Manufacture of wooden houses - Presentation of wooden houses

Evolutionary house - a concept for the Romanian market

The modern concept of wooden houses is less known in Romania. It has been less promoted and there are still many who think it is all about cottages or cheap houses. Unlike in Western European countries, where wooden houses are considered the buildings of the future, too few people in our country know and understand the benefits of such construction. That's why Romanian builders make such houses more abroad than here. From discussions with those who want a wooden house, young people are the most receptive, but also those with smaller budgets. Many are thinking about future needs and make the mistake of building more than they need now, which leads to high costs, both for construction and maintenance. This is where Vlad Liteanu got the idea to develop a project dedicated to the Romanian market, a house whose dimensions will evolve over time - a evolving house.

Evolutionary house
Development house - the first stage
Litarh - prefabricated wall house construction company

Vlad Liteanu from Litarh I met him 3 years ago when we met at the BIFE-SIM fair. He had been following the since the beginning and came especially to meet us. We talked about his prefabricated wooden house construction company and the lack of information on the subject. wooden houses. He even mentioned that there was a need for a magazine about wooden houses. At that time I knew little about the manufacture of wooden houses and the development of this field in the country. I thought, like many others, that it was about cottages or garden houses, not about an avant-garde field, where they talk about light, very strong and energy efficient houses, but also about protecting the environment and using building materials with a minimal carbon footprint.

According to visit to the Valley of Moldovathe house factory Litarh, I saw that the house is actually worked on in the factory and I understood why the assembly time on site is so short and how important it is that the project is very accurate, with all measurements and calculations made to the millimetre. The slightest deviation means problems on site that nobody wants. Especially if the site is somewhere in Norway or Switzerland.

Vlad, like his father, is a wood engineer, and the wood "bug" runs in the family from Vlad's great-grandfather, a well-known local carpenter. He now owns, together with his father, the company Litarh. They started with houses where they did most of the work on site, but investments in factory equipment and the implementation of new prefabrication technologies have changed the ratio. Now the houses are mostly made in the factory and then the walls and roof elements are transported to the site. The actual construction can take from a few days to a few weeks. Due to the high level of prefabrication, material losses are minimal and there is no waste on site. It is built quickly and cleanly, which is a great advantage for the owner.

Evolutionary house
In the Valea Moldovei factory
First information about the evolutionary house

Vlad first learned about the evolutionary house in France, where Litarh has had several projects over the years. One of the houses built there has been chosen to be featured in the trade magazine Building with wood, considered one of the most successful wooden houses in the Paris region. In France, the concept of the evolutionary house is highly appreciated because it allows building according to the needs and availability of the present. In 2005, in the magazine WOOD & outbuilding architecturesSwiss architect Tomas Mikulas has presented a model of a house that can be adapted to the stages of life.

Mikulas's idea was that a couple's life has 3 main stages and the house should be built to accommodate these periods. So, in the first stage, young people are single and low-income. Why build for what will be and invest more than you have? One bedroom and a living room, with a bedroom and bathroom, is enough. But the building is designed in such a way that it can easily be extended. In the second stage, children come along, income increases and the house can be enlarged by adding the necessary bedrooms and bathrooms. In the third stage the children leave and the house remains too big. The added bedrooms are separated again from the central house, which returns to its original shape. To the separate bedrooms are added the living room and kitchen, becoming another house that can be sold, rented or become the home of one of the children.

The concept has been taken up and adapted in various corners of the world according to requirements and needs. At one point students at the University of Santiago de Chile adapted the concept to make a house for emergencies. From this project, a series of houses were built and used after a fire devastated part of the country.

Evolutionary house
House in France
Evolutionary house - a Litarh project for the Romanian market

Vlad Liteanu adapted the idea by creating a special project for the Romanian market. It is a project dedicated to young people who want to have a house with a wooden structure, resistant and energy efficient and with the possibility of expansion in one or two stages, depending on future needs. Everything starts from a basic module - a house sufficient for a family of two comprising a living room with open kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, with a total area of 57.6 m².

From the outset the house is built to allow the addition of two more modules without the extension affecting the strength structure. An additional bedroom, a terrace or 2 more bedrooms can be added. The new configuration can also support transformations. For example, if a bedroom and a terrace are added in the first stage, the terrace can later be converted into another bedroom or an enclosed conservatory. Note that all these transformations will not affect the strength of the house in any way and the connection with the rest of the house is simple, by cutting out the insulation and OSB in the place foreseen from the beginning in the design of the house.

Evolutionary house
The evolutionary house - the second stage
Advantages of the project

After years of talking to a lot of people who wanted "a house on earth, theirs alone" but often ran into a lack of money, Vlad believes he has found the idea that will allow many of them to achieve their dream. The project comes with other advantages:

  • A high degree of freedom and adaptability of housing to the pace and needs of life
  • A standardized design so that no time is spent on design and strength calculations, all architectural and engineering aspects are taken care of
  • Very short production and assembly time
  • The advantage of having a green home with all the benefits that come with it
  • Very low losses, both in the factory and on site
  • The resulting house is lightweight, earthquake resistant and very well insulated
  • An initial budget much lower than would be required for a "complete" house to meet projected future needs
  • Lower maintenance costs.

Such a house, without foundation, installations and finishes, costs around €16,800 excluding VAT. The foundation required is simpler and cheaper than that of a brick or concrete house because the house is much lighter.

Evolutionary house

Litarh's portfolio includes spectacular projects both at home and abroad. Houses such as the one in Arad or others in France, ItalyNorway or Belgium, have accustomed us to other construction dimensions, much larger than those of the project presented now. However, we have chosen to present the evolutionary house because it is a project dedicated to the Romanian market. The pragmatic and creative approach of Litarh, as well as the attention given to young people at the beginning of their career is to be appreciated and encouraged.

About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.

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