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We are Tiny House in My Backyard (THIMBY), an interdisciplinary team of UC Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students working together to build an affordable, 100% solar-powered tiny house on the site of the Berkeley Global Campus in Richmond.
Richmond, like many other cities around the world, is facing a challenge: how do you house a growing population while the size, cost and carbon footprint of homes continue to rise?
We think our tiny house can help tackle these issues. Thanks to their small size, tiny houses are more affordable and more sustainable than traditional homes. Our tiny house in particular will be off-grid, waste-recycling and 100% solar-powered. And we’re keeping costs down by choosing affordable building materials. Although we’re only building one house this year, our project doesn’t end there. Our house will be a living lab that could lay the foundation for a community of affordable, carbon-neutral housing.
Oh — and one more thing. In October 2016, we’re taking our house to Sacramento to compete in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) 2016 Tiny House Competition. You can read more about the competition here if you're interested!
We’re building a tiny house that will:
- Be small enough to fit in the unused portions of urban lots (less than 400 sq. ft.)
- Be off-grid, 100% solar-powered, and waste-recycling
- Serve two residents
In addition, we intend to work with the Richmond community to design a context-appropriate tiny house and provide educational opportunities for Richmond residents as well as UC Berkeley students.
We already have a trailer, a build site and a team — so where exactly will your donation go? Though we have the basic materials for our project, we need extra funds to help develop our water heating, space heating and greywater recycling systems. These systems will be integral to our home's ability to conserve water — an especially high priority for homes in CA.
This project represents an opportunity for students, in Richmond and at UC Berkeley, to learn about sustainable design principles through hands-on experience in all phases of development, from design to construction to performance evaluation.
Plus, our house will be a “living lab” on the Berkeley Global Campus, allowing researchers to test novel technologies and strategies for residential design and systems integration. We intend for it to catalyze additional projects, such as those produced by the UC Berkeley Solar Decathlon team, designed to address the pressing issues of climate and housing that face the East Bay Community.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Check out our website at www.thimby.org or email us at email@example.com.