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tiny home design challenge winners

Rise's Tiny Home Design Challenge - Winner Announced!

By Wayne Groszko Rise Renewable Energy Expert
Aug 31, 2017

The results are in! Jamie Mastro, of Oakland, California, is the winner of the 2017 Rise Tiny Home Design Challenge, with the entry called “Stouthouse”. Let’s take a look at the features of this winning design.

tiny home night time


  • Footprint: 400 square feet
  • Upper loft: 180 square feet
  • Sleeps 4 people
  • Open area for kitchen and living room
  • Insulated to Canadian Energy Code levels
  • Solar electricity production – estimated 5,331 kWh / year
  • Total energy consumption – estimated 5,324 kWh / year
  • Estimated construction cost: $43,000 CAD

The Stouthouse stood out in the competition because of its integrated approach to sustainability, practicality, function, and beauty.

tiny home kitchen


This house looks great inside and out. Its shape is appropriate for the Canadian east coast, urban landscape of Fredericton, New Brunswick, where it is to be built. It was a surprise to learn afterwards that the designer was not from that same region, because the house will look very much at home in Fredericton, with its steep roof and dormers.

The beauty of the inside is the vaulted ceiling over the living room, overlooked by a tiny library walkway. The inspiring height will make this small house feel big.

tiny home cutaway


The Stouthouse is designed to be built with standard building materials available everywhere in North America. Everything in it can be obtained through local suppliers.

The design has all necessary living functions available on the first floor. The concept is open, simple, and practical.

tiny home living room


It’s rare to see a tiny home design this well insulated. It’s not going to meet the Passive House standard for insulation, but it will at least meet the Canadian Energy Code, for tough Canadian winters. Details like eliminating thermal bridging and using a raised heel rafter to avoid insulation gaps, are effective and much appreciated.

"“This is a great tiny house design. It’s practical, it will be beautiful to live in, it suits the location, and it will have really tiny energy and water bills.” from a Rise Tiny House Design Competition Judge"
tiny home exterior

Energy consumption in this home will be relatively small. The solar electricity panels on the roof are estimated to completely offset this consumption on an annual basis, making this home effectively net zero energy. The innovative solar design includes passive solar heating on the south side, and photovoltaic electricity panels on the east- and west-facing roof slopes.

The only mistake in the insulation design is the relative lack of slab insulation. In-floor radiant heat is proposed, in a slab with only R-5 insulation underneath. That will lead to excessive heat loss to the ground. But this is easily fixed prior to construction. There is lots of space for R-40 insulation under the slab, without affecting any other part of the design. Going a step further, a heat pump would perform better environmentally than the proposed propane in-floor heating.

Water sustainability is featured too, with a composting toilet, and greywater separation and filtration to use for landscaping purposes.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2020-04-23T16:08:00+0000
Wayne Groszko

Article by:

Wayne Groszko

Wayne Groszko is a consultant, researcher, and teacher in Energy Sustainability with 13 years of experience. He has taught at Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Community College, in the Faculties of Engineering, Environmental Science, and Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology. Wayne is also President of the Community Energy Cooperative of New Brunswick, and has worked as Renewable Energy Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre in Nova Scotia. He holds a B.Sc. (Hon.) from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University.