Some people transform tiny spaces into a comfortable home. Charles Shaw and his wife bought an empty high school about 20 years ago and turned it into their home.
Although the 45,000-square-foot school needed repairs, the foundation and the walls were in good condition.
After turning an area of the school into his private home, he thought that he would be able to use the rest of the space for a thriving community.
The first plan was to turn the building into a retreat for artists to come together.
However, the first utility bill made him rethink his idea.
He changed the bulbs in the building to LED lights, and all of the ventilation was changed so that it was turned on and off by motion sensors.
This meant that the heat and air wouldn’t come on unless there was someone in the room or close to the vent.
Solar panels provide the electricity for the building. Shaw’s utility payment is now about $300 each month instead of the $5,000 that it was before.
Along with Shaw, his wife, and their son, there are a few other artists who live in the school in areas that have been transformed.
The building is known for being one of the only energy-efficient dwellings of its kind in the Durango area and possibly throughout the country.