The maintenance cost and efforts of the proposed construction are minor: larch wood and pine wood are recommended materials. It is eco-friendly, durable, is immune to rot and responds well to stress.
Wood breakage from the neighboring forests can be used to produce decorative or small architectural forms (benches, playgrounds, recreational stops). In such cases, all timber should be acquired in compliance with the national legislation and the international program of voluntary forest certification (i.e. FSC or PEFC), and principles of sustainable forestry. Latvian forests are its national treasure, and Latvia itself is one of the greenest countries in the world.
Trekking cabin blocks along the hiking trail are located mainly on the coast, on the forest fringe, or at the river mouths and have their own independent entrances. On the most popular locations of the route we suggest to compile camping grounds consisting of several different blocks, approximately 15-20 people per site. In all other parts of the trail the cabins can be used as needed.
The construction of the building is designed to leave minor footprint on the landscape due to its screw-piled foundation and minimal excavation works. All foundation elements are produced onsite: for the main unit, sanitary section and the terrace, four, six and seven piles are required, respectively. The base of the terrace consists of timber beams installed on the screw piles. After the initial works are completed, the trekking cabin block can be delivered to the construction site fully assembled or in sections (where required). In the remote areas without road access we propose to deliver the construction materials and the pre-manufactured sections by sea or river and then assemble them onsite. The assembly time takes approximately three days.
The purpose of the trekking houses is to provide their guests with a comfortable and safe stay. Each section has a small terrace and an awning. When three modules are combined together into a single unit, it results in spacious recreational outdoor environment and private bedroom facilities which provides for a comfortable long stay. Common and private areas are separated, and though moderate in size, are quite homey.
The total floor space of the sanitary section is 8.4 sq.m., of the terrace - 21.35 sq.m., and of the bedroom section - 17.23 sq.m. The total floor space of the three modules compiled together is 47 sq.m., out of which the terrace takes up 19 sq.m. The usable floor area of the sanitary section is 5 sq.m., of the terrace - 12.7 sq.m., and of the bedroom module - 10.3 sq.m.
The sanitary section is equipped by a sink and a compost toilet. The system is independent and does not require complex engineering solutions. Peat components of the compost toilet provide freedom from sewage and water systems and account for waste breakdown and blocking the smell. Besides, the buildings are naturally ventilated. In the warm seasons the rainwater is being collected on the rooftop and diverted to a tank located over the woodpile and further to the sink. In the wintertime, the water reserves can be refilled by means of the melted snow.
In the center, the terrace is fitted with an isolated fireplace and a heating umbrella that can be used for cooking outside. It is surrounded by benches with placeholders for dry firewood. Next to the fireplace, there is a space that can be used for drying the clothes and equipment. In the summertime, the separate terrace module can be used as a camping ground.
The bedroom is equipped with twin two-tier beds. At the first-tier level there is a folding table that can be used as a dining area. Bedroom and sanitary section walls have a heat insulation component which makes them comfortable for accommodation all year round. In the cold weather, the building can also be heated by portable infra-red heaters eliminating the danger of the open fire. For a "genuine" hiking experience, you can also use fire-heated rocks.
For construction of the sanitary section, you will need 2.5 cubic meters of timber and one day for installation. The total weight of the completed module is 1.8 tons and the R-value is 1.35 sq.m./kW.
The bedroom section requires 4.3 cubic meters of timber, one day for installation and weighs 3.5 tons.
Finally, the terrace construction needs 2.7 cubic meters of timber, one day for installation and weighs 1.9 tons.