- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

PELLA, Iowa (AP) - Two students at Central College in Pella have built a tiny home for less than $500 using old hog feeders, grain bins and other items headed for the landfill.

Classmates Amy Andrews and Ethan Van Kooten built the 260-square-foot home after being inspired by a 2014 class trip to Costa Rica, where they were housed in small dwellings powered by solar panels.

After being unable to find available grants for their project, the two began searching around Van Kooten’s family farm for useable materials, discovering an old granary used to hold field corn. They also used items such as cupboards and carpet from buildings set for demolition.

“If you scrounge around, you can save a lot,” Andrews told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1LHllpT ).

Van Kooten added, “Scrounge is our favorite word now.”

The students said it took about 500 hours of work to complete their project.

Before building, they discussed their plans with Anya Butt, director of environmental studies at the liberal arts college.

Butt acknowledges she doubted they could do it, in part because they had no money.

“For two students to do this on such a small budget is amazing,” Butt said.

The house doesn’t have water service, but Andrews and Van Kooten said they’re planning to add a gravity-fed rain barrel system. They’re thinking of adding solar panels to provide electricity.

Officials said the students would need permits, and the structure would need a permanent foundation if they intended to live in the house.

For now, they see it as a fun cabin that also demonstrates the value of living simply and sustainably.

___

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide