Boathouse shipping container

From shipping containers made into houses to food stall now I’ve seen another creative idea of Steve White from Belfast, Ireland building a boathouse.  He decided to park his boathouse in Brooklyn Marina and intends to live in it.  White didn’t have any doubts in using shipping container as the main building units for he firmly believe that these are affordable, easy to construct, durable, structurally sound, environmentally friendly and only require a minimal investment to make them habitable. Not only that, these are also design to last in marine environments.

Thinking about the characteristics of shipping containers it wouldn’t be a problem making the boathouse to life. However, the builders were challenged on how to make the structure float. They designed a barge which is a box that will allow the edifice to float. The box is made of plastic pontoon cylinders filled with foam. They use this since it’s impermeable to salt water and very robust when placed in water. But if the cylinders are not in the water obviously they can’t support the weight of the home. 

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The challenge didn’t stop from their, they have difficulty cutting the thick steel hull of containers since it was hard and prone to flexing and bending.  They find a way to use a steel frame to firm it up and make it more rigid.  White and his wife also rent it out during summer and planning to construct more boathouses made of shipping containers in the future.

Food stall shipping container

Thinking about the budget for your new business without spending so much? Then this is what you’re looking for. A food stall shipping container inspired. Cool, isn’t it?

Shipping container is not only for building commercial houses. You can be creative and play with the structure as to how you would want to use it. There are so many ways that you can use shipping containers and one of this is creating a food stall. When we construct even a small stall for a small business we can’t deny the fact that the money allocated for your capital will be deducted because of your expenses especially when building a stall. With this, instead of having to spend more you can just simply look for a used shipping container which is quite cheaper than building a new one. You can save labor cost, time and even the days of construction will be lessen as well.  You can immediately use the stall with less than a week or more or less 3 days. It is easy to use and construct, proven to be durable and environmentally friendly. If you choose to reuse a container, you are actually saving the environment as in case of no better use of such containers, their steel is retrieved to be used again and that process takes a lot of energy. Aside from that, you can personalize the design and it’s structure. You don’t have to worry as to where you can buy it since they are almost available everywhere. It is easy to find them. All you need to do is to look for one and you shall have one.

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Whatever there is to be said, the fact that shipping containers have given numerous benefit is too far too be ignored. We can maximize it’s usage if only we allow ourselves to be open to any possibilities and think out of the box. Let our creative minds work and the rest will follow.

Top 10 bizarre homes

 

1. The Spaceship House. This is located at 1408 Palisades Road in Chattanooga Tennessee. It’s structure is a large saucer suspended a story off the ground on six large re-enforced cement pillars. The parking area is underneath the building. It is situated on a wonderful lot with scenic views.

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2. Transparent House in Japan. If you think you have nothing to hide, try living in this see-through house located in Tokyo, Japan. Known as “House NA”, it offers plenty of daylight, however no privacy. The 914 square-foot transparent house was built by Sou Fujimoto Architects and is associated with the concept of living within a tree.

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3. Flintstones Inspired Home, USA. This was a masterpiece of Dick Clark and was listed for $3.5 million. This single storey house in Malibu was inspired by the Flintstones family from the classic 60’s cartoon.

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4. Slide House in Japan. Japanese Studio LEVEL Architects has designed an unusual three-story family house quipped with a slide that connects all three floors. This fun house is wrapped with staircases and a corridor on one side, and the slide on the other side, which together form a circular route around the central area of the house.

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5. The Nautilus House. This giant seashell inspired abode was built by designed by Senosiain Arquitectos for a couple in Mexico City. The design and the structure was incredible. It’s amazing and beautiful. The colors gives out more beauty in it.

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6. The Stone House in Portugal. It is located in the Fafe mountains of northern Portugal. This is not a Flinstones inspired house instead this was built by Vitor Rodrigues in 1974 as a family retreat through connecting a series large glacial erratics with stone and mortar. They are not often staying in the house thus he make it sure that the security of the house is maintained and thus making the glass bulletproof and the door thick steel to keep looters and vandals at bay.

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7. The toilet shaped house. This is located in Suwon, South Korea.   South Korean sanitation activists marked the start of a global toilet association right here on November 21, 2007, by lifting the lid on the world’s first lavatory-shaped home that offers plenty of water closet space.

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8. The Upside-Down House. Located in Szymbark, Poland, the house was created by Daniel Czapiewski to describe the former communist era and the present times in which we live

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9. World’s Slimmest House. This is located in Warsaw, Poland. The Keret House, inserted between two existing buildings, measures only from 92 to 152 centimeters in width. A very slim house that you can’t imagine how you will fit and can sleep in their.

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10. The Teapot Dome. A strange house in Zillah (WA, USA). It was built in 1922 as a reminder of the Teapot Dome Scandal involving President Warren G. Harding and a federal petroleum reserve in Wyoming.

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Container housing a solution for the poor?

Many things have been said about container homes which makes me think, Is this really a solution for the poor? A home is said to be a place where you are at the most comfortable with and something that will reflect your personality and character. Imagine your home is made of shipping containers and you got to bring some of your friends in there, chit-chatting or even bonding with them. A different taste of architecture  which is unique and one of a kind.

Poverty, lack of job opportunities, poor education and population growth confronts the common people. We are aware of the fact that there are many countries who have been facing difficulties such as providing equal benefit and assistance to the needy. There are numerous problems to talk about but one thing I want to get in touch with is about providing homes for those families who have been so down and have nothing to run into but only the government. I am not saying that it is all the work of the government to supply them with all their needs but what I want to imply is to help them even building relocating houses to those who are living in squatters area especially here in the Philippines. A simple house that they can live into is fine. Thinking of the budget? Why not consider shipping container as the main materials in constructing one?

Shipping container architecture has picked up pace as people are reinventing a housing style and enjoying it too. Aside from that, getting a used shipping container is far less expensive compared to buying a cheap house in the city. One thing you’ll need to do is just simply look for one and you shall have one.  It is also easy to construct and you need not to hire many laborers to construct the house thus you can save labor cost. You can even construct the house with just a few weeks. The sooner the better. You don’t have to wait for a couple of months for it be finished and live in it. You can play with your imagination and got to build it with your own design. Shipping containers are present anywhere so you don’t have to worry where you can buy it. It is so durable for it is design to carry heavy loads thus if you want it to be stacked in high columns, it is possible.

There are many countries who have been adapting to this kind of architecture. They find it worthwhile and cost effective. In this case, it will certainly be a solution for those who have a tight budget and wants to own a home. Nothing will stop them from fulfilling their dreams. There’s always a solution to every difficulties and it is a matter of how we will deal with it and make it happen.

Rainwater Harvesting | Save money on your water bill with Green Energy

Water is one of the most important substance here on earth. Everything needs water. Humans, animals and even plants need water to live. They say humans can go quite a long time without food as long as they’re well hydrated. Your body weight, overall health and the weather are also considered in this scenario. The famous Mahatma Gandhi from India, survived 21 days of total starvation while only allowing himself sips of water. Basically, this implies the importance of water to all of us.

Recycling rainwater contributes not only reducing your water consumption but making use of a natural resource that we have.  This concept has been widely use by many like water for their garden. This is good for watering the plants because of it’s well balanced ph and the absence of chlorine in it. It’s soft quality also minimizes the use of detergent when washing clothes. It is also use as water for livestock, water irrigation, indoor  heating houses and even used as drinking water.

There are many things to consider specially when it’s about the cleanliness and free from any contaminants since this is also use for drinking. The quality of collected rainwater is generally better than that of surface water such as in stream, lake, river or wetland. I can say this is better since the first flush or the initial surface runoff of a rainstorm that has a high level of pollutants will be discharged to surface waters. Although contamination is always possible by airborne dust and mists, bird feces, and other debris, thus some treatment is necessary, depending on how the water will be used. You can also obtain  good quality of water by using a floating draw-off mechanism.

Rainwater harvesting also provides water supply during regional water restrictions. It can also supply water when drought, prevents flooding in low level areas, averts soil erosion and contamination of surface water with pesticides, sediment, metals and fertilizers. This also serve as an excellent source of water for landscape irrigation that are 100% pure water with no chemicals or other solutions set into the water. Additionally, it also encourages water and energy conservation.

Let’s see how rainwater harvesting works.

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1.  A typical rainwater system will collect rainwater from your roof which is then taken via pipes to a storage tank that is usually located in your garden.

2.  A filter removes leaves and other debris and a settlement tank allows small particles to sink to the bottom.

3.  Floating debris is skimmed off the surface via an overflow pipe and the clean water is extracted from just below the surface.

4.  Water can be pumped directly from the tank to appliances or to your loft header tank.

5.  A float switch in the tank will automatically top up with mains water if the level is too low.

The demand of water from different areas are increasing and thus solutions to supply the demands need to think about. In this times, we have to look in to the brighter side and think out of the box to further look for ways to ensure that everybody will have enough supply of water. Nowadays, there has been a scarcity of water from different areas and the lack of awareness and inattention need to be worked on before it’s too late for all of us. 

Cooling Homes Naturally

Cooling and heating are one of the important things to discuss since this uses most of the energy than any other system in your home. This will give impact to the environment thus learning on how to cool your home naturally would be of great contribution in preserving Mother Nature. According to study, heating and cooling systems are affecting the atmosphere for it emits over half billion of tons of carbon dioxide  each year thus adding to global warming and climate changes.  Adding to this, it also releases sulfur dioxide which is a principal component in acid rain.

When we are talking about cooling a home, it often comes to our mind the use of air conditioners that is adding too much of the electricity cost especially during hot summer days.  There are much of the things to cool ones home without having to spend so much on professional installations and expensive retrofits.  Below are some of the cooling techniques with low-cost and does not provide immense impact on the environment and energy bill.

First, is blocking the heat. There are three ways to block heat from entering your home namely: insulation, reflective barriers and shading. Insulating, caulking and weather-stripping your homes are essential to keeping your home warm in cold climates but also keeping your home cool during hot weather. The heat is absorb through the roof insulating those will keep this heat from radiating to the entire house.  It would be best to have fiberglass insulation which is easy to install though thinking about the cost, this can be recouped immediately in lower energy bills.  Caulking and weather-stripping would also prevent warmer air getting in from leaking into your home. The materials for these are of low-cost and application is simple.

When building a house take into consideration it’s color. Dark-colored home exteriors absorb most of the radiant energy from the sun that hits the home’s surfaces. In contrast, the light-colored surfaces certainly reflect most of the heat away from your home.  Aside from that, installing radiant barrier is also one of the method for reflecting incoming heat. This inhibits heat transfer by thermal radiation.  You can use insulation like foam, fiberglass or bubble pack and installed it facing a dead air space in a layer.

Shading is the simplest way in keeping your home cool and reduce energy consumption.  A lot have been said about landscaping one’s house and working on the drapes and blinds would also contribute to the coolness of your home.  Trees can be used to shade your homes and reduce your energy bills. Drapes and curtains made of light-colored fabrics reflect much of the sun’s rays and help reduce heat gain. The tighter the curtain is to the wall, the better it will reduce heat gain.

Second, is removing the interior heat. There are a lot of  ways as to how you can control the heat inside your home. You can easily open the windows on the side from where the breeze is coming. Leave interior doors open, and open the upstairs windows on the opposite side of the house.  This is most effective when the outer temperature is higher than the outside temperature. Another, you can use ceiling fan instead of air conditioners. Ceiling fans are efficient and use less electricity compared to air conditioners. There are different models that are available with reverse rotation which can be used in winter to pull warm air down from the ceiling.  In addition to that, you can also use programmable thermostats. This will let you adjust the the time turning on the heating and air conditioning. Since this is programmable thus you don’t need to operate the equipment especially when you’re out or asleep.

Lastly, reducing heat sources. If you think heat is only generated from the outside, then now you will know a lot of factors causing heat within the house.  Here are some:

1.  Turn off incandescent lights. We were thinking that 100% energy that goes to the incandescent bulb turns out to light. It is only 5% of it and the remaining comes out as heat.

2. Reduce sources of humidity.  When drying your clothes, vent it to the outside. Use exhaust fans in kitchen and bathroom and cover pots when cooking. These will not only reduce heat but also saves you electricity.

3. Seal off laundry room and line-dry clothes. When washing and drying, make it early morning or late evening which you can tolerate the heat inside the room. If possible, lessen the use of dryers for this releases substantial amount of heat and consume a lot of electricity.

4. Shut gas supply to fireplace and heaters. The pilot light generates a considerable amount of heat, and should be off during warm months. Fireplace needs to be turned off during hot months for it minimizes the loss of cooler air inside the home.

5. Insulate water heater. Water heater gives out heat thus minimizing it is possible by the use of water heater blanket. This simple technique will also greatly increase the efficiency of your water heater, resulting in lower energy bills.

There are many ways on how to cool one’s home naturally though not all are mentioned here but these are all applicable depending on your own preference.

Pod home garden office hideaway.

hideaway podUK hideaways limited have come up with this interesting design for garden pods or even for use in camp sites. The shape and materials used make them very homely in design. At the same time practical for using as a home office or getaway space.hideaway pod inside

I for one am extremely interested in the design and would love one for my own garden to use as an office. That quiet space where you can concentrate and switch off. While still only a short walk to family life.

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An interesting building design, although a little unusual like many people at the bottom of the garden maximising space and light are important. But also for the home office being able to separate your home space from work space is paramount to a happy home life.

UK modular home with minimalist living.

I am a big fan of minimalist living and even more so modular construction that is also environmental. These types of home take things to the next level without pushed with legislation.

Why I bring this up is I believe the UK should be embracing these ideas more instead of the usual argument “not in keeping with the local area”. Fact is that these buildings have a low carbon footprint and when aiming to reduce carbon worth looking at buildings designed to do it. Over and above making expensive conversions to existing homes.

Mail order modular home.

Technologies are already advanced to a rate where you could order your home online if you want. Although they may not have ordered this home on site you can see how quickly a modular building can become a home. Things are moving in this direction more and more. Factory built homes have the advantage in the same way as cars. Mass production means cheaper construction costs and a standardising of the construction standards.

Modern Modular Homes

Nowadays, modernization have come a long way from gadgets, electronics and even to the things that we think is impossible yet turned out to be feasible. It is no longer new to everybody how technology turns out everything so facile and making our lives at ease. With all the things that technology can offer, I was amazed how great the mind of this person who happen to visualize and cultivate the idea of ready made, stackable, expandable pod homes. This unconventional idea came from Architect Jean mic Perrine.  His project is named Perrinepod which is a cute prefab home that can be built in just 3 days. It is like a plug and play type building which can withstand to all climatic conditions and it is earthquake and cyclone proof. This is suitable for those who don’t want to wait longer when building a house. This prefab house is not only durable but also uses green architecture in its material and systems. Not only that, this proven to have a long life-span as well. The principle behind this work of art is that the houses should be nothing more or less than the need of the person living in it, and that simple design and beautiful material should be able to stand the test of time.

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As what I have mentioned above, perrinepod uses green architecture wherein it’s sheer heft and strong walls that is made from pre-cast, pre-stressed and tensioned concrete with insulation for both hot and cold months is sturdy enough and is probably not falling apart or going anywhere anytime soon. This also comes with a Solar Edwards Heat Pump hot water system that uses refrigeration technology in reverse to heat the water. Aside from that, it also uses solar cell that complete it’s environmental package. Additionally, it comes in three sizes one, two and three bedrooms and can be stacked to up to 30 units tall to create larger complexes. It can also be placed on top of an existing building. All interior aspects are part of the integrated whole. It is already part of the package. It has a plug in point where services such as electricity and plumbing connect.

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Behind this wonderful creation is a humble person who still keep his feet on the ground despite the many opportunities where he can enter awards because of it’s striking and innovative projects that pleases most of the judges.  But he remain to work on his own and widen his perspective of providing better, bolder and simpler modern modular homes.

The cost of heating is it worth keeping the old boiler?

Boilers are something we dread going wrong and we bite the lip when asking for a quote for replacement or repair. Fact is though a lot of the problems people face are down to poor maintenance. Skipping on servicing that leads to unwanted expenses, but on top of that is the fact boilers get old fast. They should be something you aim to budget for replacement based on the life cycle of the equipment. Putting away a bit of money each year for the eventual changeover.

But also it can be a bit cheaper than people think with savings as a new boiler could save 30% on the current energy usage that your using. This is important as it could also be a reason for changing the boiler early.

Boilers are on my mind right now as it seems the whole world is cold! UK is about 8 degrees, Philippines 22 and the U.S. experiencing some serious blizzards. Last thing you need in this weather is the boiler packing up and its also why lagging is important for your system.

Prevention is always better than cure but so is thinking ahead with the expectation of having to replace at some point rather than praying it never breaks down.