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Tiny Houses tiny house with solar panels built from a bus | Upload Tinyhouses

Tiny House With Solar Panels Built From A Bus

by: Sustainable Startups
tiny house with solar panels built from a bus | Upload

While in high school, Nicolas Viglucci ’19 won an online auction for a bus, but his father canceled the sale since Viglucci had neither a design plan nor the funding to realize his dream of renovating it. Five years later, Viglucci has received generous funding from High Meadows Foundation Sustainability Fund and Project X Innovation Fund to finally build his dream - a tiny home inside a bus at the University. 

Tiny House: A Thomas Transit-Liner

Now, on weekends, Viglucci spends his free time turning a $2.700 1998 Thomas Transit-Liner school bus into a tiny energy-efficient house. As a mechanical and aerospace engineering major who is also pursuing a certificate in sustainable energy, Viglucci is deeply passionate about hands-on sustainability efforts.

Viglucci explained he has always been interested in sustainable energy and even intends to pursue a career in the field, largely because he is from Miami, Fla. The region, known for drastic flooding and other devastating effects of climate change, was a compelling reason for his passion. Viglucci explained that the project fits neatly into his interests, and is flexible enough to fit into a college lifestyle. 
"The idea is that I’ll be able to park it in a driveway for 100 bucks a month, which is way cheaper than rent, work for a couple of years to pay off loans, and after that, drive around the country and live wherever for a little while," Viglucci said.

yellow-schollbus-as-a-tiny-house
Photo by Michael Talley. Old yellow schoolbus converted to Tiny House

Recommended: Solar Panels? Go To ‘Roof Rent’. Visibly Green

"At our first deadline for High Meadows, we were about a third of the way did," Viglucci said with a sheepish chuckle. However, Viglucci and the team plan to finish the entire project by the end of this academic year.
On average, Viglucci spends between 10 and 13 hours each week working on the bus behind Frick Chemistry Laboratory at the Architecture Laboratory, an offshoot of the School of Architecture space designed for collaboration between architects and engineers. During the summer, he worked as long as eight to nine hours every day, mostly by himself, although he occasionally recruited help from friends for more strenuous tasks like painting the exterior or grinding away rust.

While Viglucci uses his own background in engineering to design electrical systems, he often pulls inspiration and advice from a variety of sources, including his advisor, Forrest Meggers, assistant professor in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Viglucci also receives help from his peers, such as Eric Teitelbaum GS, a graduate student from the civil and environmental engineering department who has experience working with treehouses, and Coleman Merchant ’19, who is also concentrating in mechanical and aerospace engineering.
The interior design inspiration comes from the blog “Hank Bought a Bus,” which is run by Hank Butitta, a University of Minnesota graduate who converted a bus for his master’s final project.

Recommended: Electric Bike On Solar: A Bicycle Tesla Mix

The two main components that will distinguish Viglucci's living space from other tiny houses will be its cooling system and lithium-ion solar system. Forty-eight percent of the energy consumed by homes in the United States is used for heating and cooling, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, so Viglucci is searching for ways to be more energy and cost-efficient. He hopes to computerize the heating and cooling system through constant monitoring so that the two functions can happen independently without requiring intervention by the homeowner.

Moreover, while most people currently use lead-acid batteries to power their houses, a lithium-ion solar system, though more difficult to implement, is more environmentally friendly. Consequently, Viglucci and his team aim to make both systems - particularly the lithium-ion solar system - more accessible and affordable.
Despite aiming to solve engineering inefficiencies in the long run, Viglucci himself has encountered obstacles, most of which include “weather, flaky people, and technical difficulties." While he expressed frustration with annoyances such as squalls while trying to paint the exterior, he has delighted in small successes.
"Once I finish one phase, it’s really satisfying," Viglucci said. "Putting together a lot of the photos has been particularly satisfying because day to day it doesn’t feel like progress has been made."

Recommended: Sustainable House: Reused Materials And Solar

The general public can also view the progress and pictures through his open source website, putt-putt-the-bus.com. Viglucci said that this independent project is still nameless - even the acronym 'putt-putt' doesn’t stand for anything. Yet once the bus is finished, Viglucci will make it available for sustainability events on campus and open houses on campus to demonstrate the progress of his work. 

Before you go:

Recommended: Tiny Houses Tips And Tricks: Minimalistic Living Experience

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

Like to write your article about your tiny house experience? 
Send your writing & scribble with a photo to [email protected], and we will write an interesting article based on your input or subscribe.

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Tiny House With Solar Panels Built From A Bus

While in high school, Nicolas Viglucci ’19 won an online auction for a bus, but his father canceled the sale since Viglucci had neither a design plan nor the funding to realize his dream of renovating it. Five years later, Viglucci has received generous funding from High Meadows Foundation Sustainability Fund and Project X Innovation Fund to finally build his dream - a tiny home inside a bus at the University.  Tiny House: A Thomas Transit-Liner Now, on weekends, Viglucci spends his free time turning a $2.700 1998 Thomas Transit-Liner school bus into a tiny energy-efficient house. As a mechanical and aerospace engineering major who is also pursuing a certificate in sustainable energy, Viglucci is deeply passionate about hands-on sustainability efforts. Viglucci explained he has always been interested in sustainable energy and even intends to pursue a career in the field, largely because he is from Miami, Fla. The region, known for drastic flooding and other devastating effects of climate change, was a compelling reason for his passion. Viglucci explained that the project fits neatly into his interests, and is flexible enough to fit into a college lifestyle.  "The idea is that I’ll be able to park it in a driveway for 100 bucks a month, which is way cheaper than rent, work for a couple of years to pay off loans, and after that, drive around the country and live wherever for a little while," Viglucci said. Photo by Michael Talley. Old yellow schoolbus converted to Tiny House Recommended:  Solar Panels? Go To ‘Roof Rent’. Visibly Green "At our first deadline for High Meadows, we were about a third of the way did," Viglucci said with a sheepish chuckle. However, Viglucci and the team plan to finish the entire project by the end of this academic year. On average, Viglucci spends between 10 and 13 hours each week working on the bus behind Frick Chemistry Laboratory at the Architecture Laboratory, an offshoot of the School of Architecture space designed for collaboration between architects and engineers. During the summer, he worked as long as eight to nine hours every day, mostly by himself, although he occasionally recruited help from friends for more strenuous tasks like painting the exterior or grinding away rust. While Viglucci uses his own background in engineering to design electrical systems, he often pulls inspiration and advice from a variety of sources, including his advisor, Forrest Meggers, assistant professor in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Viglucci also receives help from his peers, such as Eric Teitelbaum GS, a graduate student from the civil and environmental engineering department who has experience working with treehouses, and Coleman Merchant ’19, who is also concentrating in mechanical and aerospace engineering. The interior design inspiration comes from the blog “Hank Bought a Bus,” which is run by Hank Butitta, a University of Minnesota graduate who converted a bus for his master’s final project. Recommended:  Electric Bike On Solar: A Bicycle Tesla Mix The two main components that will distinguish Viglucci's living space from other tiny houses will be its cooling system and lithium-ion solar system. Forty-eight percent of the energy consumed by homes in the United States is used for heating and cooling, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, so Viglucci is searching for ways to be more energy and cost-efficient. He hopes to computerize the heating and cooling system through constant monitoring so that the two functions can happen independently without requiring intervention by the homeowner. Moreover, while most people currently use lead-acid batteries to power their houses, a lithium-ion solar system, though more difficult to implement, is more environmentally friendly. Consequently, Viglucci and his team aim to make both systems - particularly the lithium-ion solar system - more accessible and affordable. Despite aiming to solve engineering inefficiencies in the long run, Viglucci himself has encountered obstacles, most of which include “weather, flaky people, and technical difficulties." While he expressed frustration with annoyances such as squalls while trying to paint the exterior, he has delighted in small successes. "Once I finish one phase, it’s really satisfying," Viglucci said. "Putting together a lot of the photos has been particularly satisfying because day to day it doesn’t feel like progress has been made." Recommended:  Sustainable House: Reused Materials And Solar The general public can also view the progress and pictures through his open source website, putt-putt-the-bus.com. Viglucci said that this independent project is still nameless - even the acronym 'putt-putt' doesn’t stand for anything. Yet once the bus is finished, Viglucci will make it available for sustainability events on campus and open houses on campus to demonstrate the progress of his work.  Before you go: Recommended:  Tiny Houses Tips And Tricks: Minimalistic Living Experience Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about your tiny house experience?  Send your writing & scribble with a photo to  [email protected] , and we will write an interesting article based on your input  or subscribe .
Stay Updated on Environmental Improvements And Global Innovations