Azriel says:

    Several things I noticed that I will make comment on, but first, I want to congratulate you all on some fine work.
    Even at $20/ft, is rather expensive. Should have cost a lot less since you are using reused materials.
    To be off grid with solar panels, may I suggest you make the panel yourselves? Make the panel insulated and use tubing behind the solar cells that will remove heat away from the cells and provide hot water and also with tubes under the floor and a solar pump, radiant heating. Drawing the heat away from those silicon cells is same reason to use heat sinks on the silicon computer chips, they operate better when cooled. The efficiency of the cells increases by as much as +20%. Gell cell batteries for power storage is an economical method vs lithium-ion batteries (very expensive and costly to replace).
    I noticed the table is a fixed unit. In mobile homes and RVs, the table is a fold down to be up against the wall with it’s legs folded underneath. This would increase your interior space for when the table is not needed. These are just a few ideas that I think might be of use to you.
    Shalom/peace!

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