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Penn State Tiny House Project Brings Tiny Living To State College

The Penn State Tiny House Project, which began in January 2016, is focused on educating students about the benefits of tiny houses this semester.

According to David Riley, an architectural engineering professor, the main objective of the project is to “develop capacity for teaching and learning about tiny homes in a way that is hands on and linked to research so that we can serve the interests of community of students and community members.”

Tiny houses have many advantages for people in and outside of the Penn State community, such as a reduced carbon footprint and a reduced cost of living. Currently, the project has constructed two houses, both of which have their own uses based on the materials used to build them. One house was built with wood, and it will store reusable building materials in conjunction with the Habitat For Humanity ReStore project in Bellefonte.

The other house was built to demonstrate new solar energy technology and to show that houses can be light enough to transport on long car journeys. Both of these houses are used for research purposes, but they also may make appearances around campus and downtown State College during various community service events.

Despite the fact that neither of the two current houses are sizable enough for someone to live in, the club builds these houses because it recognizes that there is a “great deal of interest in tiny homes and how to live smaller.”

“We decided to build these two tiny homes to demonstrate various types of building techniques that can be used, and also to gain experience that will be used in upcoming courses we plan to offer about tiny house design and construction,” Riley said.

To learn more about the Tiny House Project at Penn State, you can follow the house on Facebook and Twitter, or check out one of the several workshops and open houses to be announced throughout the year.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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