Shelter to toilet in and hang a bike

Unfortunately I got held up at the bank this morning for a few hours in the city when really I didn’t give a crap and wanted to be helping build the toilet shelter… (enough of the bad dodgy uncle puns and jokes).

Luckily there were people who we hard at work this morning while I was sorting a few things out before I depart the country on Monday. Not only were they doing work they were building a toilet and bicycle shelter and giving the final coat of paint on the inside of the home!

Day 19 (18)

We also had a couple of very smart people who knew how to use computers that control machines that cut wood into great shapes on the router.

I’ll let the array of pics tell the story for today as things seem to be coming together nicely for a mostly finished product by Sunday.


Volunteers wanted and needed for the final couple of days if you are around!


Happy, simply SA Erected!

AAEV Day 05 (5)In just one day it was like we turned a trailer into a house… Thanks to the hard work and precision of people over the weekend who finished all the frames and floor, today was finally the big moment to erect the structure! See timelapse footage from the past two days at the end of the blog…

It started with the big wall on the back…

AAEV Day 05 (1) And we soon added the front frame and end frames slotting them in to the millimetre (well done Julian and weekend frame building team)…

AAEV Day 05 (3)By the end of the day we even started measuring doors and windows and it now even has two front windows (but nothing else!).

AAEV Day 05 (6)Tomorrow will see the students from Heathfield High School back on site where we hope they will see the roof go on and maybe some outside cladding…!

Great to have more new people on the build today including Patrick (pictured holding window) who was over from Aotearoa New Zealand and was an important part of the Happy, simply home in NZ last year.

Big thanks to Charlie and Cam today who were our building experts, advice givers, skill sharers and just wonderful people who gave their time to come and share and teach others about how to build a home with your own hands – it is just a fantastic feeling to receive that kind of learning!

And the timelapse camera from the past two days…

Happy, simply Collaborations & Passivhaus

The Happy, simply home project is attracting some great people who do great things… We have a wonderful core team who will be there every day of the build  – thank you Lindsay, Sam, Beau, Charlie and sure to be a couple more, as well as a bunch of keen and enthusiastic volunteers from day to day.

Next week is the designing phase (not me!) and then we will have a bit of a blue print to build from but very flexible and dependent on what materials become available.

Speaking of available materials I want to share with you a wonderful company and product who will donate their revolutionary building wrapping material…

Picture taken from

Picture taken from

Passivhaus is about providing healthy low-E buildings for a comfortable healthy living.
It’s core principals rest on (i) true air-tightness (to achieve real energy efficiency and manage dew-point challenges), (ii) seamless insulation (without thermal bridges and proper fenestration, eg. triple-glazing with compression seals only), (iii) external solar heat gain control (blinds to keep the sun out before it hits the glazing, etc.), and (iv) energy recovery ventilation (for when the climate is too adverse to have windows and/or doors open).

This is a huge attribute to the Happy, simply home. In New Zealand their sister company Pro Clima provided us a similar product for the home there. It has added such a quality to the home in temperature, moisture and comfort. I don’t know much about housing but I know these materials make a huge difference especially in cold wet climates like New Zealand and hot dry climates like Adelaide, Australia.

To read more on the technology of this building wrap please see the links below and the websites of Laros and Pro Clima – huge thank you to both of them and even more so for the information, education and inspiration for others which is what Happy, simply is all about!

I’m sure there will be many others to collaborate with for mutual benefit!


LAROS-EcoLibriumMagazine-PassivhausFeatureArticle-Feb13 LAROS-MechanicalVentilationHR-ReNewMagazine-Issue127-CParry-Apr14


One other link you might like to check out is the Honda building in the UK – thanks to Make Wealth History:

Happy, simply. build – the video!

Great to see the blog featured on the Tiny House Blog here – and the hundreds of folks from around the world who have had a look at Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

But today’s blog here is with huge thanks to Dave T who not only was there volunteering with the building of the Happy, simply home but also filming throughout to produce the wonderful time-lapse shots and putting it all together in a great professional video…

Go to the link here to see on youtube:

Happy, simply.


Hopefully this give you all a bit of a visual and conceptual idea of how one person can live happy, simply. The model is there and idea free to spread...

Hopefully this give you all a bit of a visual and conceptual idea of how one person can live happy, simply. The model is there and idea free to spread…

Build Day 2 – Bloody trailer…

The tangible progress of the build today is very small in terms of looks. However the team poured a lot of time, energy, brainpower and effort into the intricacies to make sure those sleeping in the Happy, simply home will have blood in their head and feet at the same time. This means making it level

Had we been building a house on the ground it is quite easy to work with at least one fixed point. Today’s challenge was with wonky wood, wonky trailers and wonky level to prop the trailer up at the right level.

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Again the pure highlight of the day was the learning, listening, conversation, laughs and passing of time and experiences together. It is a beautiful thing to see people interacting and sharing time and life together with an interest in learning, sustainability, sufficiency and an incredible humbleness where no one or no thing is more important – such a rich environment to be in.lunch

It’s not all kumbaya, love, peace and happiness – meaning we are ordinary people doing ordinary things just hoping simplicity, sustainability, and self-sufficiency becomes more ordinary. There is a lot of laughs and good times of course…

Javi, the designer / builder / teacher / good guy, quote of the day: ‘two decks (pronounced ‘dicks’ in Aotearoa New Zealand) is better than one’ this came about from another quote from the crew which was ‘never buy a second-hand trailer (editor note – especially for building a house on it)’ which has us cutting a metre off the end of the house and now have two dicks (decks) instead of just one!

So the design and house modifications continue as well as the learning, sharing, growing and community around it all.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Now we just need to build a house!

Happy, simply.



Building Workshops Feb 8-26 for Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

I now have a confirmed location for Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project. The Paekakariki Holiday Park! So it is now into the serious part, to the actual building of the dwelling!final look

This is a call out for those who are interested in learning and experiencing the building of a simple, self-sufficient and sustainable dwelling – see designs attached!

Numbers will need to be limited but there are many opportunities for many to be involved. We are also treating this as a learning workshop and a cost involved to help with payment of the skilled people running the workshops who are largely volunteering their expertise.

The quick details (with more details below):

Day / Date Build Stage Description Max people Cost
Sat 9 Feb Set up Getting materials and tools in place 5 Free
Sun10 Feb Pre-pre-build Setting up frames & starting from near scratch 10 $20
Mon – Fri

11 – 15 Feb

Pre-build Finish framing & maybe getting them standing 8 $70
Sat / Sun

16 / 17 Feb

Big Build This is the crunch time to get as much done with lots of people in a fun weekend.

If people want to add on Friday and/or Monday would be great and only extra $20

10 $50
Mon – Fri

18 – 22 Feb

Dwelling forming From frame to filling in all the bits 8 $70
Sat / Sun

23 / 24 Feb

Outer & final touches Outside and finishing touches

If people want to add on Friday and/or Monday would be great and only extra $20

10 $50
Mon / Tues

25 / 26 Feb

Final bit & clean up Last remaining touches, the clean up and last polish! 10-15 Free
Friday 1 Mar Party Come see the final product, cheers to all involved and a community celebration! Heaps BYO


  • Paekakariki Holiday Park (beautiful by the sea!) map
  • Lunch will be included but accommodation is not however the Holiday Park is great and cheap ($15/person) and I’ll see if some friendly folk allow camping…
  • Days are 9am-5pm as much as possible
  • Will need any tools you might have access to (plus makes you look legitimate)
  • One-off days cost $30 and if you want to do the whole build from Feb 9-26 it will be just $150 and I’ll try to find accommodation for you!

Please let me know as soon as you can and before positions fill up:

Name Contact Days / Dates You Want to Participate Q’s Notes Etc…

Link to blog for Happy, simply. and ALL are welcome to come and visit the building stages and the progression of it all!

Floor Plan Drawing


Calling all builders, social justice junkies and cool community orientated folks!

Want to be a part of a fun group of people working together for a happy, simply world?

I am putting an idea into action and want involve a community to participate, learn, share and laugh along with me. From Feb 8-26 we will be making a 10m2 dwelling with Sustainable Habitat Challenge (SHAC).

This is an experiential learning opportunity / workshop on sustainable housing design, how to build a house and just generally enjoying the best simple things in life!

Please see attached Happy, simply poster and blog for the concept of what we are doing

The details for involvement are:

  • sourcing reused/recycled/leftover materials to use for the build
  • using passive energy and heat techniques for efficient and sustainable design
  • a guided step by step process putting together framing and inside infrastructure
  • reasoning and expertise on design and why the designers have chosen certain details and materials
  • implementing total solar energy systems
  • grey-water and drinking water capture and systems
  • creating a rooftop garden and filtering water for grey-water usage
  • constructing foldable eves and decking
  • making the dwelling transportable by trailer or truck
  • use of small wood burner and exhaust system for heat
  • some ideas on bio-composting toilets and their integration into the model (in the future after the council has allowed testing)
  • remaining within compliance and consent for not needed official council approval


  • This will very much be an active learning experience, a workshop for learning and practical experience in building, design and sustainability
  • Roles will vary but we will have at least one professional builder & designer on site
  • The designers have been giving building workshops in NZ for some time now and can also share their ideas on mud-brick (adobe) houses and other eco-designs

The idea is to have fun, learn, up-skill and keep it all happy, simply. Fun, games shenanigans and more guaranteed…

Please know – if you participate on top of the skills you will acquire you will:

  • Leave an amazing legacy of a lifestyle model and education project that we be celebrated and shared
  • Have a personal relationship with this building
  • Be a part of the open door / stay a night policy
  • Be changing the world in a very happy, simple way!

Also there is no funding for this project and I will be financing it all so your contributions and support will be priceless and hopefully rich for you too (experientially!).

Many Thanks



PS. ALL are welcome to visit the progression of it all! Especially from the community…inside labelled view

Structure Drawing - prop 1