MorningStar Solar Home

MorningStar home, built by the Penn State Center for Sustainability has been around since 2007, but it will hopefully be the home of the near future. The 799 square foot building is a net-zero home that produces more energy than it consumes, and it has been used for educational and research activities on the university campus. It will also serve has a home for one lucky graduate student who will test the house systems in real life conditions.

The MorningStar not only has solar panels on the roof, but on the east- and west-facing sides of the home. The south-facing windows have sliding exterior shelving to regulate solar gain and the home has a sliding wall of liquid glass containers that, when filled with water, can retain heat during the day and release the warmth into the home during the night. Continue reading

William’s Floating Teepee

William Woodbridge is a 21 year old second year university student. He has a unique way of looking at life and how he lives as a student is quite different than the usual.

Williams lives in a teepee and a floating teepee at that. Will says “It’s deliciously hippyish.”

Will's Teepee

Will decided to leave campus life after accidentally setting off a fire alarm and then being fined $350. At first, Will lived in the back of his car, he than decided to build a raft and looked at what options he would have for shelter. He looked at cabin-type tents and finally his uncle suggested a teepee. Continue reading

Swedish Student House

The popularity of Stieg Larsson’s books, and subsequent movies, about a certain tattooed girl has given rise to a new-found love of Swedish design. Sweden’s Technical Week website recently had a story on a 94 square foot tiny home that celebrates that clean design, but is also making a statement at the same time.

This experimental, free-standing tiny home for students has a kitchen, a bath with a shower, a corner office and an eating area with two chairs. A sleeping loft is accessed by a ladder. This home will rent for 30,000 Swedish crowns ($4,400) a year, when most student housing in Sweden rents for about 50,000 ($7,700) crowns a year. The country has a lack of affordable student housing and most seekers have to stand in line for an available place to live. This home will be rented out for three years to one person who can give the best reason why they should have the house. Continue reading