Beginning June 15, 2015, 30+ middle school students, along with partner, Sustainafest embarked on an exploration of sustainable living and build an off-grid, mobile SustainaFest “tiny house” model. This 5-week program is the second project of its kind for the Annapolis-based non-profit, building upon the overwhelming success of last year’s tiny house project in Annapolis that brought international attention. Students will work with sustainability and building experts to acquire construction know-how and critical teamwork and planning skills, while also learning more about the impact that lifestyle choices have on our communities.
For this year’s project, SustainaFest will debut a brand-new tiny house model, designed in-house at the direction of Kata Petty, Senior Project Manager at Steven Kahle Architects. SustainaFest partners, including Standard Solar and Resource Furniture, have been providing technical guidance in the design process. “Kata’s designs are fantastically innovative,” says SustainaFest Program Coordinator, Joshua Bennett. “They propel our program to the next level, allowing us to deliver a one-of-a-kind educational experience while addressing real housing needs of our partner organizations.” SustainaFest works to link these student-built tiny houses with community development groups such as homelessness prevention networks, urban farms, and military veteran support programs.
The first SustainaFest Tiny House has toured Maryland for the past year, visiting home shows, festivals and schools. Most recently, 20,000+ attendees at the DC Green Festivals Expo, America’s largest and longest running sustainability and green living event, had the opportunity to explore the home and its many sustainable features including a complete solar powered energy system, rainwater collection and filtration, composting toilet, and gourmet kitchen. Excitingly, SustainaFest is now holding an essay contest to award the home to one deserving recipient. Contestants have until July 1 submit a short essay answering the question “What are your keys to living a sustainable lifestyle and how would owning the SustainaFest Tiny House help you realize your dream of living that lifestyle?” Entry fees for the contest will help SustainaFest recoup out-of-pocket construction expenses and continue its vital programming.
To learn more about SustainaFest, including complete contest rules, how to submit your essay or to follow the events of the tiny house project, please visit www.sustainafest.org or send an email to [email protected].