Students in the environmental design program at the University of Calgary have come up with a plan for a mini home that can be built in the backyard of a typical residential lot in the city. 

The 400-square-foot laneway house was the result of a challenge to U of C design students to create housing for seniors. 

The design allows seniors to move around comfortably in a limited space.

John Brown is an associate dean of research in the faculty of environmental design.

He says the home could allow a senior to remain on their own property or move to property owned by family members.

"So that could be a property that an older person owns who they could then rent out the large home and live here. It might be that a family member owns the house and builds this for a parent, or it could just be a rental," said Brown. 

The house is also equipped with technology that allows people to interact with directly with health care providers via Skype.