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High School Students Build Tiny Houses on Wheels

This tiny home on wheels was built by high school students in Berkeley, California during a design and construction youth program called Studio H.

Studio H is an academic class at REALM Charter High School led by a team of expert architects and builders, in which students explore a social issue through the design and construction of a full-scale project each year. This year, our students investigated public housing as an economic, social, aesthetic, and architectural challenge and built two tiny homes on 7’x16′ trailers. These micro homes required research, prototyping, modeling, material and budget constraints, and precise project management to complete within the academic year with 75+ high school students in 4 class periods each day. The proceeds from the sale of this home will go directly to the Studio H program to fund next year’s build project.1

High School Students Build Tiny Houses on Wheels

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 001

Images © Projecthdesign.org

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 002

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 003

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 004

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 005

The home itself is one of two identical (mirror image) houses. One house was donated to Opportunity Village in Eugene, Oregon, a self-managed community and social service program providing transitional housing to the homeless. They will use one of the tiny homes to house a resident on their grounds. The second home is here, up for auction!1

The Studio H team considered climate, site position, adjacent aesthetic contexts, circulation and use by the client, maximization of space, and many other factors to design a home that would be comfortable and customizable. The tiny home would make a great writer’s hut, towable shelter for camping, or permanent fixture in the back yard. It has been well-crafted and well-engineered using standard stud-framed construction, roofing, windows, doors, and interior build-out.1

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 006

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 007

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 008

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 009

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 0010

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 0011

High School Student Built 100 Square Foot Tiny Home 0012

Images © Projecthdesign.org

Features and Specifications:

  • Trailer: 7′ x 16′, 7000 lb rating, double-axle, 2 5/16″ ball hitch.
  • Home frame is thru-bolted to trailer frame, including seismic tie-downs.
  • Interior dimensions: 6′-3″ x 15′
  • Interior: Drywall, white paint, lofted bed with storage space, open plan, small cabinet, electrical switches and boxes installed.
  • Will include 4 solar panels of 250 W each (1 KW total), uninstalled and pending donation confirmation and will require buyer to purchase battery (solar engineer recommended specification: four 12V and 153Ah batteries)
  • Electrical inverter: Outback, FP1 VFX3524 Pre-wired Inverter System
  • Clerestory windows, single door entry, porthole window by bed.
  • Exterior siding: Reclaimed and stained palette wood
  • Roof: Slate Gray ASC Delta Rib 3
  • Trailer has been permanently registered in California and comes with license plates.
  • Please note that tiny home does not have plumbing or water hook-ups.

Learn more: http://projecthdesign.org/projects/tiny-homes/

Sources

  1. eBay Listing
  2. ProjectHDesign.org

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Liz June 30, 2015, 10:42 am

    Wouldn’t the black siding on the back create a lot of heat?

  • Cahow June 30, 2015, 11:52 am

    Jeepers: I’m trying to stay positive here, since this is high school kids so I’ll break my comments into Pro & Con.

    Pro:
    *Yeah, High Schoolers! You learned some highly valuable skills that will carry you through the rest of your life!
    *Yeah, to the builders and architects that volunteered their time.
    *It looks sturdy and well built.

    Con:
    *There’s TOO much inspiration and source material out on the web for such a claustrophobic and dreary interior. Over and over again, at this site, I’ve seen this same footprint down imaginatively and creatively. I’m truly shocked that the builders and architects involved didn’t steer the kids in a more User Friendly floor plan.

    But, bottom line: yeah, kids, you did an outstanding job!!! Take a bow. 😀

    • Theo June 30, 2015, 8:11 pm

      I’ll pretty much agree. And add, with no toilet facilities, and no plumbing, I would not call it a home. I just see them as rolling bedrooms, I could make do as well with just a pickup truck and a camper shell, or a van.

    • Patty July 1, 2015, 2:32 am

      Ditto!

    • Sally July 1, 2015, 6:32 am

      As a former schoolmarm, I would bet that those kids were restricted by the adults-in-charge. I’ve never seen a group of kids that couldn’t create something outstanding if left to brainstorm their way through a project. With “guidance” from adults, kids are capable of realizing extraordinary ideas. This looks like they weren’t allowed much leeway. Just an opinion…I’d like to see their next project, now that they have the basics down, wouldn’t you? Step away from the kids, grown-ups, and let ’em at it.

    • Cahow July 1, 2015, 8:34 am

      Sally: it never occurred to me that the kids were micro-managed but I bet you dollars to doughnuts that that was indeed the case, here.

      I agree 100% with you: now that the kids have the skills, let them CREATE! 😀

  • Lynnette June 30, 2015, 3:24 pm

    I love the outside of this unit. With some small inside additions, this would make a great little house! My daughter studied electricit in high school and was a part of building a few homes and the quality was top notch! Way to go kiddos!!!!

  • Michaelangelodesign June 30, 2015, 9:22 pm

    Great project as a starter for the kids to learn some building schools and as a give-away room for someone who is homeless. But if the project continues, on the same sized trailer, then the school should consider a fold-out back wall containing floor and walls .. this would increase the floor area by more than half providing the opportunity for some rather essential facilities in the fixed section. Then it could possibly be called a ‘very wee’ home.

  • Varenikje June 30, 2015, 11:11 pm

    No plumbing, no kitchen, no bathroom. It does look attractive on the outside, but it took 75+ high school students 4 class periods a day for an academic year? Hmm…

  • Doris July 1, 2015, 6:43 am

    Good morning, Sal, Cahow and all. One more foot would have made a lot of difference. Thanks to a donor, we have given a dozen 8′ X 16′ trailers for homeless vets They have built some wonderful THs that are very livable,most with a similar roofline to the one shown. Not sure why the class project was seven feet. Isn’t four feet an industry standard, Cahow?
    Very proud of these kids for their accomplishment.

    • Cahow July 1, 2015, 8:32 am

      You’re correct, Doris. 8′ IS the standard because you’re dealing with that length (minus shrinkage) on board feet.

  • Susanne July 7, 2015, 12:48 am

    Adorable on the outside ! Congrats to the students and volunteers!

  • Kim July 10, 2015, 6:17 am

    Much more useful than much if what I learned at High School.I would be fine to have a short conversation app with an ancient Roman, but, apart from learning to wire a plug in Physics classes,no practical skills. I bet the kids were asking about toilet facilities and the girls would doubtless be keen on a shower! I think if they were asked what else they would need to live in this tiny home,they would have included all the necessary stuff! As a group it takes longer and a lot of time is taken up with discussing, drawing plans etc, leaving less time than you would think for the actual builds presumably the students had to acquire some of the practical skill as well, before starting to build, as they usually want to come away at the end of each day with all 10 fingers and toes in place (and staff have to risk assess all this!).
    In real life, I expect people doing a tiny house build have the skills before they start, have the plans and get on with it, as they are doing it to suit them.
    However,what a great project – so much better than the kit clocks,wooden toys and boxes I see in a lot of the High Schools I go in to when I visit my pupils with Physical Disabilities. A wheelchair accessible Tiny Home with hoist etc….now that could be a good next project for these students!

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