Happy, simply Time Lapsing

No the title doesn’t suggest we are not doing anything or aren’t going to complete the project…

Only a brief update today and tomorrow as we had just a half day today and no building tomorrow as I will be giving a presentation at the Adelaide City Library in the evening – see details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1427638847508663/?fref=ts

Tomorrow night I will be sharing the concept behind the poster, behind idea, behind the motivation, behind the learning, behind the practicality of why and how Happy, simply came to be, but mostly it will focused on building a tiny home with a group of volunteers from leftover stuff…!

For now enjoy the time lapse of the project so far to date – 14 days in 2 minutes – when it is only this long does it actually mean we have done anything…?


Warm and watertight!

The Happy, simply home is ready to move inside…

The roof was finished today with the flashing up and now making the roof completely waterproof (in theory).

We also added insulation to the inside walls and are halfway done wrapping the inside amazing layer of breathability and high performance interior wrap from Laros.

From this day forward the build can move indoors and hopefully rather quickly and lower skilled than all the previous tasks. Just two decks and a toilet remain on the outside for outside completion!

With the weather looks a little gloomy tomorrow and the next day it will be a pleasure to be inside – building and with 8 of us due to volunteer tomorrow the Happy, simply home will be filled with community! A good tester to see how many this place will hold…

The day started well with a beautiful sunrise...

The day started well with a beautiful sunrise… and finished well with closer to completion!

Happy, simply home #2 – South Australia…!

HSposter_animationThe Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project looks like it might be building another Happy, simply home!
This time in Aldinga, South Australia (just near Adelaide)…
And so this is what we are proposing for a Happy, simply home in South Australia – please get in touch if you want to be a part of making this happen!
Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project. 
Tiny house, community living and where just enough is plenty!

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The Happy, simply home – want to participate in a community building project?
We are proposing constructing a small, mobile house of approx. 10m2 that is ‘off the grid’.
A similar project was done last year in Aotearoa New Zealand with great success and we want to see if we can do something similar (and better) this time in South Australia
  • When: Late May / early June 2014 (approx. 2 weeks total build time) Major build is 24 May – 8 June with prep and finish before and after those dates
  • Where: Aldinga Arts Eco Village map: https://goo.gl/maps/jlRvp
  • 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 us via email – happysimplyhome@gmail.com and keep up to date on the Facebook group if that is what you like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/happysimplysa/
Ideally what we need…
  • Builders – especially students, retired or passionate sustainable builders and one major builder who can share and teach others
  • Designer / Architect
  • Skilled tradespeople
  • Volunteers keen to participate and learn new skills
  • Car trailer / boat trailer / tandem trailer or similar
  • Left over building materials – windows, doors, timber, cladding, insulation, building paper, etc…
For now we would love to see a show of interest to get off the ground and see if we can make it a reality.
To learn more about this project, please see the project in Paekakariki from Feb 2013  and be sure to see the YouTube Video of the Happy, simply build in NZ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl8safGwXhQ
Be sure to pass onto others so we can get a couple of builders and make this fun, educational and inspirational home a reality!
Many Thanks
Beau and d’Arcy.
Happy, simply home

Build Day 1 – The Dream is Tangible

It has been an amazing first day of building (actually not much building but organising and a little building).

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It was an incredible moment for me at one stage to ride my bike into the build site and see people with tools, working away, sharing conversation and learning with, and from, each other. It was one of those 10 second grabs that I will carry with me for a long time. The trail from thinking, planning, consulting, listening, altering, organising, etc… was expressed in the practical application of a dream that is real and taking form.

Working putting the bearers together...

Working putting the bearers together…

But today was not about me it was a beautiful Paekakariki day where people came together to share, learn and interact with each other and an ideology of what the world can look like with simplicity, sustainability and sufficiency. It was not by chance we all happen to be there at the start of the day sat around a table explaining why we wanted to be a part of the Happy, simply project.

Team Day 1!

Team Day 1!

The photos speak volumes and I cannot explain the happy butterflies that are circling around inside me and what a joy it is to be a part of something that has meaning, application and tangible outcomes for anyone and everyone that interacts with it – a very special day.

Huge thanks to anyone who has been a part of any/all of it to this point – so many people have given ideas, generosity, time, effort, compassion, interest, passion and endeavour.

So on to day 2 – building the floor!

Details: 9-5pm, end of Tilley Rd http://goo.gl/maps/XlYH9 , BYO lunch (we have bread), if coming from Wellington let me know and we can try to carpool people…

We are here all week so please drop by when you get the chance. Really, please come and see what we are up to and you will be amazed from this point to what it will be by Monday 25 Feb!

It’s a wonderful day, thank you to all and see you tomorrow!

Happy, simply.




Workshops – build your own Happy, simply. 10m2 studio!

Interested in joining in the build for Happy, simply. ?! Sign up for the building and design workshops!

Building and Design Workshops:
Build your own Simple Sustainable Self-sufficient Studio!

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Intro – some context and what it is all about
This studio is a part of Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project – https://happysimply.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/detailed_proposal/ 

The studio is just one component of the model but the first phase and probably most important. A 10m2 studio will be built having renewable energy, water capture, bio-compostable toilet, rooftop garden and more…

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!

What people will learn – an outline of what people will learn and what they walk away with. What can they expect?

Keywords and interests here are: building, design, architecture, sustainability, simplicity, community, self-sufficiency and where less is more and just enough is plenty!

But really this is a building and design workshop to learn why and how to design and build a house in the most simple step-by-step way.

Workshop Program Specific to Dates:

Weekend  9/10 February:

  • Getting started: design explanation and setting out design
  • Main timber-framed structure set up on floor

Weekdays 11-15 February:

  • Erecting timber-framed structure: wall, floor, roof and mezzanine framing
  • Windows and doors set up

Weekend 16/17 February:

  • Roof: roof underlay, roof cladding, drainage and green roof
  • Walls: wall underlay, wall cladding and flashings
  • Internal insulation: floor, walls and ceiling

Weekdays 18/22 February:

  • Attached eave and deck

  • Stairs and cabinetry

Weekend 23/24 February:

  • Set up rain water collection system, solar system
  • Internal lining and finishing: wall linings, wooden floor installation, painting and polish.

Weekdays 25/26:

  • Retouches and Cleaning

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

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

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!

Level of skill required (1 – beginner 10 – expert)
Anywhere from 2 – have hammered a nail to 8 – just about ready to make their own batch

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 but luckily I have teamed up with SHAC – Sustainable Habitat Challenge http://www.shac.org.nz/ and sourced two amazing designers and builders from Spain 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 poster and this blog site for more

What people need to bring

  • Gloves, hat and covered shoes
  • Warm clothes if cold; suncream, 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.

Maximum Number of people
10 on weekends and 8 on weekdays

$30 single day or $50 for weekend, $70 weekdays, $150 for the whole build – Feb 8-27

Funds will go to lunches and trying to pay the workshop builders / designers (Javi and Mireia the Spanish guys) who are volunteering their time and expertise to do all of this and would love a bit of assistance to help them along…

Logistics: Date, times, location, etc

  • Feb 9-26 with key days being Sat/Sun 16/17 Feb and 23/24 Feb
  • Paekakariki Holiday Park – 40km north of Wellington (beautiful by the sea!) map http://goo.gl/maps/A9nc9
  • Lunch will be included but accommodation is not however the Holiday Park is great and cheap ($15/person camping)
  • Days are 9am – 5pm
  • If you are interested in doing the whole build Feb 9-26, weekdays or extra days let me know

Contact: d’Arcy, 022 381 0732, lunny06@yahoo.com.au

Support and a little wish list…

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

  • Possible billeting for me and the Spanish couple who are the designers and builders for the project
  • Billeting for other volunteer / workers / participants / workshop attendees – even space for camping in the yard would be great
  • Borrowing a trailer for picking up materials – used mainly in the first week from Feb 6-16
  • Building materials – anything from: large 4m support beams, cladding, big glass sliding door windows, wall insulation

Nice progress and a TED talk video on housing and why Happy, simply. makes sense…

A wonderful community get-together last night in Paekakariki to see if anyone is keen to host Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

I think people could see I wasn’t selling a pyramid scheme as I am the only one who can lose out (and that is only financially which a. I don’t care and b. the learning I will get will be worth it all!).

With the concept understood and tested amongst the attendees the mood was bright and stirring. People are very keen for the model but the restrictions and council regulations are the hard part to make sure it is all within the rules – but something that is for the benefit of the project and ultimately the council and the community. To be continued on that one.

Is this the future spot for Happy, simply.?

Is this the future spot for Happy, simply.?

So at this stage it looks like we have some wonderful options for locations as well as a couple of design options – on wheels, transportable by a truck and crane, flat pack ikea style or something else. But all of these things should be resolved by the end of the week and the game of council approval can begin!

Thank you to those who came out last night and lost of listening and learning for me. With the sun out and a beautiful evening it really was the warm welcome to a community I hope to base myself in for the coming future and beyond!

And now for a video… this is a great TED talk from Dan Phillips on creative houses from reclaimed stuff. He looks at the common sense approach of using stuff around the place and this really makes me feel good and supports the ideology I am trying to make a reality with Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

Big cheers from Paekakariki, Aotearoa New Zealand!

Paekakariki sunrise