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Life off the grid: Could tiny home be home of the future?

Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 10, 2017

From high-end sheds to buses, tiny homes are the newest trend. But some university students are working on one that may change how you live in your home no matter the size. If you've ever dreamed of going off the grid or just being more energy efficient, this may be your home of the future.

Lucy Davis is excited to showcase the trailer that will soon be a workspace for her and her college classmates. It will have everything they need to feel right at home.

"This is going to be our sleeping loft," Davis explains. "So that's where our full size bed will go. This is a wet bathroom with a composting toilet on it and our low flow shower."

There's a fridge, an induction range, even a washer. And it'll all be powered by nature.

"So the Mines Tiny House is a 225 ft.² net zero solar powered tiny home," Davis explains.

Davis and her colleagues at the Colorado School of Mines started working on the house about a year ago, and have done all the work by themselves.

"I can pretty much say I know how to use a drill and all these different hand saws," Davis says. "We have a lot of tools to our name."

One of the biggest pieces left to complete? Installing the solar panels.

"The solar panels is what's going to power our house," Davis says.

There will be five solar panels on the top of this trailer, rotating to get as much sunlight as possible, and charging the trailers' battery systems which in turn power the things in this house. The only thing they'll need to bring in, is water.

"This has been a good test bed but it would be wonderful if some of the ideas actually ended up in tiny houses or small dwellings," says Associate Professor of Physics Tim Ohno.

It's that idea, that what they are building could be implemented in our homes to make them more energy efficient, that inspires Davis and her colleagues to keep working.

"I'd be so excited. I'd be ecstatic," Davis says. "I'd be like wow we built one of those! And it made a difference."

Doing more than completing a college project. But changing how people think of home.

"The future is just so open and so with an innovative tiny house that's net zero it just makes your options so much greater," Davis says.