A Happy, Happy, Simply, Presentation

Back on the build again yesterday with ceiling and cladding happening after a day off presenting and sharing the Happy, simply idea and practicality since it is: Happy, simply – a sustainable lifestyle model and education project.

On Friday evening the Adelaide City Council in conjunction with the new Adelaide City Library hosted the Happy, simply presentation organised by the Adelaide Sustainable Building Network (ASBN).

With 30 RSVPs you never know how many you will get on a cold and damp Adelaide evening but in the end we had over 60 people there.

It was a lovely mix of people, those:

  • keen on building,
  • those with an environmental interest,
  • people wanting to build their own home
  • people who know they will never afford a ‘normal’ modern day home
  • who have been involved in the building of the home – volunteers, builders, associations, collaborators and more
  • friends and family who had to be there because I told them to!
  • people who happened to be in the library!

HS Presentation (1)

There were also a number of great conversations around simplicity, happiness, sustainability and how to live a more affordable but fulfilling life…

Only one more week to go in the building (well until I head off overseas) so we will see how far we get…!

Happy simply home rainbow


Farewell but big thanks Heathfield students

Day 12 (3)A bunch of progress today with many thanks and warm farewell to the Heathfield High students.

It has been great to have the Heathfield students on the build for three weeks. They have been patient, self-motivating, skilled, respectful and keen to be a part of the project just as much as any other volunteers.

Day 12 (2)

Big thanks to Phil the builder and Kieran the teacher for bringing this rich element to the project.

AAEV Day 06 (12)

Today’s jobs to tick off the list:

  • Roof Check mark symbol
  • outside iron cladding Check mark symbol
  • roof insulation Check mark symbol
  • start on inside lining Check mark symbol
  • frame for front deck Check mark symbol
  • painting barge-boards Check mark symbol
  • caulking and painting front windows Check mark symbol
  • finishing 2 out of 3 doors with inside door stops Check mark symbol
  • inside bed frame and playing around with internal layout Check mark symbol
  • great people doing great things Check mark symbol

It is worth taking note of the project’s movements from now till June 23… Hope to see you out there or following online (probably not daily like till now but frequently):

  • tomorrow (Wednesday) – building all day
  • Thursday 12 June – till 12.30pm
  • Friday 13 June – no building but have the Happy, simply presentation 6-7pm with Adelaide City Council, Adelaide Sustainable Building Network (ASBN) and others at the Adelaide City Library – public event, all welcome and extras. Details:https://www.facebook.com/events/1427638847508663/?fref=ts Then going for a beer at the Metro Hotel on Gouger St after
  • Sat / Sun / Mon 14/15/16 June building all day and would dearly love a builder to come join us for those days for a few tips and advice but we can handle most of the to do list
  • Tues 17 ABC are visiting and doing some filming at 1pm so come round if you wish and represent the volunteers! We will be building all day as well.
  • Wed 18 June half day till 3pm, Thursday 19 June half day after 12pm
  • Fri / Sat / Sun 20/21/22 Building all day and hopefully bloody finished! Probably also running a solar workshop on the Sunday…
  • The house warming (finished or not) will be a Champaign Brunch on Sunday 22 June from 11am!!!

I depart Australia Monday 23 June but sure to be a few ongoing things to do as well as open for people to stay once completed!!!


Its (not quite) a wrap

Not much to report on today as it was a little tricky with rain and when we ran out of the wonderful gor-tex like jacket for the home – still both will be better tomorrow!

The lads from Heathfield were great once again and extending their practical skills and problem solving around a few unintended building errors but that is the way of the project – learn from doing, undoing and redoing!

Also be sure to check out the poster for a Happy, simply presentation on Friday 13 June – see all the details

AAEV Day 07 (2) AAEV Day 07 (3) AAEV Day 07 (4) AAEV Day 07 (5) AAEV Day 07 (6)
AAEV Day 07 (1)AAEV Day 07 (7)
Happy simply presentation poster with Adel City Council

And then there was a house!

AAEV Day 06 (17)And then there was a house… well at least the outside of a house, and only kind of, but no roof, or the final outside cladding – BUT it looks like a house now!

First we started with some framing on Sunday…

which was then erected and strengthened on Monday.

And today was ply cladding to strengthen and put the makings of a roof, as well as fitting windows, boxing over wheels and a myriad of other little bits and pieces…

It is just amazing how quickly things come along once you have the framing up.

As always the highlight for me was seeing a community of people come together to learn, share, talk and move together for a common purpose.

The Heathfield High guys were just fantastic. They have great skills, keen to listen, keen to offer their own ideas and work together on a building project that has a practical application for their future (whether they build again or not). Kieran and Phil their teachers are brilliant to have skilled them up to this point so they are hitting the build running and ready to apply that theory into a home – just awesome.

AAEV Day 06 (13)


The students were also very lucky to have been joined by a building mate of mine, Paul who came along and showed them what it really means to be a full-time builder – the tools you need, the skills involved, the brain work it takes and a top attitude of enjoying what you are doing – cheers a-plenty Paul and T!
Looking forward to tomorrow and another day with another group of Heathfield students as we aim to clad the building in corrugated iron and maybe even have a roof!

Looks beautiful eh!

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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/happysimplysa/

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!