Tiny House

Sacramento State is one of 12 California universities entered in SMUD’s inaugural Tiny House Competition, to be held in October 2016 on the Sac State campus.

The tiny house movement is all about living “green” in 400 square feet or less, and SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) is capitalizing on the smart-living trend by challenging collegiate teams from throughout the state to design and build small, net-zero energy homes on wheels.

“We created the Tiny House Competition to give students a chance to explore new areas of science and technology in a very hands-on way,” says Brent Sloan, manager of SMUD’s Community Solar program. “Plus, students get to be a part of a team and have a lot of fun while they learn.”

The Tiny House Competition is modeled on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, which challenges collegiate teams to design and build energy-efficient homes no larger than 1,000 square feet.

Sacramento State was one of 20 universities worldwide chosen by the DOE to compete in the Solar Decathlon 2015. Members of Sac State’s Team Solar NEST – mostly Construction Management students –are building their modern, modular Reflect Home on campus this summer. They will dismantle their completed Reflect Home this fall and transport it to Southern California for the competition.

Similarly, SMUD’s Tiny House Competition will test collegiate teams ­on their skills in architectural design, livability, communication, affordability, energy efficiency and balance, appliance load, technology/electrical and mechanical systems, transportation, sustainability and documentation. After the judging, the 12 tiny homes on wheels will be open to the public for tours.

“The value of this challenge is that we will learn the critical skills of design, analysis and construction of a tiny house,” says engineering student Isaac Sanchez, a member of Sac State’s Tiny House Competition team. “Our work will demonstrate to people that they can live comfortably and sustainably in a tiny space.”

Other teams in the competition are: Cosumnes River College, Chico State, Fresno State, UC Berkeley, College of the Sequoias, Laney College (Oakland), San Jose City College, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz partnered with Cabrillo College, and the University of Southern California. –Dixie Reid