CSU, Chico News

California State University, Chico Receives Honors at Tiny House Competition

Date: 11-03-2016

Sean Murphy
Public Affairs

Already established as a premier construction management institution as well as a leader in sustainability, California State University, Chico combined the two to make strides in another area: designing and building Tiny Houses.

The CSU, Chico Tiny House Club earned three awards at the Tiny House Competition held at Cosumnes College in Sacramento in October. This competition was the first of its kind nationwide and was hosted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

Teams were judged in the major categories of Architecture, Communications, Energy and Home Life.

CSU, Chico’s student-run Tiny House Club brought home top honors in Advanced Controls, Best Flooring and Best Home Technology.

The Tiny House Movement has blossomed in popularity recently, with TV programs and YouTube shows featuring perfectly functional smaller dwellings that include most of the conveniences found in a modern home, but with a much smaller frame and reduced carbon footprint. Capitalizing on the popularity of the Tiny House Movement, SMUD created this competition to encourage colleges and universities to participate in this first ever Tiny House competition.

According to the competition’s Visitors Guide (PDF), schools were required to enter “houses on wheels, ranging from 100 and 400 square feet” that featured “smart energy appliances, green building techniques and the use of renewable energy, creating innovative zero net Tiny Homes.”

Among the space- and energy-saving features in CSU, Chico’s Tiny House are a Murphy bed; 15-gallon water heater; six solar panels installed on the roof, with three auxiliary and moveable solar panels outside; repurposed flooring; a battery that lasts a full day and a half; a fully functional bathroom with shower, sink and toilet; and kitchen cabinets and a sink, and a working washing machine.

This competition attracted over 20,000 visitors on its final day, suggesting additional contests may soon pop up around the nation.

CSU, Chico’s Tiny House took more than a year to construct, and the University competed against nine other California colleges and universities. Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley claimed the top award.

With the competition now over, CSU, Chico will donate its Tiny House to Habitat For Humanity, to be used as the model home in a Tiny House neighborhood in Yuba City, Calif., that focuses on minimal carbon footprints and energy-efficient homes.