The Tiny House is a student designed and student constructed sustainable building located at Temple Community Garden on Main Campus. Completed in spring 2017, the 175 square foot net-zero structure features a high performance thermal envelope construction, vegetated roof, rainwater harvesting, solar photovoltaic system and a thermal energy collection system. Since its inception in June 2014, the project has offered interdisciplinary learning opportunities for students and faculty. The Tiny House serves as programming space for the Temple Community Garden and a university demonstration project. The project is registered under the Living Building Challenge.
Student Design Charrette
The university hosted a student design charrette at Architecture in January 2015. Thirty-five students from 18 different disciplines came out to participate in the one-day event. The objective of the competition was to design a sustainable tiny house that would be sited at Temple Community Garden located at Broad and Diamond. Each interdisciplinary team consisted of five students. Faculty and staff mentors and Temple Community Garden representatives were available during the charrette to address questions. The winning design was selected by a jury. Video coverage was provided by the School of Media and Communication during the event. Click to learn more
Tiny House Design Course
The success of the design charrette led to the creation of an interdisciplinary design course to further develop the winning Tiny House design. Led by Architecture professors Robert Shuman and Timothy McDonald and held during the 2016 spring semester, the three-credit Architecture Special Topics course was developed to take the winning conceptual design from the January 2015 charrette through construction documentation in preparation for summer construction. The design of the net-zero structure would emphasize the use of sustainable materials and systems. Presentation of final designs was filmed by the School of Media and Communication.
Landscape Architecture Design Charrette
The university hosted a student site design charrette at Architecture. The interactive design day was open to all Landscape Architecture and Horticulture students. Eight students helped develop conceptual landscape designs for the Temple Community Garden site in preparation for the tiny house summer build. The charrette was led by Landscape Architecture professor Kate Benisek and a representative of Temple Community Garden helped provide feedback during the charrette. Video coverage was provided by the School of Media and Communication.
Tiny House Build Course
The tiny house, an accessory use shed for the Temple Community Garden site, was constructed through a three-credit Summer II Architecture Seminar course. Led by Architecture professor Robert Shuman, the 175SF net-zero structure was completed in spring 2017 and features: high performance thermal envelope construction with cork siding, 50SF green roof, rainwater harvesting, solar photovoltaic system, thermal energy collection and storage and composting sanitary plumbing systems.
Engineering Senior Design
The College of Engineering dedicated a multidisciplinary team of engineering students to the Tiny House project using the Senior Design course structure. During Senior Design I, the four person team collaborated with students in the design course to design the structural and building systems. The team had a chance to work with local companies to design the solar and green roof systems for the building. The team also worked with Temple Facilities Management on zoning and permitting issues. The team dedicated time during the summer build course to address questions and design changes and tested system design and performance during their Fall 2016 Senior Design II. The engineering team was supported by lead engineering faculty advisor Dr. Robert Ryan.
Green Roof Workshop
The construction of the green roof provided a learning experience through a hands-on workshop conducted by GRASS. Students learned about the benefits of green roofs and were given the opportunity to help install the 50sf tiny house green roof tray system.
Landscape Architecture Design Course
Students developed schematic level site designs through a Fall 2016 studio course that explored the development of graphic techniques and introduced students to the landscape design process using a small scale project.
Tiny House Dedication
The tiny house officially opened on April 7, 2017, with a tiny ribbon cutting and dedication event.
Click to watch Temple Update piece by Joselyn Castro.
Tiny House Site Plantings
The tiny house plantings were completed in October 2017 through student volunteer efforts.