IHAWKe Tiny Houses for Disaster Relief
IHAWKe is comprised of all diversity groups within the school of engineering, include the American Indian Science & Engineering Society, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and KU Women in Computing. There are three themes that IHAWKe strives to promote, changing the world, connecting with others and conquering classes. The focus of the tiny house project is to change the world through connecting with each other and applying what has been learned in class.
The tiny house project for disaster relief is aimed at providing temporary housing to families after a disaster, such as a hurricane. After a large event like hurricane Harvey, families are displaced from their homes and forced to live in conjunction with others in large community shelters. The tiny house aims to reduce the time spent in these spaces and promote wellbeing by having a place to call “home.”
The project began with a simple idea on a sticky note, which lead to a small prototype. From there an IHAWKe-A-Thon was hosted to research individual sections of the house, such as the kitchen, bathroom, sleeping space and exterior skin. A life size prototype of cardboard and pvc was created to help in visualizing how the space would flow. After the IHAWKe-A-Thon the design was finalized and building began.
Tiny house build sessions occur once a week for about an hour and a half. During these build sessions students work together to build wall panels, window panels and floor panels. Upon completion of the structure, vapor barrier, insulation and siding will be applied to each individual panel. Once complete, the tiny house will be constructed outside and the interior of the space will be the main focus. Along with building, research is being performed in order to determine the best materials for the project. We are looking for innovative solutions to creating a house of reused or homemade materials. While at the same time reducing cost as much as possible in order to make these homes affordable and efficient temporary housing solutions. Through the collaboration of many engineering disciplines, we also hope to create a house that does not depend on a constant source of electricity or water.
Our goals moving forward are to complete the structure by the end of fall semester. At this time, the house will be built outside. Over break, we plan to take a trip to Puerto Rico to aid in disaster relief and present our tiny house ideas. Through this trip we hope to learn what needs to be changed in future iterations and what is liked about the project. This will help us in moving forward with the interior of the space and in creating other prototypes in the future.
All monetary contributions will be used to purchase the remaining materials needed as well as support students traveling to Puerto Rico where more research will be conducted.