Barn House Passive House

Passive House


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UnTiny House

UnTiny house gives builders on a “tiny” budget the best, and largest house possible. Because the real objective of most tiny house clients is not to live tiny – just to reduce the financial burden that comes with today’s homes.

Most UnTiny Houses are built around a pre-built “container” block that houses kitchen, bathroom and all installations.

Unlike most “pods”, this UNtiny house block is structural so it serves as a base to which the roofs and walls are easily attached.

As a result, UNtiny houses are easy to build an having an amazing cost:benefit ratio! It’s simply a lot of house for the money.

For more info, see

The Untiny House, here the Barn60 with a countryside look
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A Vrame are specialists in A-frames, based in Northern Europe – where they benefit from the abundance of wood available near them as well as low labour costs and taxation.

As a result, they are well-positioned as a supplier for A-Frame Houses.

a frame

They have a range of models from 30 to 120m2 that are easily combined and customized.

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BuildBoxx Bathroom

Bathrooms and Kitchens are only 20% of a house – but 80% of its complications!

This is where humidity, heat, smells, electricity, plumbing, sewerage all come together.

In contrast, living rooms or bedrooms need little more than a few electricity connections!

So BuildBoxx has created a “kitchen in a box” and “bathroom in a box” that can be used as a cornerstone for an easy (self) building.

Unlike most kitchen “kits”, BuildBoxxes are “structural”: they come as a sturdy “box” that easily connects to walls and roofs.

And they come with dozens of designs for homes that were specifically designed for easy of construction!

BuildBoxxes are also a perfect solution to add luxury to a glamping tent or hotel/motel.

geodetic domes glamping tents

Geodetic Domes

Do you know the Eskimo’s “Igloos”? Geodetic domes are part of a “ball” shaped surface.

The ball shape is the most “efficient” shape in nature: it contains maximum inside space for a minimum outside surface.

Of course, ball-shaped homes are not easy to build (or furnish). But they cán be built with a limited number of different parts, usually forming triangles, pentagons or hexagons. While hundreds of parts may be necessary, you often need only 5 or 6 different parts!

Another advantage is that geodetic domes can take a lot of pressure (wind, snow) with a relatively light structure. Pressures from one side are transferred out over the dozens of ribs, and of course the round shape helps the wind flow around it rather than hit it frontally.

Are geodetic domes smart?

  • creates shelter with a minimum of structure
  • can be made with transparent skins
  • can be made with a limited number of different parts

What are limitations of geodetic domes?

  • not easy to furnish, low ceiling height on the sides
  • not easy to insulate
Building Systems Container Homes Container Homes

Container Homes

Container homes are based on shipping containers. Shipping containers have standard sizes – mostly 20 or 40 ft long, and 8 ft tall (or 9 ft for the “high cubes”).

The structure of containers depends mostly on the sturdy posts at the four corners: these are smartly engineered so extremely heavy containers can still be stacked on top of each other.

The “walls” connect the posts and prevent them from shearing i.e. falling to the side.

While many DIY’ers have built their homes from used containers

Why are container homes smart?

  • it’s a cheap and easy way to get a simple structure

What are the limitations of container homes?

  • sizes are a bit too narrow and low for comfortable living
  • steel heats up tremendously so you may need tonnes of insulation
  • used containers may have traces of chemicals
  • when cutting out parts of the walls, structural reinforcements will be necessary

Some good advice from BuildBoxx

  • consider buying new containers
  • consider buying only the container structure – using other walls like SIPs

BuildBoxx rating

  • Cost efficiency: ***
    • initial cost ***
    • lifetime cost ***
  • Comfort:
    • thermal insulation: ****
    • sound insulation: ***
    • air quality: ***
  • Ecology:
    • embedded energy: ***
    • renewable: ***
A-frames Hospitality Buildings Single Homes Weekend Homes


A-frame houses are made by leaning 2 tall walls against each other – so they look like an A.

These tall walls act as walls and roofs at the same time, making construction extremely simple. When tall enough, there is space for a second floor, usually used for bedroom lofts.

The simple structure makes them easy to build, even for self builders. as it lacks the typical connections between floors-walls and walls-roofs which require more building know-how.

Although a little space can get lost under the “leaning” walls, these are usually used well for storage and installations.

Why are A-frame buildings smart?

  • simple: one single panel does the job of walls and roofs
  • the panels lean against each other, making it a structurally sound system that resists well to winds etc.
  • easy to self build, especially with SIPS or other sandwich panels
  • less volume to heat/cool

What are the limitations of A-frames?

  • In smaller sizes, the walls may feel as if they’re closing in on you
  • Windows and doors are often limited to the front and back – and need some triangular shapes. It is possible to put them in the leaning sides… but then you loose some of the simplicity.
  • The leaning sides must be positioned well depending on the climate. If positioned east or west, they will catch a lot of sun.
  • Sometimes perceived as a “cheap” solution and visually less imposing than a “normal” building with the same m2