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  • - The fresh growth tips of spruce

  • are actually delicious.

  • We just realized we don't have enough planks

  • to finish the roof.

  • - Oh! (laughs)

  • - I'm not sure if we're gonna finish by nightfall.

  • I'm Rob Greenfield and I'm gonna help my friends

  • build a tiny house on their property

  • in just three days.

  • We're actually gonna do the whole process

  • from cutting down the tree

  • all the way to the finished tiny house.

  • You might have seen me recently on BuzzFeed

  • when I finished a year-long project

  • of growing and foraging 100% of my food.

  • This tiny house is going to be fully off the grid

  • and built completely out of wood harvested

  • on this property as well as secondhand materials

  • right here from the farm.

  • This is Antoine and Margot

  • and we are at Le Reve de Gaia,

  • which means The Dream of Mother Earth.

  • Why don't you tell us what this place is?

  • - [Margot] Le Reve de Gaia is an eco project

  • where we strive to be a community

  • where humans, nature, and animals

  • can live in productive harmony.

  • - Why are we building a tiny house?

  • - We wanna house volunteers and people

  • that wanna know about what we do here.

  • We need space to house people.

  • - And I'm the first volunteer that's gonna live

  • in this tiny house, right?

  • - Yeah.

  • - Shall we get to work?

  • - Let's get to work.

  • - Let's go. - Good, let's build it.

  • The first thing that we need to do is cut down a tree

  • so that we have wood to build the tiny house.

  • I've never cut down a tree before,

  • and you've cut down--

  • - Thousands.

  • I'm a forester.

  • So I'm gonna cut some branches first

  • to have a bit more space

  • and then it's an easy tree because it's a bit steep

  • and it will fall nice on the little field.

  • - The reality is that we're not actually using

  • this tree because we've already cut down

  • some trees six months ago.

  • - Yeah.

  • - Because they need--

  • - To dry a bit before they become the planks.

  • - But we wanted to start with showing you

  • the tree all the way to the tiny house.

  • We brought it over here on the tractor.

  • - Now we change the wood because this wood

  • has been cut down a couple of months ago.

  • - [Rob] How many trees will it take us

  • to make this tiny house?

  • - So we're gonna need two trees.

  • So now we're gonna cut beams

  • as a foundation, the floorboards,

  • beams for the sides, and then the planks

  • to cover the side-slash-roofing.

  • - All of these are trees that were harvested

  • from the land.

  • He bought this land about seven years ago

  • and this has pine forests on it

  • that have been used for forestry for decades now.

  • And a lot of it was done in a very unsustainable way.

  • Now he's transitioning this into sustainable forestry

  • and moving it back into a native forest

  • that is a place for humans, other species,

  • and the environment to thrive.

  • And behind me is his wood saw.

  • Imagine, if a community had this, they could

  • come together and build their houses

  • out of wood locally harvested

  • and it would pay for itself in no time,

  • creating jobs and working with the land

  • rather than having just things shipped

  • and depending upon huge corporations.

  • Almost everything here is stuff that we cut today.

  • It's wide, almost like 4x4s.

  • These are for the foundation.

  • These, what we're calling planks,

  • are for the roof-slash-sides.

  • These are the floorboards, which you can see are thicker.

  • - So we're gonna sand the floorboards

  • of the tiny house to prevent splinters in your feet

  • and we're gonna only sand the floor

  • because we want to keep the rest

  • as natural as possible.

  • - So we probably cut half the wood today,

  • we sanded the floor.

  • I'd say we're on schedule.

  • - Yeah.

  • How's it going, Margot?

  • - Pretty well.

  • - Okay, it's the start of day two.

  • Overall, we're off to a good start.

  • Margot has finished sanding the floorboards.

  • Now it's time to stain them

  • and Antoine is cutting planks

  • to be the right size.

  • How's it goin'?

  • - [Antoine] Good.

  • - We're gonna finish the wood with flaxseed oil

  • and turpentine so the floorboards are smooth

  • so you don't get any splinters into your feet.

  • But the floorboards are the only thing

  • that we are gonna finish like that

  • because we wanna see how long a tiny house

  • that is used with natural materials will last.

  • - Okay, we've got most of the materials cut.

  • We're already over halfway into the second day

  • and I hope to be moving into the tiny house

  • in about 30 hours from now.

  • I've always wanted a tree stump table.

  • My dream is gonna come true!

  • (kisses) (laughs)

  • All right, this is the spot right behind me.

  • This is where we cut down the tree yesterday

  • and it's time to finally start actually building this thing.

  • - We're gonna put the foundation like this

  • and we're gonna level it out so the floor is straight.

  • It's not level, so I have to lift it here a bit

  • to keep the level straight.

  • - So we've actually moved the foundation back a little bit

  • so that we didn't have to put it up as high.

  • And one thing that I wanna mention is

  • on the bottom we're using Douglas fir,

  • which is more resistant to rot

  • and will last longer.

  • And then the rest of the housing is spruce.

  • And I should mention this one material

  • that's not secondhand or from the forest.

  • The screws cost about $30 all together

  • and this is pretty much the main cost, right?

  • - Yeah. - The screws.

  • First floorboard!

  • - Ta-da!

  • - [Rob] How's it feel?

  • - Awesome!

  • - Solid? - Yeah.

  • I'm happy.

  • - Now we're putting on the flooring.

  • It's lookin' huge, too!

  • All right, so we have a floor.

  • Might even be able to sleep here tonight.

  • Little bit hectic last couple of days,

  • but pretty hopeful.

  • All right, so we have the foundation set

  • and it's time to start movin' upwards.

  • It's lookin' good for movin' in tonight!

  • So now we're puttin' up the walls,

  • which is super simple.

  • We're just taking these planks

  • and then we're just screwing them on

  • and they have an overlap.

  • Keeps the rain running down the sides

  • so moisture doesn't stay on there.

  • The windows and doors cost $0 because

  • they were rescued from the landfill.

  • All right, it's four o'clock,

  • we just realized we don't have enough planks

  • to finish the roof.

  • - Oh! (laughs)

  • - [Rob] I'm not sure if we're gonna finish by nightfall.

  • - [Antoine] We still have four hours!

  • - We'll see.

  • This is the compost toilet I just built.

  • We got my raised bed garden here.

  • And I started a table.

  • So we are putting in the last screws

  • to have the sides and the roof done.

  • If we finish the structure,

  • we still wouldn't have finished the inside.

  • - No, not finished like--

  • - Details. - The details, no.

  • If we continue tomorrow morning

  • then we can make it a really good looking tiny house.

  • - All right, not movin' in, but tomorrow.

  • We have just a little spot left up there to do

  • and, once we've done that, we'll have built out

  • the entire house itself.

  • And there's still a little bit to do on the inside,

  • but, man, three days was quite the goal.

  • That would have been a serious accomplishment.

  • (upbeat music)

  • - Voila! (Rob laughs)

  • - Right now, we've created the bed.

  • I've wanted a stump table for a decade.

  • (loud slaps) Nice!

  • Tiny house is built!

  • (upbeat game show music) (bell dings)

  • So we did it!

  • - Have a good night here, Rob!

  • - [Rob] I'll be over for dinner!

  • (all laugh) - Enjoy!

  • - All right, time for me to move in.

  • (laid-back Parisian music)

  • So here it is, the tiny house built

  • from trees right on the land.

  • And over the next few years, probably hundreds

  • of different people will sleep inside of this tiny house

  • so I wanna give you a little bit of a tour,

  • so come on inside.

  • It's really designed to come here and live simply

  • and with the basics.

  • So there's a door that I just walked through

  • and then we have one that goes right through the back.

  • We built out a structure to put the bed on top of

  • and we're actually gonna end up

  • putting two beds inside of here,

  • one on either side.

  • Underneath the bed, there's some storage.

  • Right above me, there's a shelf.

  • And then right over here is a shelf as well

  • just to have the basic possessions.

  • And then this will be made into a sitting area as well.

  • And then here there'll be a flip-down desk.

  • You know, livin' the good life in here

  • and being able to spend most of the time outside.

  • I'm gonna show you the kitchen now.

  • And the idea with all of this

  • is to keep it sustainable.

  • So how this sink works, the water we use is from the spring

  • and then, instead of it going down the drain,

  • it goes down and it's collected into a bucket

  • and then this water can be put

  • onto the garden to grow food with.

  • Using a biodegradable, plant-friendly soap.

  • And it can go right onto the plants.

  • The sink, rescued from the landfill.

  • Next up is the shower.

  • The water from the shower comes from the spring as well,

  • or harvesting rain water.

  • And with this bucket, I just put holes in the bottom of it.

  • And, again, this water stays right here

  • and just waters the trees.

  • So this is the spring that's just

  • about a 30 second walk from the house.

  • Delicious pure water straight from the ground

  • and this is the water for showering

  • and for doing the dishes.

  • It all comes from right here.

  • The compost bin is very simple.

  • The idea of this is to live as zero waste as possible,

  • to compost everything that can be composted,

  • and not send things to the landfill.

  • The last stop on the grand tour is the toilet.

  • And this is the poo with a view.

  • We did have to buy the toilet seat,

  • which