The Tiny House Design Challenge is a challenge to local schools to design and construct a half-scale model of a tiny house with guidance and support from local architecture and engineering companies.

Amy Salvador and Clarice Masaki, employees at SSFM International, Inc., a local engineering consulting company, saw an opportunity to spark interest in and promote the practicality of engineering in a field other than robotics.

The housing industry is adjusting to less development room, and there is currently a shift to more economical and environmentally sustainable units.

All around the United States, more and more micro-unit houses and tiny houses are being built. With the current housing crisis in Hawaii, tiny houses are a potential option for people who may not be able to afford a 500 square foot condo or apartment.

In addition, by participating in this challenge as a school project, students learn how to design and construct a real structure while also making invaluable connections with local AE professionals.

The participating schools Moanalua and Waipahu High School, will have their houses on display starting May 4th.

May 9th is the day of presentations and judging which is set to take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the lawn of the State Capitol.

As part of the challenge, the students will be doing a short presentation about their house and their design process as a class for a panel of judges.

There will be two categories of competition and awards. The first will be the judges’ pick as determined by the judges’ scores on the student’s project portfolio, presentations and constructed half-scale models.

The second category will be determined by popular vote. The public will be invited to vote on their favorite house on SSFM’s Facebook page or in person on the day of judging May 9th. Voting by the public will continue until May 14th when the house display is removed.

The public is encouraged to check out the houses while they are on display and vote for their favorite.