Come see the model in action and learn how to build a simple / sustainable / self-sufficient home!

Hi all and wonderful to be in touch with a new look Happy, simply building workshop!

The project had a bit of a set back when the Holiday Park had to pull out the day before building was due to begin (see blog) but as is the way it was a wonderful blessing in disguise. Since then the ideas have flowed and we have adapted the building component and workshop of the project for the better.

hs trailer backThe 10m2 home will now be build on a boat trailer making it more movable and free to share the ideas and as was first hoped the building workshop will be FREE (Koha appreciated). Importantly we want anyone who is interested to come and take a look and see how this project aims to not be built in the community but WITH the community.

Thank you to many who have already support this project and hope to see a lot of buzz and interaction throughout!

See more details on the updated workshop below.

Un updated design but will now be on a boat trailer rather than with the cement footings as shown here...

Un updated design but will now be on a boat trailer rather than with the footings as shown here…

—  (You can also see the information online at the Chalkle site:

Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

Come see the model in action and learn how to build a simple / sustainable / self-sufficient home! 16-25 February, Paekakariki.

Intro – some context and what am I doing…
I am building a 10m2 house on a trailer! This is one of many components to live happy, simply. The 10m2 house is being built on a boat trailer and will featuring mostly reused/recycled materials, renewable energy, water capture, bio-compostable toilet, garden and more…

Come join in building a happy, simple, sustainable, self-sufficient home and lifestyle model! Or you can just come and see what is all about…

This home is a part of Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project. The Happy, simply project is dedicated to education, learning and inclusiveness where the process is just as important as the end product, so I want to give others the opportunity to participate, learn and do, just as I will be!

This part is a building workshop, a component of the lifestyle model display and education project.

Logistics, dates, times and other info

  • Free free free – come in and join in! If you want to do the building side of things RSVP or just come by for a look at how one person can live Happy, simply.
  • This process will start Saturday 16 Feb and go through till Monday 25 Feb but people can join up for just the weekend / both weekends or weekdays. Days are 9am-5pm
  • Location is in Paekakariki (40km north of Wellington on the Kapiti Coast) we will be constructing around the place but the majority will be at the Paekakariki Holiday Park – 180 Wellington Rd – (beautiful by the sea!) map
  • Food and accommodation is not provided, however the Paekakariki Holiday Park is great and cheap ($15/person camping) or I might have accom for those coming for the whole workshop
  • RSVP: if you are interested in doing the whole build Feb 16-25, weekdays, weekends or one off days let me know: d’Arcy 022 381 0732,

What people will learn / do / observe / contribute
Keywords and interests here are: building, design, architecture, sustainability, simplicity, community, self-sufficiency and where less is more and just enough is plenty!

This first step of building the 10m2 home is a great opportunity to learn about design, building, simplicity, sustainability and self-sufficiency. Specific to the build part you will learn/do:

  • Getting started: design explanation and setting out design
  • Planning and sourcing materials
  • Erecting timber-framed structure: wall, floor, roof and mezzanine framing
  • Floor, windows and doors set-up
  • Roof: roof underlay, roof cladding and drainage
  • Walls: wall underlay, wall cladding and flashings
  • Insulation: floor, walls and ceiling
  • Set up rainwater capture and reuse system, alternative power systems
  • Internal lining and finishing: wall linings, wooden floor installation, painting and polish
  • If we still have time and enough people: attached eave and deck and stairs and cabinetry

Then you’ll be on your way to build your own Happy, simply lifestyle model and 10m2 studio!

Learning and Skills Throughout:

Depending a little on which stage of the build you choose (or ALL of it!) you will learn/do:

  • Tiny house: Pros and cons of a small dwelling
  • Passive design concepts: how to get a better energy efficient dwelling
  • Choosing the right spot and orientation
  • Sketch a sustainable transportable home regarding dweller’s needs, location and building regulations and codes
  • Starting from scratch: adjusting design according to recycled materials available
  • ‘Set-out’ of the dwelling: Obtain reference point, boundary lines, site levels and understand ground conditions
  • Learn basic timber-framing: measure, cut, squareness, level, bracing, fixing, etc.
  • How to erect a wooden structure
  • Install openings in walls (windows and doors) and seal the joints
  • Carry out step-by-step edible garden on roof
  • Third Skin: How to achieve a breathable, insulated and waterproof dwelling
  • Install your own solar system and water collection
  • Handy tricks for DIY

Really we can accommodate anyone in building skills from first picking up a hammer to just about to build your own place on your own!

What people need to bring

  • Gloves, hat and covered shoes
  • Warm clothes if cold; suncream and bathers for swim at the beach after work if hot; and insect repellent for the sand flies if they make a visit
  • Bonus will be any tools you might have access to – hammer, powered tools like a powered drill, etc (plus makes you look legitimate)
  • Fun and learning attitude! – Happy, Simply.

Cost and how to book
These workshops are FREE (Koha appreciated) – so please RSVP to me and indicate which day/s you will attend.

What / who is Happy, simply and relevant background
I had the idea and pushed to make it a reality but I have very little building and less design experience so luckily I have teamed up with SHAC – Sustainable Habitat Challenge and sourced two amazing designers and builders from Spain – Mireia and Javi, who are running the workshop aspect of the build while I manage and pretend to know what’s happening!

Happy, simply comes from my 12 years and 58 countries of learning and experiencing that taught me less can be more (when you get to choose it) and by day I work as an educator and advocate in the aid and development sector.

For me this project and these workshops are about how I can implement the learning I have received from my experiences with the world’s poorest and apply them in the developed world, where we can choose sustainability, self-sufficiency and simplicity and be richer for it.

Check out the blog for more – and contact me: d’Arcy, 022 381 0732,

Happy, simply. poster

Support and a little wish list…

We are looking for the following if possible to help the project along:

  • Space for doing the building – all transportable on a trailer
  • Building materials – anything from: large 4m support beams, cladding, big glass sliding door windows (ranch doors), wall insulation, solar panels
  • Community support, interest, contribution and affinity. We want to to not be in the community but WITH the community!

One thought on “Come see the model in action and learn how to build a simple / sustainable / self-sufficient home!

  1. A friend of mine is planning to join you. Looks amazing. I’ll be following your progress – I hope it goes smoothly enough 🙂

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