Tiny House Earns People’s Choice Award

Tiny House Earns People’s Choice Award

Norwich University Office of Communications

Norwich University’s tiny house, the CASA802, has earned the 2016 People’s Choice Award from the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAVT).

Named “Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture” (CASA)802, the 324-square-foot micro home was designed and built by students and faculty members in the School of Architecture + Art and the David Crawford School of Engineering over the 2015-16 academic year.

The project was funded largely by a grant from TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, which awarded Norwich $20,000 in February 2015. The CASA Initiative focuses on research and development of affordable and well-designed housing for low-income families in Vermont.

The house was sold to a low-income Vermonter at cost and was moved to its permanent location in Shelburne, Vt., in November.

“I have had the dream of living small and energy-efficient for years,” CASA802’s new owner said. “I am so grateful to be a part of the movement towards a more harmonious earth, which I believe the tiny house movement is a huge part of.”

The CASA802 incorporates sustainability through the use of locally sourced formaldehyde-free birch plywood, low voltage LED lighting, locally harvested and milled white cedar siding and pine flooring. High efficiency windows and doors are used throughout the house, as well as dense pack sustainable cellulose insulated walls, a high efficiency heat pump, ventilation system and hot water heater, and high energy star appliances. Additional sustainable features include: low flow shower fixture, zero VOC paint, Vermont Natural Coatings low VOC finishes and a reclaimed sap bucket for the bathroom sink.

“The goals of this project are two-fold. Beyond providing a similar price-point, sustainable and beautiful alternative to the trailer, CASA802 encourages experiential learning,” said Associate Professor of Architecture Tolya Stonorov.

The award was announced at AIAVT’s 2016 Annual Meeting & Design Awards on Thursday, Dec. 15 at ArtsRiot in Burlington, Vt. The jury highlighted the role of students in its remarks: “The budding work of students, whether it is high school, undergrad or graduate, is vital to the future of our evolving and complex profession.”

CASA802 has garnered a lot of attention, and was recently featured in Vermont’s alt-weekly newspaper, Seven Days.

The work of designing and building affordable and livable tiny houses continues this year. Architecture Professor Matt Lutz heads up SuCasa, a 12’x24’ tiny house project in which nine undergraduate architecture students and four construction management students are continuing the work of CASA802 in increasing energy performance and livability. Engineering Professor Edwin Schmeckpeper is leading a project with six construction management students and two civil engineering students called CASA802.1, a 12’x20’ tiny house that can either add on to an existing house or serve as a stand-alone tiny house or studio apartment. Both projects, which embody the Norwich values of learning by doing and service to others, aim to be completed by the beginning of May.