MSU students build tiny Sparty Cabin

Tiffany Pupa couldn't sleep on her way home from a sustainability conference last year. Struck by a presentation on tiny sustainable houses, she stewed about how she could make it possible at Michigan State University.

April 22, 2016

By: RJ Wolcott, Lansing State Journalrwolcott@lsj.com

EAST LANSING - Tiffany Pupa couldn’t sleep on her way home from a sustainability conference last year.

Struck by a presentation on tiny sustainable houses, she stewed about how she could make it possible at Michigan State University.

Her idea and the work of more than 50 MSU students culminated Friday morning with the debut of the Sparty Cabin: a 177-square-foot home built with sustainable and recycled products.

“Everything happened organically,” Pupa said of the 6-week build and the weeks of design and preparation that happened before hammers hit nails. The house was built on a trailer, complete with the necessary utility hook-ups.

“More hands showed up when we needed them and everyone brought their own specialty with them to the project,” she added.

The project was a collaboration of students studying interior design, landscape architecture and construction management along with the Department of Forestry and the campus United States Green Building Coalition group.

Standing on the front porch of the cabin, MSU President Lou Anna Simon remarked on the small, but sturdy Spartan-build home.

“Part of what we’re seeing here is the capacity to take an idea by one of us that may not have seemed to fit with a big university, and simply doing it,” she told the crowd inside MSU’s Breslin Center.

A fire earlier this month inside the MSU Surplus Store, where a majority of the build took place, meant 1,200 square feet of surfaces had to be repainted, Pupa said. The team ended up deploying massive tents on campus to complete the build and store their materials following the fire.

Much of the cabin’s interior, from frames to countertops, was made using recycled wood from campus courtesy of the MSU Shadows Collection.

The cabin will be auctioned off after its use for educational purposes. Proceeds will go toward addressing housing issues in the Lansing-East Lansing area.

http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/campus/2016/04/22/msu-students-build-tiny-sparty-cabin/83351478/

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