Norwich to Design Sustainable “Tiny Houses” for Vermonters

Norwich University’s College of Professional Schools has received a $20,000 grant from the TD Bank Charitable Foundation to design affordable, green micro-houses for low-income residents
Daphne Larkin | Office of Communications

February 3, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt.–Norwich University has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, to fund the development of affordable solar houses by students and faculty in the School of Architecture + Art and the David Crawford School of Engineering.

The grant will support the Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture (CASA) Initiative, a new program within the College of Professional Schools that will focus on research and development of affordable alternative-energy housing for low-income families in Vermont.

“In the true Norwich traditions of experiential learning and service to others, we are offering students credit to research, develop and produce a micro-solar house that offers a solution to the housing crisis in Vermont, and this generous gift from the TD Charitable Foundation is helping to make that possible,” said Aron Temkin, an architect, professor and dean of the College of Professional Schools at Norwich University.

The effort builds on lessons Norwich University architecture students and faculty learned over the course of their 2013 competition in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. Norwich’s Delta T-90 house won for affordability.

The immediate and long-term objective of Norwich’s new CASA affordable micro-house program is to develop a regionally derived, solar-powered, affordable housing model. Norwich architects and engineers ultimately aim to develop a modular system of “micro houses,” units that can stand alone or be combined to create larger, cohesive structures depending on the needs of the occupant.

“Over half of all Vermonters cannot afford a house that meets the target construction costs of the 2013 Decathlon’s Affordability Contest, regardless of energy costs,” said Cara Armstrong, director of Norwich University’s School of Architecture + Art.

“Consequently, we have committed to continuing our work with students and faculty across disciplines to design and build adaptable and sustainable housing to be affordable by a family living at 80% of Vermont’s median income level and below.”

Through seminars and a design/build studio, a team of Engineering and Architecture + Art students and faculty will design and build one “Micro House” of approximately 200 square feet, including a bathroom and kitchen, by the end of the next academic year.

“TD is a strong advocate for environmental sustainability, so we are extremely excited to support this program,” said Phil Daniels, President, TD Bank, Maine. “This initiative will greatly benefit the residents of Vermont and provide students with the opportunity to give back to their community and contribute to its improvement.”

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here:

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® and the TD Charitable Foundation provide support to affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental initiatives, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

About the TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and is one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made more than $133.2 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The Foundation’s areas of focus are affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and the environment. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit Find TD Bank on Facebook at and on Twitter at

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit