From Rodrigo Alcantar, Fresno State Construction Management Student
USGBC Central California has teamed up with Fresno State Construction Management Students to help with the project to build a Zero Net Energy Tiny House. The Construction Management Senior Capstone (CM 180A & B) classes are responsible for coordinating; communicating and managing of the project to successfully work with both staff and students of other disciplines here at Fresno State. The students are building a zero net energy portable tiny home from scratch for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). The tiny house that our class will construct will be a prototype for the following year Senior Capstone class who will be representing Fresno State in Sacramento. USGBC Central California members and local green building organizations are supporting the project with donations and mentorships.
The tiny house project requires skills to be used which have been taught throughout the entire Construction Management program. It requires architectural and structural drawings to be made using design software, which ultimately have to be approved by a licensed structural engineer. A detailed estimate and schedule will be required to be made in order to carry out the project. Also, the Tiny House will comply with current building code, requiring inspections to be done by qualified inspectors in the construction industry. The tiny house will be a zero net energy structure, meaning it will need to be self sustainable, which is a major topic that has been incorporated in nearly every construction management course. Finally, building the tiny home will require our class to work as a team, not only with each other, but with other students in the engineering, business, and interior design majors, and members in the community as well. Ultimately, this project will require our students to apply our skills and knowledge, which we have obtained throughout the Construction Management program, and apply it directly to a project which will pose similar challenges that can be seen in real world construction projects.
Although tiny houses are becoming more popular throughout the nation, they are not very well known in the Central Valley. The tiny house project will allow the community to see that a tiny house, which can simply be transported with just a pick-up truck, can provide both comfort and sustainability. Since our Tiny House will be a net zero energy house, it will show members of the community that it is possible, and practical to live in a home which is essentially self sustainable, inexpensive, comfortable, and easy to transport.
This project will not only have an impact on the environment, but also on the social aspect of the entire community. We believe that this project will bring awareness to the new age of zero net energy housing movement that is still in its prime. If people are aware of zero net houses, the total carbon footprint emission will be decreased significantly over a long period of time. Awareness to the general public will make purchasing zero net energy houses more affordable due to the increase in demand. USGBC Central California and Fresno State students have been able to start the conversation with the community during different outreach events including the CSI product show and Earth Day Fresno.
Facebook: Fresno State Tiny House