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Latvia takes tree houses to a new level

It took about half a year to build the elevated house in the pines by the Niniera lake near Cēsis. The 55 square-meter building weighs six tons and even sports a small terrace - and all that is suspended five meters above the ground - reported Latvian Television (LTV) Tuesday.

Designing the building in the pines was a challenge for construction engineer Valdis Valainis, but now the house has survived strong winds, which just might be the most pressing thing that the trees supporting it could face.

"I was surprised that a 70-cm pine moved for about 20 cm and that branches 30 cm away from the facade were beating against it. When checking the fortifications the next morning, nothing had changed," Valainis related what happened during strong winds.

At first he thought about building saunas but as there's already fierce competition in that area his wife suggested turning to tree houses.

Prior to offering to make them for others the pair are learning about the load carrying capacities of different trees.

"It's not simple. You have to learn about the trees, their carrying capacity, so that it's safe," interior designed Maija Valaine told LTV.

The idea for a building like this came from the US where similar houses are being built for some time already.

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