Author Archives: Ysbrand Galama

Accidental Photo

This is just an accidental photo. Was doing an inspection of a wooden house (not finished, you see the metal sheeting sticking out from the roof) and so I took a picture of the sheeting with my phone. And by accident, boom, nice photo.

parallel lines
parallel lines

Whether it is because of the parallel lines or the blue color or the wood I can’t say, but I like the image.

Vertical Larch

Architects always manage to produce a nice design, more elegant, more balanced. Much more elegant than what we normal earthlings could come up with. Architects also make it more expensive, but hey… it looks better… Beauty has a price.

loghouse designed by client

But then some clients do manage to produce something nice themselves. This client came to us with some simple sketches. They were based on our Eric & Flo but still looked like nothing special. So we translated it into technical drawings and now we are assembling the house. And now look here, what is this? A beauty!

Why one client can do this while most of us need an architect, honestly we don’t know. And what exactly makes this house nice and more elegant than other houses we also do not understand, actually that is why we team up with architects. But nice it is.

loghouse designed by client

This is a traditional loghouse. Laminated massive wood, connected with wooden dowels (Swedes call this a “timmerhus”), and then finished with larch on the outside. Proven techniques and a modern design, it is possible. And yes, the building site is a mess, please ignore that and come back in two months…

Denmark

In Denmark, close to Legoland, we built a log house for a family of two.

loghouse_near_Legoland_01

Two during the week, that is. But then in the weekend the kids come over from Copenhagen, and there are grandchildren. The house has extra rooms for friends, and a separate office, and a carport under the main roof.

loghouse_near_Legoland_02
loghouse_near_Legoland_02
loghouse_near_Legoland_03
loghouse_near_Legoland_03

The design is based on the Eric & Flo, but folded into an L-shape.

loghouse_near_Legoland_05
loghouse_near_Legoland_05

As you can see, this panorama was made with a simple phone. The left of the house looks a little chopped of and bits of the roof are hanging in the trees.

loghouse_near_Legoland_04
loghouse_near_Legoland_04

Revit And HoloLens Versus Pencils

These days we design everything in 3D software such as AutoDesk Revit, and sometimes Sketchup. For us the main advantage is that it allows us to more easily communicate with clients.

 3d_model_of_wooden_house
3d_model_of_wooden_house

The old 2D drawings worked very well for the experienced specialist, but for everybody else 3D is easier.

meeting_on_building_site_02
meeting_on_building_site_02

We haven’t seen any HoloLens augmented reality goggles on our building sites yet, but laptops are common. We still think it is a bit risky to open your 3.000 euro MacBook in the dust and the dirt, but hey, you need to check this 3D window connection thing so…

But even with all this 3D stuff some challenges remain. The engineer behind his super 3D CAD station can place a foundation pole to the millimeter in his drawing, but there is no way the guy that runs the drilling machine can place that pole to the millimeter. With wood we can work almost to the millimeter, but foundations have a much bigger construction tolerance. So once on the building site we may find the foundation to be slightly different from what we expected. Now what?

meeting_on_building_site_03
meeting_on_building_site_03

Easy: we use a pencil and a piece of wood, and we fix it. No AutoCAD, no 3D Revit, no HoloLens, just a pencil. Works fine.

meeting_on_building_site_06
meeting_on_building_site_06

Of course there is a risk to it. The flexibility that you get from fixing things on the building site might be offset by the introduction of construction errors. It is exactly this disconnect between the 3D design from the office and the actual implementation on the building site, that made a multi-level car park collapse at Eindhoven Airport.

meeting_on_building_site_07
meeting_on_building_site_07

But for simple things like the windows installation in a log house we feel confident that we can fix it with a pencil.

Two Neighbors

We started with the construction of two log houses, side-by-side. We unload the log packs next to the foundation and then we start assembling, log by log.

loghouses_under_construction_2
loghouses_under_construction_2

In the background the construction of other loghouse is slightly ahead and has the roof on already.

This is what we call a greenfield operation: in the middle of green fields (for now).

loghouses_under_construction_1
loghouses_under_construction_1

Unloading the trucks can be a bit of a balancing act. These log packs were 12 meters wide and had to be lifted over a shed. Not much room for error…

No Time

We are so busy building houses that we hardly have any time left to show off our new projects on this website. And so for one project we showed the roof beams a few months ago, and that was it, no more time to show any progress.

roof construction of a log house
roof construction of a log house

Until now: house is ready, client moved in, and we were invited to his house warming party or whatever you call it these days. Nice weather, good food, friendly guests, relaxed. Nice party.

house warming party lithouse wooden house 02

When we were young we also had house warming parties. Sometimes after the party there was hardly any house left. But that would be difficult with this house: solid logs, almost indestructable, built to last generations. And also the guests were a little more civilized than in the old days…

Saint Jean d’Aulps

For those of you who think we are Dutch: yes we are Dutch, because that is where our company is registered and where we build many houses. And for those of you who think we are Lithuanians: yup, we’re Lithuanians too, because that is where we produce. And for those of you who think we are French: nope, we are not French. Well ok, some of our designs come from France, and we build in France quite regularly.

So maybe we are Europeans.

Saint Jean d'Aulps, Lithouse
Saint Jean d’Aulps

Here some two photos of our latest project in Saint Jean d’Aulps, in the French Alps. Photo’s are not the best quality so we will go back to take some better photos, but this house is absolute top class. Happy customers!

The house looks like a post & beam design, while the massive facade gives the impression of a traditional log home. But actually it is a modern panel house. Three levels times 100 m2 = 300 m2 total (3200 sqft approx.).

Saint Jean d'Aulps, Lithouse
Saint Jean d’Aulps

Cross Laminated Timber

We are currently building a house from cross laminated timber. Cross laminated timber, or CLT, is a bit like multiplex but then more complex. You take wooden planks 40×40 mm and glue them together into a board, en then you take a second board and glue it on top of the first one. And then a third, and a fourth, until you have the desired thickness. Instead of 40x40mm you can also use 30×30, or 25×25, but the end result is always the same: a massive wooden board that you use to construct walls.

OW_CTL_01
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House In Denmark

Not too far from LegoLand in Denmark we are building an Eric & Flo, but then bigger. Much bigger. And modified into an L-shape with car park under the main roof.

Little patience please, this photo needs a few seconds to load …

And since this is Denmark, the insulation requirements are extreme. But the basic concept is still the same. Traditional logs, connected with traditional dowels, lots of insulation, damp-open and larch on the outside.

Where Does All The Energy Go?

With the cost of energy rising every year, and with the daily increase of the “energy transition” effort, many houses are designed around one central theme: saving energy. Everybody installs heat pumps and solar panels and ventilation systems and batteries, all to make sure we minimize our carbon footprint. Green is good.

wooden house almost ready for use

wooden house almost ready for use

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