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Tiny homes to be the newest addition to Syracuse's southside

lunetta with a mock of a tiny solar home.JPG
Ellen Abbott
/
WRVO
Tiny Home for Good Executive Director Andrew Lunetta holds a model of a tiny solar home.

Construction is starting soon on four new tiny homes for the homeless in Syracuse, and they’ll be among the first to feature solar heating.

A Tiny Home for Good started building these fully furnished units in 2016, opening them up to individuals who are chronically homeless. Executive Director Andrew Lunetta said this latest cluster of four tiny homes in a neighborhood on Syracuse’s southside, is being built with renewable clean energy in mind.

"We have one home that’s also solar on Bellvue," Lunetta said. "But these are the first ones that we first designed them where the sun’s going to be hitting them. They were designed with a lot south facing windows, and really pointed thought on solar efficiency."

The homes were designed by Buffalo architect Brad Wales. Wales said that "passive solar design" is what keeps these homes energy efficient.

“There’s continuous insulated envelope design, and in terms of passive solar design there are large areas of south facing glass, that is also shaded for the summer," Wales said. "So it lets the winter sun in and shades the summer sun. That’s the essence of passive solar design."

National Grid is providing funding for the homes, and volunteers to help clear a vacant lot. Regional Director Al Bianchetti said this is part of the company’s initiative to give back to the community.

"This has special meaning because this homes will be energy efficient," Bianchetti said. "They are going to be solar powered, built with the most modern construction materials, energy efficient appliances."

Lunetta said the program has been successful so far, offering a place to live for 25 people who had been chronically homeless. The program offers case management staff for tenants who need it as well.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.