Every year, students from California State University, Sacramento’s STORC school get to work on projects that pave a way to a more sustainable and technological future. Most years, students working in the the Sustainable Technology Optimization Research Center (STORC) build a tiny house from scratch, which is an incredible feat. Even more impressive is their commitment to create the house with the latest technologies to make sure that the structure uses as little energy as possible.
This year, students from STORC built a beautiful tiny house that includes solar panels to power the electricity as well as a solar-powered water heater to heat the 20-gallon water tank. The 400-square-foot house, which has wheels affixed to it for mobile functioning, allows dwellers to live as off-the-grid as possible as they embark on their self-selected journey. The solar panels can be seen on the roof as well as on one side of the structure so that ample electricity is generated.
Beginning with the exterior of the home, the structure is a light grey on the outside with darker cedar panels to complement the light color.The home’s entrance features two wide french doors that open outwards so that ample room is maintained within the house. The warm cedar panels are seen throughout the structure, even on the interior, where the paint color changes to a beautiful blue. In tiny homes, colors and interior choices are crucial to the well-being of the dwellers and the feel of the space because everything can be seen at once. The wrong color choice could cause the home to feel cramped rather than open, thereby making a dweller feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable.
With a full toilet, bathtub and shower, the bathroom contains features that are literally as good as it gets. Large windows, including a bay window that opens out where the stovetop is, fill the space with natural light and provide cross-ventilation that allows for the elements to enter and exit so that the house doesn’t become too warm or too cold. Hidden in a corner, there’s a mechanical well that provides monitoring for the home’s electricity and water usage.
The demand for sustainable and mobile tiny homes is still rising in the United States, with the standard of living evolving from traditional 9-to-5 jobs and stable, huge houses in affluent neighborhoods. More and more people are turning instead to a lifestyle filled with travel, a reduction in the creation of waste, and the ability to not rely on traditional utilities in an attempt to forgo the burden of living in the way humans have for centuries. Whether this trend will continue to evolve positively or eventually die out remains to be seen, but it’s no question that this particular tiny home meets all the criteria for millions of people wishing to fulfill their new American dream.
This tiny home will soon be on display at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Tiny Home Competition.