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The Door is Open

Tiny House

Northwestern University’s Tiny House will open its normal-sized door to the public for the first time March 5 to 10 so visitors can feel what it might be like to live life small. Very small.

“We designed the house with the motto that the greenest square foot is the one you don’t build,” said Kaycee Overcash, a recent Northwestern graduate who is the co-project manager of the Tiny House. “That’s why the toilet is in the shower.”

The house, a mere 128 square feet and sitting on a trailer, will be outside the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center, 2133 Sheridan Road, from March 5 to 10. Members of the team that built the house will be on hand to give tours and answer questions from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each weekday and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The zero net-energy house is fully independent and operates off the grid. It produces its own electricity using solar panels and also collects all of its water.

The Tiny House also has everything a person needs to live comfortably: a living room, kitchen, bathroom, sleeping loft, storage area, an awning for shade and even a fireplace.

The project team -- students and young alumni from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science -- is using the house to teach people about sustainability, living simply and creatively using the space one has.

The Tiny House got its start in 2010 as a project in a Segal Design Institute course with Jay Shafer, founder of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, as a student team’s “client.” The project then found a home with the student-driven Engineers for a Sustainable World group.

Visit the Tiny House website.

-- University Relations