Norwich’s Tiny House Nets AIAVT People’s Choice Award


Jan. 5, 2017

Norwich University’s tiny house, the CASA802, has earned the 2016 People’s Choice Award from the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAVT).

Named “Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture” (CASA)802, the 324-square-foot micro home was designed and built by students and faculty members in the School of Architecture + Art and the David Crawford School of Engineering over the 2015-16 academic year.

The project was funded largely by a grant from TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, which awarded Norwich $20,000 in February 2015. The CASA Initiative focuses on research and development of affordable and well-designed housing for low-income families in Vermont.

The house was sold to a low-income Vermonter at cost and was moved to its permanent location in Shelburne, Vt., in November.

“I have had the dream of living small and energy-efficient for years,” CASA802’s new owner, Kym Marie Glynn, said. “I am so grateful to be a part of the movement towards a more harmonious earth, which I believe the tiny house movement is a huge part of.”

The CASA802 incorporates sustainability through the use of locally sourced formaldehyde-free birch plywood, low voltage LED lighting, locally harvested and milled white cedar siding and pine flooring. High efficiency windows and doors are used throughout the house, as well as dense pack sustainable cellulose insulated walls, a high efficiency heat pump, ventilation system and hot water heater, and high energy star appliances. Additional sustainable features include: low flow shower fixture, zero VOC paint, Vermont Natural Coatings low VOC finishes and a reclaimed sap bucket for the bathroom sink.

“The goals of this project are two-fold. Beyond providing a similar price-point, sustainable and beautiful alternative to the trailer, CASA802 encourages experiential learning,” said Associate Professor of Architecture Tolya Stonorov.

The award was announced at AIAVT’s 2016 Annual Meeting & Design Awards on Thursday, Dec. 15 at ArtsRiot in Burlington, Vt. The jury highlighted the role of students in its remarks: “The budding work of students, whether it is high school, undergrad or graduate, is vital to the future of our evolving and complex profession.”

About Norwich University˜

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. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here:    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
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Office Tel: (802) 485-2886
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Video: Inside Norwich’s C.A.S.A. 802 Tiny House

Video still: Architect and NU Assistant Professor Tolya Stonorov speaks in front of bright red orange door of C.A.S.A. 802 tiny house.
Norwich University Office of Communications

September 27, 2016


Learn more about C.A.S.A. 802, a modular, tiny house project designed and built by faculty and students from Norwich University’s School of Architecture + Art, David Crawford School of Engineering, and construction management programs. Energy efficient and sustainably designed, the $30,000 structure offers a modern alternative to mobile homes for young families and can be expanded over time.

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CAD rendering of Norwich University's CASA initiative tiny house design.
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Sometimes a big problem requires a small solution. Enter the CASA initiative, a 334-square-foot tiny house with a small $40,000 price tag, solar power included. Norwich University faculty and students developed the house to address Vermont’s affordable-housing crisis. Nearly 12 percent of Vermonters live below the poverty level, and median household income in the state barely tops $54,000. That leaves many low-income residents priced out of the traditional housing market. Those who can, often turn to mobile homes, which cost around $39,900 on average and are typically financed with car loans. But, unlike traditional houses, mobile homes depreciate in value over time.

Seeking to provide an alternative, the Norwich School of Architecture + Art faculty launched the Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture (CASA) initiative last year. Sparked by a $20,000 seed grant from TD Bank, architecture faculty Tolya Stonorov, Danny Sagan, Cara Armstrong, and Matt Lutz worked on the initial design over the summer. Last fall, CASA principal investigator and civil engineering professor Ed Schmeckpeper began designing and assembling the build-out with Norwich engineering and construction management students. This spring, junior and senior architecture students in a design/build studio led by Professor Stonorov will complete the project.

With clean lines and a gabled roof, the nearly 14- by 28-foot home offers a modernist, minimalist take on a classic Vermont farmhouse. Sliding glass doors open from its small front porch onto a high-ceilinged living room/kitchen/dining area. Beyond lies a bathroom, bedroom, and storage space. The tiny home can accommodate two adults and a child. Solar panels supply the home’s electricity needs, while even more high-powered engineering lies under the roof. Starting next year, the CASA initiative team plans to develop additional units that can “plug” into the starter house, enabling households with growing families and incomes to expand.

Stonorov says CASA’s ultimate goal is to create a house that is not just beautiful, practical, and affordable—but widely available. The CASA team aims to partner with organizations that share the goal of bringing innovative, sustainable housing to income-eligible Vermonters. “This project will fail to fulfill its mission if we only produce one.”

Photo illustration courtesy Tolya Stonorov
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