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Architectural student turns old bus into a modular home

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20 2013 2:50 p.m. MDT

Updated: Sunday, Aug. 10 2014 4:41 p.m. MDT

Hank Butitta sits in his bus that he converted into a modular living environment.

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As Hank Butitta started his final semester of graduate school at the University of Minnesota, he wanted his final project to be more than just a school project. So he bought a bus.

"I was tired of doing projects that existed only on paper and, at the end of semester, meant nothing to anyone," he said in one of his YouTube videos.

For the final project of his master's degree in architecture, Butitta impulsively purchased a bus he found on Craigslist for $3,000 with the hopes of turning it into a modular living environment. After 15 weeks and an extra $6,000, he presented his project to instructors and a group of professional architects.

Butitta's bus project didn't end at graduation.

"We've planned a monthlong experience to test the functionality of the bus," Butitta said in his YouTube video.

Along with friend Justin Evidon, a freelance photographer documenting their journey, Butitta is traveling 5,000 miles across the US to see how the bus holds up in different environments. Throughout their journey, they will pick up friends and family, having up to 12 people living on the bus at a time.

As of Sunday, the bus neared the midway point of its journey, reaching Portland, Ore. The progress of Butitta's bus is documented at hankboughtabus.com.

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