Tiny Tuesday: People’s Choice Award (plus an action)

A group of Norwich University students designed and built the CASA 802, a tiny house on wheels, for a semester program. (802 is the area code for all of Vermont, in case you didn’t get the reference.) The house won the 2016 People’s Choice Award from the Vermont chapter of AIA, America’s professional organization for architects. Now the 324-square-foot abode is occupied full-time by a Shelburne resident, meeting the program’s goal of helping the state’s low-income housing population.

Here are some of the house’s most impressive features. Plywood, flooring, and siding – virtually all the wood used besides dimensional lumber – is locally harvested and formaldehyde-free, minimizing the house’s embodied energy. Cellulose-filled walls, low R-value doors and windows, and high-efficiency HVAC systems further reduce the energy demands of a small house. The house was built for easy installation of solar panels, but they won’t help on the shady current site.

The AIA award reflects this project’s success in creating a comfortable house that fits in with local architecture at a low price point. I hope Norwich makes it an annual program.


Inside the CASA 802 feels spacious.

Today’s action: sign this petition telling President Trump to act on climate change. Trump has stated that global warming is a hoax, and although he backpedaled during the campaign he has since revealed his true position by nominating leaders in the fossil fuel industry to his cabinet. “Protecting the planet” may not be a convincing argument for a businessman, but renewable energy can be less expensive and employ just as many people as the current system. To get there requires a global commitment and appropriate funding for research and development.

I’m not sure how effective an online petition can be to spark change, but this one is nearly 130,000 signatures strong, and it only takes 30 seconds to sign.

Thanks to Laura Schutz.

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