Day 3 – rain only adds sunshine to the Happy, simply community project!

Day three a wee wet but not in the sense of community, learning, sharing and building!

AAEV Day 03 (3)

From midday we moved indoors to the lovely community shed space of Aldinga Arts EcoVillage (AAEV) to complete the two smaller end wooden frames…

A day of calculations, cutting, re-calculations, re-cutting and some wall skeletons!

AAEV Day 03 (4)

To be continued tomorrow and everyday until completion! Be sure to come out to see us and join in…AAEV Day 03 (1)

The wonderful thing is seeing the Happy, simply family continued to get closer and happier with conversations, thoughts, laughs, perspectives and connections. This is the part of the project I like best as it is a wonderful ecosystem of learning, doing something together and wanting to be there for all different reasons but with one simple common goal..

AAEV Day 03See you tomorrow…?


Back to the Build (tomorrow)!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi Folks and a Happy, simply happy day to you all!

We are back building again tomorrow. I have to say we are still struggling to find all the bits and pieces but at least know where we can buy them as we need them… so still keep an eye out for materials – see below but in particular plywood sheets, insulation and roof rafters.

Building will now be everyday till completion (hopefully June 9!). Tomorrow and for a couple of days will be putting the wall frames together and then we move into wrapping the building with our amazing gor-tex like wrap from Laros. From there is it a matter of outside cladding, roofing, windows, doors, insulation, inside cladding, solar and more…!

A reminder of important info for volunteering:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  • Start time 9am at Clematis Walk at the Aldinga Arts EcoVillage (AAEV)
  • Days are usually 9-4
  • We have an empty house in Willunga for people to stay (with electricity and water) just need to bring your camping gear (bedding) with you and let me know if you are staying so I can keep track of how many
  • We have heaps of soup and bread for lunch each day (vegetarian) but bring other food if you need/want and snacks and stuff if you need/want
  • Bring tools with you if you have them
  • Bring gloves, safety glasses, ear protection, closed shoes, suncream, etc with you if you have them – shoes and gloves as a minimum
  • Call out if you need a lift from Adelaide and see if others can answer your call

Let me know if you still have any more questions and keep up to date with the Facebook page and/or blog and did you see the youtube clips Mike has been putting up:

Take a look at the wish list below and get in touch if you need more info or have any questions!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking forward to seeing you there tomorrow and beyond!

Happy, simply


The Wish List! As at Wednesday 28 May

Need Have Wish list







3@2700x90x45 (got them I think)

7@2400x90x45 (got them I think)









2@2100x90x45 (got them I think)


16@2400×120 or greater x35 or greater


9 – 16@2400×120 (or greater) x 35 (or greater) (need)

Roof battens



6@4800x70x35 (or 45) (need)

Lintels – Think if needed can use random lengths of 120×35
Noggins – Not sure if what is left to be enough. But if not we need 13.2m of 90×45  

13.2m of 90×45 (got them I think)

Ply bracing



OR 14@2400x1200x5-11


2@2400x1200x5-11mm (need)

8@2700x1200x5-11mm (don’t think they exist in 2700 so extra 12@2400)

Ply ceiling



4@2400x1200x5-11mm (need)

External battens

22@2700 70×35

10@2400 70X35


22@2700 70×35 or smaller section (need)

10@2400 70X35 or smaller section (need)

Insulation Floor only Need for walls and ceiling (need)

14 L / U shape brackets



14 L shape brackets or U shaped brackets 100mmx50mm (need)

Bolts (galvanized)



46 washers

None (need)



Bolts and washers mush suit brackets

Bugle screws

Box 100@100mm

None Bugle screws (need)

Box 100@100mm

3x bugle driver bits None 3x bugle driver bits (need)
Big box 30mm galvanized clouts None Box 30mm galvanized clouts (need)
3x roofing screw driver bits None 3x roofing screw driver bits (need)
Big box of 90mm galv nails None Big box of 90mm galv nails (need)

Nuts, Bolts and Extra

  • Grey calking for corrugated iron around windows and doors
  • Whirlybird to extract hot air from roof
  • A single window that can open, dimensions 200mm x 600-800mm (or something similar) basically a longish horizontal window, again we will try and find second hand
  • 4 x axle stands 1500kg or above and best if second hand
  • Solar adaptor and converter
  • Solar batteries – 7amp closed cell batteries
  • Masks
  • Disposable suits for insulation
  • Chalk line and some chalk for chalk lines
  • Some more drills
  • Hand saws
  • Squares for drawing 90 degree angles
  • Misc drill bits
  • Spanners/ shifter for bolts
  • Straight edge 3m long

Day 3 – Community Comes Together

After a few days of being rejected by most of the calls and emails I have put out in the world to lighten the burden of landfill and get leftover materials for the build – today was a wonderful day!

AAEV Day 01 (1)
Around 12 of us came together to spend the day together and also do a bit of building and in the end we have a floor to build a home on!

AAEV Day 01 (9)

It was a brilliant day with a mix of learning, thinking, sharing, interacting, trying, conversing, helping, doing, watching and the perfect atmosphere of strangers coming together to learn and share.

AAEV Day 01 (8)

AAEV Day 01 (4)

For me at least this is primarily a community project than a building project and day was a huge success in that regard. A bonus was it was also a great success in a building sense!

AAEV Day 01Julian stepped into the frame as main builder and teacher who shared his knowledge and experience with others allowing them to use drop saws for the first time or for all us produce a sub floor on an old caravan trailer.

The photos tell a story as will the time-lapse cameras once we have extracted what they captured today!

For those following this from South Australia please note the build is postponed until Friday 30 May next week till we get more materials and I’ve had a chance to see if there is a big pile of leftovers out there waiting for us! The new timeline looks like we will finish up on probably Wednesday/Thursday 11/12 June not Monday 9 June as first thought so reset your clocks for that timeline.

It’s a beautiful day to be with a group of people building a Happy, simply home! Seeya Friday 🙂  ???

Big thanks to all the volunteers today and the cooks, donations, support, tools, advice and more!

Day 2 – Trailer passes bill of good health

Unfortunately the Heathfield High boys on this day weren’t able to push the caravan off its base and other such slightly dramatic jobs but they again did a top job of getting in and doing what was needed in preparing the trailer for construction to start on the weekend.

02 pre build day 2

02 pre build day 2 (3)Groups of students worked on a variety of jobs. One group pulled apart the shell of the caravan stripping the metal from the vynal and styrofome cladding – which gives me hope that whatever we build will be stronger than that! Another group set about framing windows and the last group were on trailer detail of getting all the dirt and muck off the trailer and then applying antirust paint.

02 pre build day 2 (1)

We turned the trailer over onto its back to have a good look over it and also had a visit from an engineer who gave the trailer a general all clear which was a big relief. With the trailer on its back we gave it a good scratching on a few rust spots as well.

By the end of the day we also had a few frames measured and put together for the outside shelter for the toilet that will go on the back deck.

Again see the time-lapse of the day below and starting Saturday 24 May(tomorrow) we will have our band of building volunteers preparing the dance floor and start the building up!


Come join us for a look or get involved and see the Facebook page for more detail:

Day 1 of Demolition!

Enjoy the wonderful videoing and editing skills of Mike for the video of day 1 of deconstruction!

Yesterday marked the first day of the Happy, simply project in Aldinga, South Australia after the successful community Happy, simply build in Aotearoa New Zealand last year.

01 pre build day 1 (2)The day was known as D-Day or demolition (the caravan) day. Luckily we had a keen troop of 15 year 10 students from Heathfield High School to come and assist with the deconstruction!

01 pre build day 1 (1)The students lead by builder Phil and teacher Kieran had the boys deconstructing intricately at first bolt by bolt and eventually by sledgehammer.

Luckily key volunteer Lindsay had safety signage up on the site and adding her keen and careful eye on proceeding with the sledgehammer, except for accidentally tapping the ball of the ankle of the builder with the sledgehammer.

The aim of the day was to get the tin shirt off the caravan leaving the trailer exposed as the base for the Happy, simply home – as you will see it was mission complete with the next day being a day of preparing the trailer for getting a building onto of the old caravan frame.01 pre build day 1 (4)

But as was the case of the Happy, simply home in NZ the best part of the day were people coming together, sharing skills, knowledge, laughter and community which is the main aim of the Happy, simply project along with a small self-sufficient home.

Enjoy the wonderful videoing and editing skills of Mike for the video of day 1!

Poster – Call Out for Support

A poster I have been sharing with volunteers, the community and anyone who might be thinking about supporting or we are asking for support… Share around anywhere in Aldinga, Adelaide, Australia if you think someone might like to pitch in and help out…

Happy, simply – A sustainable lifestyle model and education project

100_1455 (12a)Tiny house, community living and where just enough is plenty!

Want to participate in a community building project?


We are constructing a small, self-sufficient 10m2home that is ‘off the grid’.  A similar project was done last year in New Zealand with great success and we are doing it again, this time in South Australia!

When: 24 May – 9 June (approx. 2 weeks total build time)

Where: Aldinga Arts Eco Village, Port Rd, Aldinga

How: Using volunteer labour and recycled / donated materials

Why: To learn, share and participate in a community project that demonstrates how people can live a happy, simple life in a sustainable, self-sufficient home

If you can contribute any skills, time, materials, support, please contact:

You can also see the build grow daily on the blog:

Ideally what we need…

•     Builders, Designers, Skilled Tradespeople- especially students, retired or passionate sustainable builders

•     Volunteers keen to participate and learn new skills

•     Leftover building materials – timber, cladding, insulation, etc…

front page photoPlease feel free to come visit us on the build site to see what we are doing and join in! Once finished the Happy, simply home will be available for all to spend a night or two to have a taste of the Happy, simply life!

Any and all contributions are greatly appreciated, acknowledged and broadcast with the greater community (if you wish)!

Moving closer to D Day (Deconstruction Day)

This is more specific to those involved in the build in SA but for others it is a pretty good guide for one of the parts for anyone who might want to get a group of people together to do a community project to build a small self-sufficient home!

Great to be back in Adelaide and actually helping with the project whilst physically here!

It was a great meeting yesterday morning with most of the dedicated daily volunteer team in prep for the pre-build and build!.

Things are looking great with a few more materials and human resources to be on the lookout for but we have a wonderful group of volunteers ready to go and the caravan is ready for an extreme makeover! IMG_1482

At this stage the key dates are:

  • Next Tuesday 20 May when we start to deconstruct the caravan for the week (join us if you wish but work will be limited)
  • Then starting the building process from Saturday 24 May till built Monday 9 June (in theory)

A few key materials we are looking for from here on are:

  • Plywood sheets for outside cladding and maybe weatherboard for the toilet
  • Rust removal and rust prep paint for the trailer as well as wire brushes and clean up the trailer
  • Frosted glass door or glass door for the front door
  • A couple more sheets of gyprock for interior cladding
  • Structural wood for framing
  • Solar converter and batteries and someone who might like to give a solar DIY lesson
  • There will be plenty more but this seems to be the urgent ask so far

Good news is it looks like we have some sponsors for food in the lovely Dough stall at the Central Market! we have access to an empty house for volunteers to stay in Willunga! and I am so impressed how wonderful people are who are chipping in everywhere!!!

Hope you can join in and be sure to see all the detailed info from last blog.

PS it is never too late to join so if you are in Aldinga (close to Adelaide, in South Australia, in Australia!) and another builder would be a bonus!

Did you want some information and inspiration for yourself or others on the Happy, simply idea… please feel free to access all the google docs that contain the ideas behind the emails and docs than then form the output of a self-sufficient home!