WENY News - Cornell student builds solar-powered home out of a bus

Cornell student builds solar-powered home out of a bus

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     TRUMANSBURG, N.Y. (WENY) -- After paying to live in Collegetown for a few semesters, Cornell University student, Eli Shanks, had enough. 
     
     After some research, Shanks took matters into his own hands.

     He bought a bus and began to converting it into a home. 

     "I had met somebody who had done this for a bit," said Shanks. "They had lived in a bus and I had thought it had sounded pretty cool. If it's feasible, then it's something that I'm interested in."

      Shanks had the sides and underneath the bus sprayed with foam insulation. 

      He then gutted inside and built space for a bedroom, shower, bathroom, kitchen and a gravity-fed pellet stove.

     "Nobody was here making decisions for me," said Shanks. "I had to make all the decisions. That was the biggest challenge because there's so many choices, you just don't know what to do sometimes."

      On the outside, he also installed six solar panels to generate electricity.

      But while Shanks is proud of his home, it has received mixed opinions from some of his peers at Cornell.

     "Most people are supportive,' said Shanks. "Some people are like, 'You're crazy! I could never do that. The entire bus would be my closet.' That's what someone said to me."
    
     Shanks expects to graduate in December with a degree in agriculture and business.

     After, he plans to sell the bus and move to Chile with his family. 

     While he plans to get another bus in the future, for now, Shanks just wants to pass the story on to his son. 

     "I hope he's going to think it's really cool," said Shanks. "I hope he's not going to be weirded out by it. But that's just kind of the way it is with kids, you never know how they're going to think of it. But I hope it's a story that he can tell his friends like, 'ya, when I was a baby we lived in a bus'."

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