FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 17, 2010
Kevin Coburn, Director of Communications
Tiny House Unveiled by Design/Build Class
POULTNEY, VT--Nineteen Green Mountain College students in Prof. Lucas Brown's (environmental studies) design & build course unveiled a semester long-project Monday: a "tiny house" of their own design. The 8-foot by 12-foot house was built almost entirely from reclaimed materials and cost only $1927.
"The $20 per square foot cost is pretty low compared to the $80-$200 per square foot cost of new construction," said senior Todd Sirak.
The class expects to recoup its investment by selling the house in the spring. By then, the moveable structure will be equipped with a solar powered electrical system. Another design & build course next semester, which will be taught by GMC alumnus Khanti Munro '04 of Solar Energy International, focuses on photovoltaics.
Brown points out that dabbling in real estate is peripheral to the real purpose of the project. The tiny house represents an excellent learning opportunity for students in the College's REED (Renewable Energy and EcoDesign) certificate program, open to GMC undergraduates in any academic major. REED certification at Green Mountain requires enrollment in a 22-credit program students can complete along with their major program of study within four years.
During the design and construction process, students adhered to sustainable building practices including use of reclaimed materials whenever possible. Some of the lumber and windows came from Re-New Building Materials and Salvage in Brattleboro, Vt. The threshold to the front door is slate from a local quarry. The door and windows were also recycled.
"This keeps perfectly good construction materials out of the waste stream," said senior Brandy Bunkley.