The 4 elements of the Unified Construction Method®
All four elements of the Unified Construction Method® explained.
The Unified Construction Method® is comprised of four elements. Three of those elements are designed for strength and safety and one element is designed for comfort.
Element 1: Floor Joist Tie Downs.
The safest way to attach a tiny house to the trailer is by using a horizontal bolting system. Most THV’s are fastened using some sort of a vertical fastening method which makes if vulnerable to the upward lifting force that comes from moving fast down the road. Any horizontal fastening method will be superior to vertical fastening method. The Unified Construction Method® Element 1 accomplishes this horizontal fastening by bolting floor joist through our steel floor joist tie downs welded to the trailer.
The floor joist tie downs integrate the trailer with the floor to create the first element of a unified whole. It is strong, integrated and allows for a truly insulated floor. For more on the floor insulation, see our Trailers Magazine.
Element 2: Stud Wall Tie Downs.
Eight steel stud wall tie downs extend up from the trailer through the bottom plate to the stud walls of your tiny house vehicle (THV). Element 2 of the Unified Construction Method® (UCM®) creates a strong and secure connection between trailer and the walls of your THV, while once again using the superior advantages of a horizontal bolting system. Element 2, stud wall tie downs function independent of Element 1, the floor joist tie downs so both work together, but do not rely upon one another to give strength and unity to your THV.
Element 3: Bracing Plywood Sheathing.
Bracing plywood sheathing that runs from floor to roof structure is secured with fastenings that include among other things the use of a vibration resilient adhesive. The Unified Construction Method® Element 3 is much more than the conventional way that bracing ply is used for timber frame residential construction even in cyclonic areas. A tiny house vehicle (THV) needs to be built to a higher standard than just the Building Code of Australia (BCA) which was only written for fixed-to-the-ground houses, not a rocking and rolling and vibrating structure that travels down the road at hurricane speeds. By wrapping the entire house from trailer to roof structure in this unified way, the Unified Construction Method® forms an unbroken connection between trailer & roof structure that is super strong, light weight and vibration resilient. The Unified Construction Method® should be the minimum standard for THV’s, but for now while the tiny house movement is relatively un-regulated the Unified Construction Method® is the best unofficial standard on the market.
Element 4: Radiant Barrier.
A radiant barrier is installed inside the ceiling to block out 97% of the sun’s radiant heat. This is especially important in tiny house vehicles in Australia for three reasons:
- Summers are blisteringly hot and especially when you have solar panels on your roof that mean you will be parking your tiny house vehicle out in the direct sunlight all year round.
- Unlike conventional houses, there is no attic cavity to protect a tiny house loft from the super hot roofing steel in summer. That heat is going to be travelling into your loft unless you do interrupt it and break that thermal conductivity.
- Sleeping in a raised loft bed puts you in very close proximity to the hottest part of your house – that hot steel roof.
More bulk insulation will not stop the transfer of heat into the loft; we need to thermally break the movement of heat with a radiant barrier. To accomplish this, the Unified Construction Method® uses a conventional product (not sisilation) in an unconventional way.
Element 4 of the Unified Construction Method® provides a radiant barrier installed in such a way that it blocks out 97% of radiant heat transfer, so your interior ceiling stays at room temperature all year round. It feels like you’re parked under a tree instead of being parked under the blazing sun.
Get the UCM in your tiny house when you order a trailer.