(From left) Grade 12 student, Evan Lambert and Grade 11 students Dawson Kennedy, Tyler Manderville, Preston Tran, Irvinn Lagac and Matthew Noyes at Notre Dame High School have been working together to build a 40 ft sea-can tiny home. Architecture and Engineering Grade 11 and 12 students showcased the floor (front) and electrical plan of the home Tuesday. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

VIDEO: Some Red Deer high school students building a tiny home

Not everyone can afford a big house, so students at one Red Deer school are building a tiny home.

Grade 11 and 12 students at Notre Dame High School are working together to design and convert a 40-foot sea-can into a tiny home as part of a three-year project.

About 16 architecture and engineering students presented the tiny home’s floor and electrical plan Tuesday. The one-bedroom home features a kitchenette, a stand-up shower and a murphy bed to maximize space.

Janna Vandermeer, design studies teacher at Notre Dame High School, said the project has a $30,000 budget.

She said the project started in the second semester last year. It brings design studies students together to work on architecture and engineering plans; constructions students, who bring the plans to life; and landscape students, who will build a custom-designed living green roof.

Grade 12 design studies student Evan Lambert said he supervised a Grade 11 team this past semester and worked on a plumbing and heating plan for the home.

He explained the hot air inside the home will cool down before it goes outside, and the cold air from outside will warm up before it comes in.

Lambert is able to earn credits with the hands-on project. What he enjoys about the initiative is to be able to see the final result.

“This project converts a sea-can – a shipping container – into a home, so it has the idea of sustainable living,” Lambert explained.

“There are tons of sea-cans around, and a lot of people don’t have homes, and homes are expensive, so (this shows) we can produce something cheap and comfortable.”

The project will continue next year, after which the house will possibly be auctioned off or raffled for charity. Some of the money will also help cover the cost of the project.

Students are learning skills such as design, problem solving, communication, team work and leadership, Vandermeer said.

The teacher said this year, students have focused on coming up with electrical plans, heating and insulation plans, plumbing and 3D design – experimenting with custom-designed furniture and what that looks like in a tiny space.

Much of the material is being donated by the community, including the sea-can, said Vandermeer.

“Our construction project students have already begun work (on the sea-can), cutting out where the windows should be, and put the electrical and plumbing into life as well,” the teacher said, adding the work will continue next year.


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