Let’s Get Small

A lot of work and a surprising amount of amenities are going into this Tiny House.

One crew of Santa Clara students is proud to say they have small ambitions.

They’re building a 238-square-foot solar-powered home—complete with a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom—for the first ever Tiny House Competition. Modeled after the Energy Department’s Solar Decathlon, the competition is directed by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and wraps up in October 2016.

SCU’s team is led by mechanical engineering major JJ Galvin ’17. The team calls the home it is building Revolve House. Sustainability is one measure of success; the house has to survive three days on its own power, but its designers say it will be able to go on indefinitely.

Some of the team members are pretty tall—which is also a factor.

“We opted for a longer trailer and higher ceilings, so it’s not so claustrophobic,” says Stephen Hight ’15.

Amenities they’re packing into the single-wide space include a dry-flush toilet system and a student-designed solar-thermal water heater.

After the competition, the students plan to donate the house to Operation Freedom Paws, a nonprofit in San Martin, California, that trains service dogs for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress, as well as for other people with disabilities.

post-image A computer rendering of the planned Tiny House. Inside will be all the comforts of home, including appliances and a full-size bed. Courtesy JJ Galvin ’17
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