The award-winning rEvolve tiny home has a roof deck, solar, room for your dog

As the tiny home craze continues to sweep the country, an energy education specialist in Sacramento, California, decided to strike while the iron is hot, creating and running an innovative new tiny home competition. The brainchild of Suzette Bienvenue (our energy education specialist) but officially organized by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the Tiny House Competition pits universities and colleges located in California against one another to design and build, you guessed it, tiny homes. After issuing a call for participants in 2014, the inaugural event went off without a hitch in mid-October, proving to be much more popular than the committee had anticipated.

Expecting a meager crowd of around 3,000 or so attendees, the new competition drew an audience of a staggering 20,000 people. An offshoot of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon — in which participants are challenged with building the most energy-efficient, solar-powered home — SMUD’s Tiny House Competition also tasked those competing with not only building a small home but a zero net energy, solar-powered entry.

Taking home the competition’s symbolic gold medal was an entry from Santa Clara University dubbed the rEvolve House. Sitting at a mere 238 square feet, the rEvolve House is, as expected, designed as an off-grid-style home, developed with the intention of serving as an inexpensive, short-term residence. Manufactured for an area nonprofit named Operation Freedom Paws — a firm that pairs potential service dogs with veterans — the interior of the home boasts a foldable dinner table, built-in shelves, Murphy bed-style sleeping area, and 35-square-foot wet bathroom with a dry-flush toilet.

Outside, the rEvolve House features an accessible deck on its roof, structural insulated panels, and eight 330w Sunmodule solar panels which power the entire space. In addition to it nabbing the top overall award, Santa Clara University’s entry also took home “Best Kitchen Design” and “Best Integrated Lighting,” along with six other awards. Other winners at the competition included University of California, Berkeley’s Tiny House in My Backyard which nabbed “Water Conservation” and “Best Craftsmanship” awards while being notably outfit with a Tesla Powerwall battery.

An extremely innovative and revolutionary event, it’s a near certainty the Tiny House Competition won’t serve as the only iteration of Bienvenue’s vision. Considering the popularity of its first go-round, the iron doesn’t appear likely to lose its heat anytime soon.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Smart Home

Miele stuns KBIS 2019 with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and more

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.
Smart Home

Amazon’s wall clock is back on the market after Bluetooth snafus

Amazon's Alexa-enabled Wall Clock was a minor disaster when it was finally released in December because of widespread Bluetooth connectivity challenges. After some tweaks, it's now back on sale for $30.
Smart Home

The Nest Secure included a microphone no one knew about — except Google

The Nest Secure home security system has had a microphone this entire time that no one knew about, except Google. The company claims the mic was never turned on, but customers are outraged.
Mobile

From folding phones to 5G -- here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event treated us to a real parade of technological excellence, from folding phones to new fitness wearables. Here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked on February 20.
Smart Home

Leviton’s Wi-Fi Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers give your home a brain

Is your home ready for a brain transplant? Adding individual smart plugs is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but the benefits are limited to one plug at a time. Leviton's Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers can give your home a brain.
Smart Home

GE Appliances shows off wall oven with built-in air fryer, food dehydrator

GE Appliances is taking the air fryer trend to its logical conclusion and adding one to a wall oven. The company's new oven, on display at this year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, also includes a food dehydrator.
Smart Home

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo: Which one is better for you?

What happens when you compare the Google Home vs the Amazon Echo? Both smart speakers have good qualities, but what happens when you compare they're features side-by-side? We think one of these smart gadgets wins over the other.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Home Theater

Reasons not to mount a TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

Mounting a TV above your fireplace may be popular and it might even seem appealing, but we have some concerns. We've got a list of reasons why placing your digital picture machine over a fire should be avoided, if at all possible.
Smart Home

Colored fridges are back, baby! GE’s new appliances revive the 1950s trend

GE Appliances is coloring us surprised at KBIS 2019 by introducing new hues for its signature Cafe line of smart home appliances including four new hues launching this fall to complement its black and white options.