Bemidji State’s Tiny House Goes Home to Stillwater

Bemidji State University’s multi-year project to design and build a tiny house is finished. Now this eco-friendly, student-built house has found it’s forever home with Virginia “Ginny” and Chris Kelly of Stillwater, Minnesota.“We’ve been talking about getting a tiny house for years,” Chris Kelly said. “We’re so grateful for Bemidji State and all of the staff and students who built this.”The project started in Fall 2017 when students in Bemidji State’s School of Technology, Art and Design developed tiny house design concepts in the university’s in Building Systems course. After surveying BSU alumni to gather feedback on amenities, construction under the guidance of Tim Brockman, professor of technology, art and design, and David Towley, associate professor of technology, art and design.Though the build was primarily overseen by professors in the TAD School, the department joined forces with many departments across campus including Bemidji State's Sustainability Office that was consulted regularly to ensure that the final product and building process were environmentally friendly. The school also welcomed more than 20 industry partners to see the project to completion.They Kellys closed on the tiny house on April 8, and will take the house home this week.“I’m most excited to host people and have the extra space,” Ginny Kelly said. “We love to host.”Among the tiny house’s many notable features are energy-efficient windows and structural insulated panels that will reduce utility bills and rooftop solar panels for off-the-grid living. However, the tiny house also has the capability to connect to grid power when necessary.In July 2021 the 206-square-foot tiny house was offered for sale to the public using a sealed bid process starting at $50,000. The sale will also sponsor a Bemidji State University student endowment fund.The TAD School hopes this project will set the stage for an annual tiny house program that will provide its students a hands-on, collaborative and co-curricular learning experience.

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Bemidji State University educates people to lead inspired lives. From a serene campus located among the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, BSU offers world-class education in arts, sciences and select pre-professional programs. Bemidji State's 4,750 students can pursue degrees in 70 undergraduate areas of study and nine graduate programs. BSU is guided by Shared Fundamental Values, which are civic engagement and leadership, international and multicultural understanding, belief in the power of liberal arts, and environmental stewardship. Bemidji State University is a proud member of Minnesota State, the third-largest higher education system in the United States. Can a north woods education transform you? Find out. For more, visit bemidjistate.edu or find us at BemidjiState on your favorite social media networks.

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