The so-called SMUD Tiny House Competition is very new, and this year it took place in Sacramento, California. Its main aim is to promote sustainable living and eco-construction of tiny homes. This year, the winning entry was the so-called Revolve House, which was entered into the competition by Santa Clara University. It competed against 9 other California-based college teams and their creations.
Revolve House is powered by a solar power array, which is comprised of eight 330 W panels. The array is hooked up to saltwater batteries and this system provides all the needed power for the home. Revolve House gets it’s name from the fact that it is designed in a way that allows it to automatically rotate to follow the sun, thereby maximizing the solar array’s energy harvesting potential. This is possible because Revolve House sits on a trailer, which is placed atop a Colossun sun tracking ring that rotates the home and ensures the array gets hit with as much sunlight as possible. Apparently this entire system improves the home’s solar efficiency by a 30 percent over a regular home fitted with solar panels.
Revolve House was constructed out of SIPs (structural insulated panels) and measures 238 sq ft (22 sq m). The interior features a dining and kitchen area that has a clever pull down table. There is also a wet-room type bathroom, while the living area also doubles as a bedroom, which was achieved by installing a murphy-style bed. The house also features a deck on the roof, which has space enough for six people and can be accessed via an exterior staircase.
The home is equipped with an efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) unit. This unit, as well as the lighting and skylight are controlled by a touchscreen system. The home also has a greywater recycling system in place.
The home was actually designed to be used by disabled veterans, so all the doorways, as well as the shower and appliances are wheelchair-accessible. Not sure how they will be able to access the roof deck though, and there is also a step leading to the lounge, while someone in a wheelchair would also have trouble pulling down the Murphy bed, though maybe they will still solve these things in some way. The home will be donated to Operation Freedom Paws, an organization that teaches veterans and other people with disabilities to train their own service dogs.