Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Design

First Advisor

Jade Polizzi

Second Advisor

Dr. Georgia Lindsay

Third Advisor

Richard Saxton


In the near future, the rising number of people aged 55 to 75 is going to impact housing. People are reevaluating current housing options and searching for opportunities that better fit their lifestyles. At the same time, the idea of living in a tiny house is becoming more popular. Considering the growing popularity of tiny houses, a significant question that arises is: can tiny houses be designed as a realistic solution for housing problems, such as accommodating older adults? People want to downsize and live more simply; however, many tiny houses are built on wheels and are limited in design. This research focuses on designing a tiny house that is suitable for people aged 55 to 75, those considered “young-old.” Information used to inform design choices was gathered from literature and through a series of interviews. Observation from visiting tiny houses also influenced the final design. This modified tiny house design is less than 400 square feet and is built on a foundation. Louisville, Colorado was used as a general site in this research due to its environment qualities and the number of people who will soon be within the selected age bracket. Although research does not extend beyond Louisville’s zoning regulations, concepts could be applied in other cities. Ultimately, the purpose of this thesis is to provide an alternative housing option that addresses the needs of older adults. The final design is a solution for young-old adults that could be implemented now or in the coming years.