Going Metric: Lone's Plans for a Fencl in Denmark

Lone Hansen has some beautiful views about tiny houses. She lives in Denmark, and is a Buddhist, member of the Royal Danish Navy, and tiny house builder. She's shared the following details on her plans to build a Fencl in Denmark. 

I have a small plot of land on the island of Zealand in Denmark. This is where I would like to build a small house. Not just any normal house, but rather a house that does not impact the environment more than necessary.

Being a Buddhist, it is important for me to leave as small an imprint on the environment as possible. Since we are all interdependent, then there is no reason to bring any aggressiveness into our dealings with our environment.

I will build a small passive solar house with solar power and solar water heating. There will be a solar venting system on the roof. Off the grid. Small because it leaves the smallest footprint on the environment. It does not take much to heat it, since it will be well insulated with triple glazed windows (low energy windows) and thick layer of insulation under the floor, in the walls and roof. And easy and quick to clean ;-)

I've worked in the Royal Danish Navy for 3.5 years. So I got used to living in small spaces with one cupboard and one drawer. The interior design of boats is an inspiration for practical solutions to hold all the stuff that one can gather in a lifetime. The question is how much space one needs to be fully satisfied and content and how much stuff. If the space is well thought out, then it is possible to live in a shoebox.

Lone HansenLone Hansen 

However, I needed inspiration for my small build. I looked all around the internet and came across Tumbleweed, The Tiny House Company. These houses seems to fit my needs very well, and are filled with practical solutions and ideas. I fell in love with the Fencl and Whidbey house and bought the plans.

When I got the drawings, I realized that they were in feet and inches. It is however almost impossible to get any kind of ruler with feet and inches here in Denmark, since our entire industry is based on the meter system. Recalculating all the measurements seemed a little daunting and could possible lead to mistakes, since I am not that skilled in the imperial system.

I contacted Tumbleweed to ask if they happen to have a metric version of the two houses. Shortly after, I received a mail, that they would be so kind and make metric versions for me. I've just got those yesterday. And they look just fine and seems correct at the first glance. So I thank Tumbleweed very much for doing the recalculations of the drawings. It has been a time-consuming work. 

Now I just need to make some redrawing of the house plans, so they are according to the Danish building code. This means that the Fencl will become a bit wider with more insulation in the floor, walls and roof. The Whidbey will be lower (too tall for the area it would be build) and also a bit wider with more insulation in the floor, walls and roof. Both will have 200 mm. minimum of insulation in the floor, 300 mm in the walls and 400 mm in the roof area. This might need some recalculation of the strength of the structure. I will add some extra big windows on the south elevation and roof to get more passive solar heating compared to the original drawings.

I expect to start building the Fencl next spring when the frosty weather is over!

Written by Guest Blogger — December 14, 2012

Filed under: building codes   converting plans   denmark   Fencl   green building   metric   plans  

San Francisco Considers Smaller Homes

New York, Boston and now San Francisco.

These cities are looking at their minimum size requirements and going smaller. So what does this even mean? Building code requires that houses and apartments meet certain minimum sizes for safety. That code is then adopted and added to at the local level. Most cities will place a minimum size on the "entire" unit or building that is higher than the original code requires. After decades of increasing home sizes, these 3 cities are looking to change their codes and reduce their minimum size.

San Francisco currently has a minimum size of 290 square feet. If the proposal is approved, that number will drop to 220. We're excited to see a move in this direction!

The Los Angeles Time has a nice article about it here.

Below is a clip from NBC with Brian Williams on the topic.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Written by Steve Weissmann — September 26, 2012

Filed under: building codes   video  
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