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In Midtown Manhattan, a tiny house with a purpose.

Julie Brown

Julie Brown

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This environmentally friendly “tiny house” currently stands on the United Nations Plaza in New York City. But nobody’s homesteading there. The building—officially, the Ecological Living Module, or ELM—is on public view as a prototype for houses that will be built and displayed in Quito, Ecuador, and Nairobi, Kenya. The Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture was one of four partners that worked together on the design. The other three were Gray Organschi Architecture, UN Environment, and UN Habitat.

Architect Elizabeth Gray ’81, ’87MArch, a faculty member at the Yale School of Architecture, found the ELM project a “tremendous and intensive” collaborative process. The goal for ELM, she says, “is to communicate to a wide audience, including policy makers and universities, the range of ways that we can go about solving housing, energy, and carbon emission crises.” The house, constructed of green materials and powered by renewable energy, will be on display at the UN Plaza through early October.

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