My Time in a Tiny Office

Six weeks ago I built a small temporary office space.  My office “cube” is 8’ x 8’ x8’ tall.  These dimensions were chosen for a few reasons:  The “cube” is temporary and I intend to un-build it in a few months and re-use the materials for other projects.  Full 4’ x 8’ sheets of ½” plywood and 2” thick rigid foam insulation are used as much as possible; there are some that are cut.  I also thought that 64 ft. would be adequate for my temporary work space, although quite a reduction compared to the 600 sq.ft. studio that I have been working in for 20 years.  After being in my “cube” for 6 weeks I find the space very comfortable.

To eliminate the need for exterior building materials, thereby saving cost, I built the “cube” inside my shop adjacent to a 8 ft. tall roll up door.  With that door open I have plenty of natural light, the roll up door is closed at night and during windy wet weather.

The structural walls are built of 2x4 studs at 4’ on center, sheathed with ½” CDX plywood that is exposed to the inside.  The window is a site built direct set quad-pane window (low heat loss) with materials from a recycled sliding glass door.  The “cube” entry door is a stock pre-hung insulated steel door with decent weather-stripping.  Above are 2x4 ceiling joists with a ½” drywall ceiling.  Once the structural shell was completed the plywood and drywall joints were air sealed, then a pressure test was performed with a Duct Blaster(with a special ring 4).  The result (with the stock pre-hung door taped shut) was a very impressive .55 ACH50.

Then the whole structure was wrapped with 2” thick foil-faced polyisocynurate rigid foam.  Rigid foam insulation had already been installed under the plywood floor. 

This morning it was 50F outside and 57F in the “cube”.  I ran my electric heater for 40 minutes to bring the temp up to 68F using .5 kwh of electricity.  It is good to have a cozy place to work.

 My tiny office

My tiny office

"Long View" LEED Home Awards

“Long View” LEED Home Awarded Best of Show, Designer’s Choice and First Place for Custom Home by AIBD California.

Clay Johnson’s Design Recognized for Excellent Energy-Efficiency, Use of Local Materials and Aesthetics.

Trinidad, Calif. (April 2, 2013) — The American Institute of Building Design (AIBD), California Society, awarded Clay Johnson’s design of “Long View” the Best of Show, Designer’s Choice and First Place for a Custom Home over 3,000 square-feet in the 2013 AIBD California Society Design Competition. Honored on Saturday, March 9 in Ventura, Calif., at the AIBD California Society Annual Conference, the awards recognize the LEED home (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for outstanding energy and water efficiency, use of local materials and its striking design.

Johnson started the design process for the project in August of 2009, and worked with Sandra Greenleaf, interior designer and Donna Wildearth, landscape designer, to set out achieve their client’s LEED goals by using cutting-edge green technology and innovative materials. General contractor David Kitchen joined the dedicated teams’ efforts as the prime contractor for the project.  Completed in November 2012, “Long View,” is the first single-family LEED for Homes project constructed in Humboldt County.


 Long View home

Long View home

 Long View interior

Long View interior

 Long View

Long View