A team of students at the REALM Charter High School in Berkeley, CA built a solar-powered tiny house as a school project. The home doesn’t have a name and measures only 100 square feet (9.2 sq m). It also represents an excellent example of the type of project more schools should be engaging in. Sustainable living needs to be made a priority and the best place to start educating the public is in primary and secondary school.
The solar powered tiny house was constructed by the students themselves, though the entire process was overseen by experienced architects and builders. The project was conceived by the non-profit organization Studio H, which works with kids to teach design, engineering, and architecture skills, as part of a youth program.
The tiny home rests on a 7 x 16 foot (2 x 4.87 m) trailer and weighs 6,000 lbs (2,721 kg). It can easily be towed by a car. Though called a home, it only features the most basic of features and utilities, so it’s more of a retreat than an actual permanent home, though with a few upgrades it could easily become that too.
The interior of the home is basically just one space, which is clad in plywood painted white. It is furnished with a bed that has storage space underneath it, and a cabinet. The home has no electrical or water hookup, but it is fitted with four 250 W solar panels and an inverter for low-power devices. There is no toilet, shower or kitchen. The flooring is made of OSBs that had been stained black, while the home is insulated by Thermafiber, which had been donated. The home’s siding is made of painted palette wood.
The students actually built two of these homes. They donated the second one to a Eugene, Oregon-based community that offers temporary housing for the homeless.