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Home on the road | UT graduate student turns school bus into a tiny home

Caleb Brackney, a graduate student studying architecture and landscape architecture, built a kitchen, a living area and a bedroom inside of a school bus.
Credit: University of Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — One student at the University of Tennessee is never far from home — literally. He can take it around with him.

Caleb Brackney, a graduate student studying architecture and landscape architecture, bought a Thomas International school bus last summer for $3,000, according to a release from UT. He then spent another $7,000 to turn into a tiny house.

He built a small kitchen on the bus, leading to a 7-foot bar where Brackney said he eats and does homework. He also built a living area past that, and a bedroom with a bathroom at the back of the bus. He said the back door of the bus acts as access to the shower, to rinse off without worrying about dirt getting inside.

“I believe all space should promote wellness, inspiration, and collaboration,” he said in a release. “These three attributes increase productivity, happiness, and health.” 

RELATED: Tiny home community comes to Knoxville

He said that he used to believe that architecture was just about aesthetics and making buildings look good. However, he said that studying helped him learn about how culture affects architecture and how to create designs to benefit the environment and the people in it.

He parks his home on his parents' property in North Knoxville and lives with his Goldendoodle, Ivy, according to a release. He also works as a graduate assistant to Brad Collett, an associate professor of landscape architecture and plant sciences. 

He also works as a researcher on the Tennessee RiverLine project, which is working to develop a continuous trail system along the entire Tennessee River.

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