Thursday, December 18, 2008

Madray Steel & Habitat for Humanity "Green" Home

Madray Steel & Habitat for Humanity team together to build a "Green" Steel Frame Home Able to Beat Hurricanes, Earthquakes Floods & Fires. Steel frame home built by volunteers. The entire frame was done in only 6 hours!!! The frame is hurricane-proof, earthquake-proof, insect-proof and fire-proof!
Category: Science & Technology
Added: March 27, 2008

YouTube video from

(UPDATE: The above video is now marked "private" and can't be viewed. Try this link for another one: 

Green Home
Uploaded by on Mar 13, 2009
Sebring, FL 33870 • USA
863-452-6344 (new 12-08)
Steve Madray:

Ships from Tampa, FL




Residential and commercial steel frame buildings and trusses that stand up to hurricanes and earthquakes. Our system is strong, fast and easy… virtually anyone can learn to build regardless of prior education or language.

Great Buildings start with a great frame.

100% “GREEN”
Madray Steel Inc.

Buildings that fight Hurricanes…and Win!
Green Home Built Fast with Habitat for Humanity
Home Built Fast Beats Hurricane Andrew
Fast Strong Shelter/ Disaster Homes
Home Beats 10.0+ Earthquakes
Madray Optional Footer Track

Whether you are building a hotel or a third world shelter home, we have your solution.

Strong, Fast, Easy
The building system was designed with several important aspects in mind:
The system must be strong enough to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes
The system must be able to be constructed very fast.
The system must be designed so anyone, regardless of language, can easily learn and use the system.

And that is exactly what we did.

Madray Steel has developed and patented the ONLY pre-engineered light gauge steel connector plate system in the United States today, plus holds international patents in many countries.
The ease of assembly drastically reduces construction time and cost, minimizes skilled labor and expensive training programs. The standardization of the UNIVERSAL COMPONENT SYSTEM provides unlimited design capabilities (within U.S. building standards) for homes, schools, churches, hospitals, and other residential and commercial structures.

The steel connector plates are pre-engineered with a hole pattern that corresponds with the repetitive hole pattern on both sides of the structural Cee Channels and track. This method provides the versatility and strength needed to assemble numerous residential and commercial structures as well as various truss lengths and roof pitches, while eliminating unnecessary measuring, squaring, and cutting.
It is that simple… when the holes line up, it goes together and you are assembling it right. If the holes don’t line up, it will not go together and you are not assembling it right. It is a self-correcting system.

Additional Advantages

* Impervious to termites and other wood destroying organisms.
* Hurricane proven up to 230 mph
* Earthquake tested up to 10.7 Richter
* Does not absorb moisture.
* Will not rot, mold or mildew.
* Does not split or warp like wood.
* Non-combustible.
* 50% Lighter than wood.
* Stronger than wood.
* 20 gauge steel.
* Easily assembled.
* Studs are cut to exact lengths needed.
* Galvanized steel can be left outside indefinitely.
* Works with all standard building materials.
* 100% of the studs are straight.
* Recyclable steel saves our natural resources.


Madray Steel Patent Info


Building construction
Document Type and Number:
United States Patent 4551957
A building structure having a plurality of substantially flat connector plate members, each having angularly related channel shaped receptacles to receive a plurality of load bearing girder, stud or rafter members. Each of the girder, stud or rafter members has a single channel shaped member for light constructions or a pair of oppositely directed channel shaped members having their webs secured together in back to back relation, and their flanges extending in opposite directions for use where heavy constructions or loads are involved. The girder, stud or rafter members are adapted to interfit with connector plate members in such a manner that the length of the girder, stud or rafter members can be extended in length by predetermined dimensional increments, such for example as at six inch spacings so as to readily permit the construction framework structures of any desired size. Any desired fasteners may be employed to secure the girder, stud or rafter members and the connector plate members together, such for example as oppositely directed screw threaded fasteners projecting through the connector plate and the girder stud or rafter members in alternately spaced opposite directions to insure a solid locking structure. The building structure is adapted to be mounted on a concrete foundation, wherein a channel shaped member supports the vertically extending load bearing stud members, and the stud members are anchored to the concrete foundation.
Madray, Herbert R. (P.O. Box 712, Okeechobee, FL, 33472)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:


Hurricane-Proof Home - Built in 10 Days

I think I just found my new building system:

14 minutes to erect the frame for a 1,020 sq. ft. house. Ten days to finish the house. Unbelievable! It's the "giant erector set" I've been waiting for all my life. Earthquake, hurricane, fire and termite proof. Plus it's "green" and recyclable! They've got a bunch more videos on YouTube, along with one they did with Habitat for Humanity. Can't wait to get started!

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, here I come! And anywhere else here in the United States!

See more examples of houses built with Madray Steel frames at

EaRtHqUaKe Proof Home by Madray Steel 863-314-8991

EaRtHqUaKe Proof Home by Madray Steel 863-314-8991, factory near Tampa Florida
May 14, 2008

YouTube video

Madray Steel & Habitat for Humanity team together to build a "Green" Steel Frame Home Able to Beat Hurricanes, Earthquakes Floods & Fires. 10 men can build 6 homes per day and our disaster homes can be shipped any where in the world!!! The frame is hurricane-proof, earthquake-proof, insect-proof and fire-proof!

Madray Steel (note 1-09: update phone & address!)
1415 US Highway 27 N • Sebring, FL 33870 • USA
(863) 314-8991Fax 314-8992

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Habitat for Humanity Osceola Florida

Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County, Inc.
2340 N. Orange Blossom Trail
Kissimmee, FL 34744,, tel 407.343.1900
Hours of operation: Tues through Sat 9 am - 4 pm
Patricia Fillipone: Director of Operations,, tel 407.973.3118

Habitat Osceola (near Orlando FL) is working with the's hurricane, earthquake, fire, rust and insect resistant steel frame system. They start a new house on Monday Jan. 26, 2009 with a five day work schedule, to assemble and stand the walls and roof, install windows and doors and install the hardi plank siding. I can't wait to see this happen and to participate. Fantastic!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This has a great selection of modern style flat pack homes for sale if that's the style you like. Simple design steps and an interesting FAQ. They offer design, delivery and builder services as well. See:

Flat Pack Furniture

Great site! Finish this entry:

More Creative Furniture for Cramped Urban Living: 20 Pieces of Ingenious ‘Flat Pack’ Furniture

Written by Urbanist on January 13th, 2008 - Topics: Architecture, Urban, Urban Art, Urban Furniture, Urban Images, Various

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to the RSS feed and see core content on culture jamming, urban exploration, unusual furniture, green design, themed hotels and wonders of the world.

Foldable and lockable structural member fabricated from recycled plastic

US PATENT 5152119 Foldable and lockable structural member fabricated from recycled plastic

Patent Drawings: Drawing: 5152119-2 Drawing: 5152119-3 Drawing: 5152119-4

(3 images)
Inventor: Miller
Date Issued: October 6, 1992
Application: 07/636,890
Filed: January 2, 1991
Inventors: Miller; Leslie (Jericho, NY)
Primary Examiner: Scherbel; David A.
Assistant Examiner: Wood; Wynn E.
Attorney Or Agent: Plevy; Arthur L.
U.S. Class: 27/4; 52/108; 52/631; 52/731.3
Field Of Search: 52/108; 52/631; 52/731; 52/732; 27/4
International Class:
U.S Patent Documents: 3654053; 3969798
Foreign Patent Documents:
Other References:

Abstract: A structural member is an elongated, generally rectangular panel having at least 2 substantially parallel fold lines extending the length of the panel parallel its long sides, preferably defining 3 subpanels. When the panel is folded along the fold lines, preferably by hand, the interior angles at each fold occur on the same surface of the panel, are approximately 90 degrees, and the member has a generally C-shaped cross-section when folded. At least one male/female lock holds each of the panels at a fixed angle relative to the adjacent panel, each male/female lock having a male component affixed to one of the subpanels and a mating female component affixed to the adjacent subpanel such that when said one subpanel is folded with respect to the adjacent subpanel, the male component inserts into the female component and is retained therein.
Claim: I claim:

1. A structural member comprising:

(a) an elongated, generally rectangular panel having at least 2 substantially parallel fold lines extending the length of said panel parallel to the long sides of said panel, whereby at least 3 subpanels are formed when said panel is folded alongsaid fold lines, the interior angles at each fold occurring on the same surface of said panel; and

(b) internal locking means affixed to said panel along each of said fold lines for holding said panel in a folded condition by independently and automatically locking each said subpanel at a fixed angular position relative to an adjacent saidsubpanel, as said subpanel is folded along said fold lines into said angular position, said locking means being the sole means for holding said panel in said folded condition and further, preventing each said subpanel from being nondestructively unfoldedfrom said angular position.

2. The structural member of claim 1, wherein said fold lines are 2 in number, said subpanels are 3 in number, said interior angles are approximately 90 degrees, and said member has a generally C-shaped cross-section when folded.

3. The structural member of claim 2, wherein said locking means is located on said same surface as said interior angles and said panel is foldable by hand.

4. The structural member of claim 3, wherein said locking means includes at least one male/female lock to hold each of said subpanels at said fixed angular position, each male/female lock having a male component affixed to one of said subpanelsand a mating female component affixed to said adjacent said subpanel such that when said one subpanel is folded with respect to said adjacent subpanel, said male component locks into said female component.

5. The structural member of claim 4, wherein said panel and said lock means are monolithically formed from a polymer.

6. The structural member of claim 5, wherein said male component is a beading and said female component is a groove configured to retain said male component after insertion.

7. The structural member of claim 6, wherein said panel is thinned along said fold line to promote the folding of said panel along said fold line.

8. The structural member of claim 7, wherein at least one of said subpanels has stiffening means on at least one surface thereof for stiffening said subpanel.... (con't)

Description: FIELD OF THE INVENTION (more)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Secrets of Shed

A Shed Need Not Be Cold, Damp, Draughty Or Rickety.

... unless you want it to be of course!
A garden shed should, and can be, a beautiful, well-designed, natural part of your property that you can you use for gardening, storage, hobbies, a games room for the kids or even for writing the next bestselling novel...

In the field of small outdoor buildings everyone's needs and sites are different. I may want a workshop for woodworking, you want space to de-clutter the garage, my neighbour wants a comfortable garden office. Each building looks the same but can be constructed in different ways to suit its purpose...

FREE monthly E-zine where every new reader gets a FREE virtual shed. Over 70 articles and more than 40,000 words of fact, opinion and comment on all aspects of the world of sheds. Check out the site-map.

Reviews and discussion of shed types and related products to help you make the right choices.

Garden Shed Plans: Ten Things Every Shed Plan Should Include (more)

Guadua Bamboo Costa Rica


Thank you for visiting Guadua Bamboo Costa Rica furniture and construction. We are a European owned and operated company who is changing the Central American furniture and construction market. Our policy is to offer high quality products and services at affordable prices...

What is Guadua Angustifolia?

Guadua Angustifolia

For centuries guadua or "vegetal steel" is used by many different cultures all over the world. However, industrialized countries are just discovering the huge potential of what this unique resource has to offer. The endless amounts of applications, extraordinary structural properties, environmental advantages, and cost effectiveness, makes this the building material of the future!
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Environmental advantages of Guadua Angustifolia

Guadua provides countless environmental services. It conserves the soil, controls erosion, regulates the flow of rivers and streams, supplies organic material, and acts as a CO2 sink. (more)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Architecture of La Antigua, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan Guatemala, by Guatemala photos, Antigua

Antigua Guatemala All of these photos of Antigua, Guatemala, the old colonial capital, were taken in December 2001. Antigua is a great place to take photos. A visit there is like going into a time machine, back to the 1500's, when the city was founded. The city overflows with fine craftsmanship, may be because they have had practice, re-building it three times.

We have photos of La Merced, Palace of the Captain's General, Presidential Residence, Bishop's Palace, Convento de Las Capuchinas, other ruins, San Francisco, Santa Clara, The Cathedral, University of San Carlos, christmas scenes, architectural details, door details, doors & windows, fountains, other details, signs & ceramics, gardens, Parque Central, and street scenes, and we have a video too. (more)

Palace of Versailles, Enfilade

The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles, in France's Île-de-France region. In French, it is known as the Château de Versailles. When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris, some twenty kilometers southwest of the French capital. From 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789, the court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime. (more)


Enfilade (architecture)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire: an enfilade of 9 state rooms runs the length of the palace (marked "N" to "G" at the top of the figure). Note alignment of doors between rooms.
For the military term, see Enfilade.

An enfilade, in architecture, is a suite of rooms formally aligned with each other. This was a common feature in grand European architecture from the Baroque period onwards, although there are earlier examples, such as the Vatican stanze. The doors entering each room are aligned with the doors of the connecting rooms along a single axis, providing a vista through the entire suite of rooms. The enfilade can be used as a processional route, and is a common arrangement in museums and art galleries, as it facilitates the movement of large numbers of people through a building.

In a Baroque palace, access down an enfilade suite of state rooms was typically restricted by the rank or degree of intimacy of the visitor. The first rooms were more public, and at the end was usually the bedroom, sometimes with an intimate cabinet or boudoir beyond. Baroque protocol dictated that visitors of lower rank than their host would be escorted by servants down the enfilade to the furthest room their status allowed. If the visitor was of equal or higher access, the host would himself advance down the enfilade to meet his guest, before taking him back. (more)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cabana Village 12 x 18 Cabin

12 x 18 Cabin Total Price: $26,109
This compact 12 x 18 cabin has an 9 x 18 enclosed space with a 3' porch. The screenroom is 9 x 12 with a 9 x 9 enclosed space and a 3' porch as well. The screenroom features "boathouse" style vertical folding windows that can be raised and folded out of the way to maximize airflow in the screenroom wing.
Our cabins are constructed with cedar or maintenance-free siding, and cedar doors, windows and trim. All our cabins, cottages and bunkies come standard with 1/2" plywood roof sheathing and 2x4 SPF framing.

Cabins & Cabin Kits Use our on-line drag and drop cabana design tool to create custom cabins and cabin kits. Get instant online pricing and a free printable copy of your design.

Cabana Village five sided pool cabana

10 to 16 ft. Five Sided Pool Cabana Total $6,678 + up
Sporting a tile roof, this space-saving corner design is shown here in Almond maintenance-free siding. It's the perfect solution for housing pool equipment as well as providing storage for patio furniture. Twin standard windows with flower boxes on the front wall and a French door provide plenty of natural light. The custom vent provides cooling for the pool equipment.
This California pool cabana / pool house kit was designed on the web using our design center. Photographs of the meticulous installation and the completed pool house are courtesy of the homeowner.
You can find Five-Sided Garden Shed and Pool Cabana dimensions here.
Our pool cabanas are constructed with cedar or maintenance-free siding, and cedar doors, windows and trim. All our garden sheds and pool cabanas come standard with 1/2" plywood roof sheathing and 2x4 SPF framing. (more)

Note: Ask about their structural package with special strapping, metal brackets (Simpson Ties), etc. "[which] will likely be required by your permitting authority for larger structures and structures located in areas subject to high winds or seismic events."

Cabana Village 10 x 16 Spa Enclosure

10 x 16 Spa Enclosure
Total: $16,258

This gorgeous 10 x 16 Spa Enclosure features a gable roof, sidelite windows, a French door and all-cedar construction with a meticulously finished interior.
Although usually specified for spa, hot tub and sauna enclosures, all-cedar construction is available in any of our designs and may be used in any application where the beauty and aromatic scent of natural cedar wood is desired.

Cabana Village Garden Studio, Art Studio Kits

Again, description from my favorite company so far,

Add a structural package to any of our designs and they're built just like a house.

Do you need more space for your hobby, passion or business? Rather than renting a space, here's an idea. Why not put up an accessory structure in your backyard? Our garden studios and home studios are perfect as artist studios, hobby rooms, personal gyms, carpentry home studios, or just about any other use you can think of.
With their sturdy construction and use of quality materials, extensive pre-fabrication for ease of assembly, and attractive design, their possible uses are only limited by your imagination.

Total (includes delivery): $10,542 for the 10x16 ft

Cabana Village: 10 x 16 Cottage Bunkie

10 x 16 ft Cottage Bunkie. Also comes 16 x 20 ft (or any size). (loft)

Note: I think this is it! This company seems to have everything: cabin kits, sheds, pool houses, spa houses and more, with everything very well thought out and presented. They even include an easy-to-use design tool and cost estimating program, with an easy to understand video tutorial. They've thought of everything! Hope they will be interested in selling me plans and material lists, since I don't want to pay shipping costs. We'll find out!

Here's what has to say about the Cottage Bunkie:

Our Cottage Bunkies feature a steeper roof pitch to give extra space for the loft and comes with 15 degree stairs. This gorgeous 10 x 16 Cottage Bunkie features two bar windows, a bi-fold window and triangular window in the dormer.
The side door is steel and features a double-glazed window with internal security bars and a refrigerator-like door seal, ideal for colder climates. All our premium cedar doors are also available in steel construction at no extra charge. Double-glazed vinyl windows that are a close match to our cedar windows are also available. These windows provide a superior weather seal and are ideal for use with our insulation packages.
Our cottage bunkies are constructed with cedar or maintenance-free siding, and cedar doors, windows and trim. All our cabins, cottages and bunkies come standard with 1/2" plywood roof sheathing and 2x4 SPF framing. (more)

Priced online (with add't side views): Total including French Door and windows: $16,491

Cabana sheds, garden sheds, pool houses, pool cabanas and spa enclosures

• 1 800 959 3808 • •

Cabana Village Flat Pack Huts / garden house / beautiful sheds / cabins


These two from:

This one from another post, also from the lovely

Take a look at the new sheds / huts / cabins I think I might start building in Gautemala. I could build this in a home-based factory and sell them, and put them up on my lots and sell them that way too. I will always put a small stained glass window somewhere in the hut with my name on it so people remember where they came from. I could do the gardens and walkways and hot tubs and all the rest as well, or just sell the shed / hut kit. I think I really might have finally found the answer to "how do I build houses with only $10,000?" !!!

There's also this thing called "flat pack" furniture, huts etc. that means it's all built flat and can easily be shipped. I really think this could be a viable income producing business that ties int with the school I wanted to do, as well. All I would need is a carpenter and a helper, and a gardener. Most laborers get 50 cents an hour, experienced get $1.00 and good carpenters can get double, up to $2.00 per hour. I can afford that. Et voila!

My favorite so far: Cabana Village, backyard cabin kits and cottage bunkies:

Great site with lots of reader photos and ideas:

Shedworkers U.K.:

Winner of Shed of the Year*: and

IKEA flat-pack homes (ugly, but good idea):

Flat Pack Furniture:

$1500 flat pack house - Boing Boing
20 posts - 19 authors - Last post: May 26
Even if it's only an "architect-designed" quonset hut? ... A Hexayurt is also " flat-pack." It can be constructed in a few hours with just a ... (Note: not the most attractive, but an attractive price and maybe I can alter the design... the price is definitely right!)

Will wonders never cease?


This one might be for me:

Goring Folly - shed, summerhouse and then some
by (Alex) from Shedworking (other blog) 06-07-2008. Photo above

Goring Folly is Timothy Blewitt's wonderful 4m-tall shedlike building on an ambitious scale, taking in a tower with spiral steps leading down to a natural well, a 'ruined arch' and a two roomed building with loft. The idea was to create a unique building of some architectural interest utilising locally reclaimed materials such as local flint and bricks from demolition work at nearby Worthing Hospital in its construction. The site covers the build in marvellous step-by-step detail including the moments when he was hospitalised by a flint, caught hypothermia, and nearly drowned. Of particular shedworking interest though are the summerhouse and shed. Here's what has to say about them: "Externally the bricks have been laid in patterns and knapped flints in panels. Stone within the walls is both rough and cut. Internally there are two rooms linked by a keyhole doorway. Several carved stone panels reclaimed from a defunct Belgium church decorate the inside and the ecclesiastical feeling is further enhanced by the inclusion of five stained glass windows. The Summerhouse has leaded light French doors and the shed a solid studded door made from scrap wood. The 'studs' are mainly 19th Century hand beaten nails from France." For lots more construction photos [see the site].


A "Live Modern" write up about shed of the year (I didn't really like it that much, but it's octagonal and has some good ideas):

Winner of Shed of the Year 2008
by (Alex) from Shedworking (other blog) 07-08-2008 05:56

There was a huge public response to the competition with more than 3,000 votes for over 900 entries in 12 categories but in a very, very close call the winner is the Rugby Pub owned by Tim from Sudbury, Suffolk. Designed and built by Tim himself, it has eight roof lights, an octagonal roof and double doors. Plus a full bar, three fridges, ceiling fan, running water and sea grass matting floor. And a hammock. But there's no television, no phone and, as Tim puts it, no shortage of liquid refreshment. You can see more pictures and details at and keep checking Shedblog for more updates.

Here are some comments from the judges: "This looks like great fun, and those trapezoidal windows in the roof! Not an easy thing to do, and the builder provided the best description. Great job, I want to have a drink there." - Lloyd Alter, "Like the ceiling fan idea. If I had a shed like this with a bar in it I'd never leave." - Tony (2007 Shed of the Year winner) "Pubs and sheds. It feels like there's a natural link between them, two of the world's greatest building concepts which are far more than the bricks and mortar (or timber and felt) from which they're constructed. As soon as you step inside a great shed, you immediately have a warm and comfortable sensation, and that's exactly how you should feel in a great pub too. Bring the two together and - BINGO! - you've got a very worthy winner indeed." - Alex Johnson from Shedworking Look out for the International Shed of the Year and our photo competition winners later in the week. National Shed Week has been supported this year by Garden Buildings Direct (provider of the grand prize), The Cheese Shed and Make mine a Builders tea.

Cabana Village 20 x 20 Office

20 x 20 BackYard Office Total $27,443

This gorgeous 20 x 20 BackYard Office features features a gable roof with large dormer over a double arch door, crank-opening bar windows, sidelite windows, triangular windows and a top-lite window.

Cabana Village Studio Workshop

12 x 16 Studio Total: $14,737

Cabana Village SmartSide Siding

12 x 12 Cabin - $11,082 (configured as shown - includes all doors, windows & options)

Our SmartSide* sided kits are designed to require the minimum investment of time AND money while providing a strong, durable, useful and aesthetically pleasing structure. Panelized for minimum assembly time , they come with pre-hung windows and doors with their casings already attached; just slip them into their respective openings. All kits include a complete floor and all required hardware and are ready to insulate. All you need to add is a simple patio stone foundation and shingles.

Siding: 3/8" LP SmartSide®* Panel, Environmentally Friendly: Siding Green Sheet

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Working to Eliminate Poverty Housing - Guatemala

Working to eliminate poverty housing-Guatemala (Totonicapan, Guatemala)
Reply to: [?]
Date: 2008-11-15, 5:02PM EST

Our international team will work with the local community to replace poverty housing. No prior experience needed, just good health and a willingness to help. Totonicapan is in the mountains of Guatemala, and remote enough that people have retained their traditional dress and customs. We will be there from Jan. 31 through Feb. 15. The team leaders are Jack from Toronto and Ann from Boston. Contact us if you would like more information. Habitat for Humanity Guatemala.

* Location: Totonicapan, Guatemala

PostingID: 920598881

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Latin American Architecture & Islamic Design

The Islamic Design Module in Latin America: Proportionality and the Techniques of Neo-Mudejar Architecture, by John F. Moffitt

Amazon Editorial Reviews

This study analyses the distinctive look of Hispanic architecture. Its triangulate format, originated in Islamic Spain, was based on workshop techniques once used by journeyman designers and simple artisans. Spain was the only European transatlantic colonial power to have once been occupied by Islamic overlords. Spain's conquistadors took their traditional building methods to Latin America. Formal analyses of the facades of various Latin American churches reveal them to reiterate procedures worked out in Andalusia by Islamic builders in the ninth and tenth centuries. Though widely separated by time and place, both share a proportionate system determining abstract ratios; in both cases, this regulating format was derived from manipulations of the Pythagorean triangles. This "trazado regulador" is only expressed in ratios, with no numbers, and is illustrated here with 84 visual examples including measured drawings of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and medieval European prototypes. Grounded in historical and physical data, the research is partially drawn from four practical builders' manuals: two seventeenth-century Spanish ones and two Mexican ones from ca. 1640 and 1800. In an appendix, Viollet-le-Duc (a major nineteenth-century architect) explains architectural proportionality and the design function of the Pythagorean Triangle.

About the Author
John F. Moffitt, professor emeritus of art history, New Mexico State University, lives in Las Cruces.



Subject: Architecture
Islamic studies
Islamic Architecture
Architecture Of Specific Structures
Latin America
International Architecture - General
Architecture, Colonial
Design & Drafting
Composition, proportion, etc
Mudejar influences
Mudâejar influences

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Habitat for Humanity Guatemala

Home >> Where We Build >> Latin America & Caribbean >> Guatemala\

From the U.K. site: "...Habitat houses in Guatemala

Habitat houses in Guatemala are built from concrete blocks with a tin roof and a concrete floor. They may be simple, but they are an unimaginable improvement on the substandard houses they are replacing. Petrie from Habitat for Humanity Guatemala explains:

"The reality here is that people are living in chicken coops with dirt floors and no walls. We have to be realistic about what makes a simple, decent home in this country. It is hard to grasp how much people's lives have been improved by moving into one of our houses." (more)

Habitat for Humanity Guatemala
Families Served Current FY: 2,899
Total Houses Constructed: 26,588
House Sponsorship Cost (USD): $4,020
Tercer Nivel
Office 3
Supercom Delco
Phone: +502 77635308
Fax: +502 77671301

A woman sweeps in front of a shack in Guatemala.

Santos Mahil Cahy and her son Orlando Cahy in front of their Habitat house.

The first Habitat houses in all of Latin America and Caribbean went up in Guatemala in 1979, specifically in Aguacatan, Huehuetenango.

Habitat Guatemala was created with the purpose of improving the living conditions of low-income Guatemalan families through the construction of decent low-cost houses. The organization’s vision is that everyone in Guatemala should have access to a decent house.

Structured as a community organization that includes the participation of more than 1,300 volunteers, Habitat specializes in working with those families that have no access to the national financing system (banks, cooperatives, etc.) and who are living in sub-human conditions.

An average 3,000 Habitat homes are constructed each year in 15 departments; 70 percent of these houses are in rural zones and 30 percent in urban areas.

Depending on the future homeowner’s payment capacity, the house may measure from 32m2 to 51 m2. The loan for the cost of the house is granted for an 8-year term, through monthly installments of US$31, which represents a third or a fourth of the cost of renting a single room.

Houses are built with the following materials: cement blocks, iron, tin roof sheets, metal doors, four windows and wood. All these materials are easily found in the communities. The design is anti-seismic, making the constructions safer for families.

In Guatemala, there is a need for 1.2 million houses. Currently, families live in huts or crowded in a small rented room. The great problem is land tenure; since many invade property belonging to the state or to individuals, most poor families are not the legitimate owners of the land they inhabit. These properties do not have basic utilities and are located in high-risk areas, mostly in urban zones. Also, there is a high degree of delinquency and crime.

Due to the conditions in which they live, there is a high risk of maternal and infant death due to gastrointestinal, respiratory and skin diseases.

Other hindrances that poor families wanting to build a decent house face are: lack of legal documents or property deeds; loans at an interest rate ranging between 18 to 30 percent; lands located in ravines, river banks, etc.; and land at prices unaffordable for the poor.

Due to their income level and to the type of guarantee they offer, many families claim that without Habitat, they would not have been able to build their homes. In 2005, Habitat Guatemala celebrated the construction of house 20,000, at that time, a tenth of all the houses built in the world through Habitat. Guatemala ends the year 2007 with 25,000 decent homes build for people in need, helping around 150,000 Guatemalans, the majority children.

Location: Central America
Climate: tropical
Population: 12,728,111
Economy: primary exports include coffee, sugar, bananas, cardamom, apparel, fruits and vegetables.
Government: Democratic Republic
Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan Beliefs
Literacy: 71 percent
Language: Spanish, Amerindian languages

Habitat for Humanity Latin America/Caribbean Web Site (Spanish)

Affiliates in Guatemala

Affiliate Name City Website
Central, HPH Chimaltenango
El Progreso HPH Guastatoya, El Progreso
San Juan La Laguna HPH Miami
Jacaltenango HPH Miami
Xela, HPH Miami
Coatepeque HPH Miami
San Antonio Sacatepequez HPH Miami
San Juan Ixcoy HFH Miami
Cantel HPH Miami
Izabal HPH Quetzaltenango
Sur Oriente HPH Quetzaltenango
San Marcos HPH Quetzaltenango
Totonicapan HPH Quetzaltenango
Barcenas HPH Quetzaltenango
El Rosario HPH Quetzaltenango
San Lucas Toliman HPH Quetzaltenango
El Quiche, HPH Quetzaltenango
Suchitepequez HPH Quetzaltenango
Norte Habitat p/l Humanidad Quetzaltenango
Xela Occidente HPH Quetzaltenango
Escuintla HPH Quetzaltenango 09901
Huehuetenango HPH Quetzalternago
Nororiente HPH Zacapa


Thank you for visiting the official Habitat for Humanity International Web site.

© 2008 Habitat for Humanity® International. All rights reserved. "Habitat for Humanity" is a registered service mark owned by Habitat for Humanity International.

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Habitat for Humanity Guatemala - google search

Guatemala -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l

Habitat for Humanity Guatemala. Families Served Current FY: 2899. Total Houses Constructed: 26588. House Sponsorship Cost (USD): $4020. ...

Bienvenidos al nuevo website de Hábitat Guatemala
Hábitat para la Humanidad ® Guatemala 2006.

# - Habitat for Humanity Guatemala

Nov 27, 2008 ... Habitat for Humanity Guatemala is a legal NGO which works with low income families that do not qualify for credit or loans through banks or ...

# - Habitat for Humanity Guatemala Volunteer

Nov 27, 2008 ... Habitat for Humanity Guatemala (HfHG) builds 10% of all Habitat for Humanity houses worldwide. So far in Guatemala, HfHG has built 28000 ...

Més resultats des de »
Habitat for Humanity Building hope and homes in Guatemala

When Luis Samayoa took over as national director of Habitat for Humanity Guatemala nine years ago, it was building 400 homes a year. ...

One-Button Mouse | Habitat for Humanity: Guatemala

Habitat for Humanity: Guatemala. March 3rd, 2007. Habitat for Humanity: Guatemala ... Icons based on my Habitat for Humanity trip to Guatemala ...

Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity volunteers and donations

Dec 28, 2007 ... Journal coordinator on behalf of Team Guatemala ..... "There´s nothing like it - being on a Habitat for Humanity Global Village trip. ...

Habitat for Humanity - Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Habitat for Humanity Guatemala is an NGO which specializes in community organizing , technical assistance and the construction of low cost housing. ...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Castlebrook Buildings - Hardie

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Our shedrow barn has more quality barn features than any other barn building.


Our Shedrow horse barn is an excellent choice for warm weather climates or where space may be limited. The Shedrow barn can be used in varied applications, such as hot desert conditions, racetracks, or as a training barn. The overhang offers a protected space from sun and rain, and functions as a multi-purpose area perfect for tacking up, cleaning equipment or storing hay.

The Shedrow barn may be designed in various configurations, such as "U" and "L" shapes, to fit varied site requirements. The Shedrow may also be constructed in-line, eliminating the overhang entirely, or may be constructed back-to-back, utilizing a common rear wall.

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The “shedrow” is a steel pole barn used for housing horses.We supply prefab steel pole barns and prefabricated horse barns.Castlebrook barns features the custom shedrow barn building for keeping horses and cattle.Our steel horse barn buildings offer more amenities than other horse barn manufacturer’s buildings.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Styrofoam "Reddi-Form blocks" - Search

  1. Housing Office building green houses for rental stock | www ...

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    Jul 9, 2008 ... PHOTO BY ROBERT ANDERSEN Called Reddi-Form blocks and made of Styro-Foam, the partially hollow blocks making up this foundation are fitted ... - Pàgines semblants
  2. Styrofoam future | Alaska Business Monthly | Find Articles at BNET

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    According to Pugmire, builders using Reddi-Form blocks can make a ... It wasn't hard to follow, and I saved money by not having to buy all those plywood ... - 45k - Còpia en memòria - Pàgines semblants
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    Format del fitxer: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Versió HTML
    The house is constructed of Reddi-Form Blocks. The Reddi-Form form shape is .... framers asked if they could buy a portable concrete pumper to do their own ... - Pàgines semblants
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Google search for: buy "Reddi-Form blocks"

Styrofoam "Reddi-Form blocks" link together like Legos

Housing Office building green houses for rental stock

PHOTO BY ROBERT ANDERSEN Called Reddi-Form blocks and made of Styro-Foam, the partially hollow blocks making up this foundation are fitted with steel reinforcement bars and filled with concrete to create super strong walls insulated inside and out to make the house 30 to 70 percent more heat efficient.
Affordable housing almost being an oxymoron on Nantucket, the Nantucket Housing Office's green construction protocol is likely to be the way for Nantucketers needing all the financial housing help they can to afford their homes in the long-term.

A case-in-point is the nearly 1,000- square-foot house that the Nantucket Housing Office is building at 2 Clarendon St. out in Tom Nevers.

Island builder Rob Andersen, the contractor for this project is building the foundation and exterior walls to the top of the gables ends of this house with expanded polystyrene Styrofoam blocks called Reddi-Form blocks that link together like Legos to create the most energy-efficient house possible.

This first green house for the Nantucket Housing Office will also employ an alternative technology septic system, bamboo flooring, low-volatile organic compound paints, Energy Starrated appliances, low-flow faucets and a solar hot water system with radiant heating in the floors.

This south side of the small house that the Nantucket Housing Office is building at 2 Clarendon St. for affordable rental housing will get a lot of natural light through its windows, which will also provide hot water for bathing and heating from solar water heating panels on its roof.
"We think it will be a showpiece about how affordable housing and green don't have to be at odds with each other," said Nantucket Housing Office Executive Director Aaron Marcavitch. "We also hope that it will be a showpiece for those thinking about a small house and what it takes to go green."

The Reddi-Form blocks, four feet long, nine and five-eighths inches wide and one foot high with up to six chambers in each, come with channels on their bottoms and tabs on their tops that allow the Reddi-Forms to be connected to each other while being built into a wall. Reinforcement bar is placed down through the chambers of the Reddi-Forms and concrete is poured in to solidify the wall, said Andersen, providing extremely strong, durable walls and a continuous insulation barrier inside and outside that makes the house 30 to 70 percent more efficient than a traditional woodframed house.

The Styro-Foam blocks forming the foundation and walls of this island house, known as Reddi-Form blocks, are the same kind that builder Rob Andersen will be using for the Nantucket Housing Office's affordable house in Tom Nevers on 2 Clarendon Street.
Andersen added that the Styrofoam/ concrete combination also significantly deadens sound waves coming into the house with a reduction of 59 decibels less than an all wood- framed built house.

"We're really looking forward to doing this," said Andersen. "I think it's the right move for the Housing Office. It's easier to heat and cool, and if the town is going to invest our money to do affordable housing, it needs to be affordable. I wish I could go back and retrofit my house with it."

Marcavitch said that he is trying for the silver Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for this house and that he wants this first green affordable housing project to be as much of a benefit to the people to whom the Housing Office would rent it as a learning experience on which to build.

"The intent is to take all of the things we're learning from this project and apply them to other projects," said Marcavitch. "This isn't just about affordable housing, this is about housing in general, looking at different ways people can build houses."

The Reddi-Form blocks will work in concert with the solar panel hot water

panels, radiant heat floors and energyefficient

appliances. The solar panels are packed with evacuated tubes that absorb the heat from the collection surface of the panels, transferring it to water in the tubes for all household hot water needs. This heat exchanger system serves a dual purpose of providing hot water that is pumped through radiant heating pipes that will be laid in the floors of the house.

A super efficient propane-fired boiler controlled by a microcomputer kicks on when it determines the solar panel water is cooler than the chosen temperature settings for the house.

Andersen said that this system would be most active during the colder months of the year, specifically Sept. 21 through June 21.

"That, coupled with the insulation of the Reddi-Form blocks and we'll be able to use smaller appliances; it won't take as much energy to heat the building as it would with a conventional building," said Andersen.

The project is being funded by a grant for $245,000 from the Community Preservation Committee and some financial help from Energy Star, which is also helping the Housing Office with the costs of its LEED certification. With a second grant for $235,000 from CPC, the Housing Office is going to build another green house but with more traditional wood framing on Norquarta Drive.

Marcavitch said the Housing Office is trying to keep the size of these houses within reason to lessen its impact on the island environment and limit heating and cooling bills.

"In terms of green, obviously one of the most important things is keeping the size down, so to keep it at 676 square feet on the first floor, we're meeting a lot of LEED standards right off the bat," he said. "The Reddi-Form process makes it inherently very energy efficient."

Housing Nantucket

Nantucket could take a giant leap toward meeting its state-mandated 10% affordable housing quota with the construction of housing at the town's 2 Fairgrounds Road property. If you want to learn more about this quota, attend tonight's Board of Selectmen meeting at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Town & County Building at 16 Broad St. At this meeting, John Ryan of Development Cycles of Amherst, Mass. who wrote Nantucket's 2002 Housing Needs Assessment, will update the board on his plan for affordable housing at 2 Fairgrounds.

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  3. Housing Office building green houses for rental stock | www ...

    - [ Tradueix aquesta pàgina ]
    Jul 9, 2008 ... Housing Office building green houses for rental stock ... The Styro-Foam blocks forming the foundation and walls of this island house, ... - Pàgines semblants
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    Title: The Lazarian World Homes Project Authors:

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Ikea selling 'flat-pack' homes

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Ikea Homes in a Box

Yes- its true! Ikea is selling prepackaged 'flat-pack' homes in the UK. These cost effective lego-like homes might be a good solution for an easy low-cost diy home.
check out the following article courtesy of

IKEA is taking flatpack construction to a new high – the BoKlok is a flatpack house offering hope to hundreds of thousands of people currently unable to buy a house in the UK. These timber frame, 1 or 2 bedroom homes will be available.. ..for lower income families. Affordable housing is a testing issue for the government as high house prices over a decade forced key workers and local people to the urban margins. Well-tested in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, where 2,000 BoKloks occupy 45 sites, a new Anglo-Swedish venture aims to offer the flatpack housing at 13 IKEA outlets. Most BoKloks will be offered through the Hyde Group housing association, Paramount Homes and Skanska, IKEA’s partner in Scandinavia. Brits have shown considerable enthusiasm for minimalist Swedish design, with a stampede of 6,000 customers recently at a north London IKEA store. Whether the BoKlok (translating as Live Smart) aesthetic, a hybrid of country-and-western meets summer holiday home, will meet the romantic and practical aspirations of the British public, let alone the planners, remains to be seen. A glance to the post-World War II ‘Cornish Unit’ prefab concrete homes, and others of the same ilk, designed over fifty years ago to meet similar urgent housing needs, still sit awkwardly in the landscape. Whatever happened to ‘local is beautiful’? ::Hyde Housing and ::Ikea Boklok [by © Alastair Fuad-Luke, 2005.]
Posted by Patty Sylvana, Green Realtor at 8:59 AM

Monday, November 24, 2008


University of Washington, College of Architecture & Urban Planning
Landscape Architecture, Urban Ecological Design

* University of Washington
* College of Architecture & Urban Planning

* culturally based placemaking
* ecological infrastructure
* ecoliteracy
* human & environmental health
* design/build
* international partnerships
* community


Winter Quarter 2009: Outdoor Classroom

The Winter Design/Build 2008 Program offers students a unique service learning opportunity to study in one of the world’s most interesting countries, Guatemala. Rich in Mayan history and culture, Guatemala is an ecologically important with great swaths of forested land still intact and populations of endangered species threatened. This program is designed to meet two primary goals. First it offers students the opportunity to explore, observe and study in this unique country and gain insight into a unique culture and appreciate its vernacular environmental design. Second, the opportunity to work with a unique client and design and build an invaluable open space that will nurture and stimulate the children, their families and the community of garbage pickers.

Students will work with the client, Safe Passage (see description below), and the faculty to design and build an “outdoor classroom”. Students will learn the skills of small culturally appropriate site design and construction detailing through this intensive project. The process is formed around the collaborative model of inclusive design. Once the design is completed, each student will take on individual responsibilities for various aspects of the project. The rapid pace of both the design and construction will demand a deep level of commitment and responsibility. In the design phase, students will be taught graphics, site design, and construction documentation and learn what a “therapeutic garden” is and how it might function. In the building phase, students will be taught the principles and methodologies of construction, how to use tools, calculate materials and cost estimating. The students will also learn through the children and volunteers of Safe Passage and gain insight into how people survive in radically different cultures and in great depravation.

The park site is located in Zona #3, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Guatemala City. The site, a former garbage dump has been partially cleared and a wall was recently erected around its perimeter to prevent land invasions and a pre-school is currently being erected on the park site. The park is surrounded on two sides by the squatter community, on another by the garbage dump; the largest in the city, where the families scavenge.

Goals of the Project

* The creation of a park (Children’s Peace Park) to be used by the children of Safe Passage to reduce their daily stresses, and accommodate a range of activities including vocational training, recreation and ecological awareness. The park will also serve as a therapeutic environment and safe refuge within the often violent and dangerous squatter community.
* In a working session with Safe Passage children and staff and the U of WA’s students and faculty develop a program that meets the needs of the existing and planned future programs for Safe Passage.
* Develop construction documents that articulate the design intent and can be implemented within the construction budget.
* Implement the third phase of the park and work with the Safe Passage’s staff and administrators to complete a maintenance plan.

Outcome of the Project

* The creation of a therapeutic learning environment that accommodates the therapeutic, academic, vocational, and recreational goals of the Safe Passage curriculum.
* The creation of a replicable community service model.
* Conduct a continuing evaluation based on follow up interviews over the next two years, to monitor and evaluate the park and document its use.


Landscape Architecture Design Build Program

The University of Washington Landscape Architecture Design Build Program has been asked by Camino Segura/Safe Passage a non-governmental agency based in Antigua Guatemala to design and build a number of components in a Park designed for children and to be used as a part of their educational outreach and support program. The children are from the families of the garbage pickers who were pulled out of school by their families to harvest garbage for resale in an effort to increase the family income. Safe Passage is supporting the children in their effort to gain an education and break the cycle of dropouts/garbage picking. The park will be integrated into the programs curriculum and is intended to offer therapeutic, educational, vocational and recreation support and opportunities.

Students will work with the client, Safe Passage (staff, administrators and children (see description below), and the faculty to design and build an “interactive landscape. Students will learn the skills of small site design and construction detailing, management, community participation.


The Landscape Architecture Design Build Program in Guatemala will be taught by Daniel Winterbottom, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture. The Design/Build Program was initiated by Professor Winterbottom in 1995 and over the past decade has completed a diverse range of projects. The projects include a public wash facility for a rural community in central Mexico; several projects in Seattle including an intergenerational play and recreational area, an outdoor classroom and environmental learning facility, a community adopt-a-park in the Cascade neighborhood, two formerly paved spaces on the UW's west campus that were transformed into green space for staff and students; and a series of gardens for a foster home for children with AIDS in New York City.

Camino Seguro/Safe Passage

Located in both Guatemala City and Antigua, Guatemala, Safe Passage was founded in 1999 in an effort to help the poorest of Guatemala’s children break out of poverty in a dignified and permanent way through education. Working with children living near the garbage dump, Safe Passage has turned the dream of education into a reality for more than 500 children.

Children are the hidden victims of poverty. As innocent victims, born into poverty, they are forced by their parents to drop out of school and work aside their families to pick through the garbage and sell what they can, to eke out their minimal survival, amidst the domestic violence, alcoholism, and drug and sexual abuse that plagues their neighborhoods.

Safe Passage offers a wide range of services for the children of these families. By providing ongoing school support in the form of school enrollment, supplies, books and uniforms, Safe Passage supports children in twelve area public schools. Each child can earn assistance with clothing, shoes and other needed items, by regularly attending school and the daily reinforcement program. Safe Passage also provides home and school visits to provide each child with additional support and a powerful awareness that someone cares deeply about them and their future.

The reinforcement program assists children with their homework and provides creative, meaningful hands on activities to reinforce their skills. Safe Passage depends on local and foreign volunteers to provide the children with individual attention they so desperately need. Volunteers are instrumental in the planning and administration of these activities. The park will play a significant role in the activities Safe Passage administers. It is intended to be a place of learning, recreation, exploration and healing. As a safe place, where children can express themselves as children, they will also learn about their local culture and ecology. The park will be a unique refuge in a neighborhood torn between poverty, violence and despair.

This collaborative relationship between the Safe Passage and the University of Washington offers a wonderful opportunity to combine teaching, research and to develop across discipline interaction between the Safe Passage personnel and the Department of Landscape Architecture. The design/build program represents an innovative model for teaching, intellectual exchange and service learning, and when realized, will provide a valuable community asset for the people of Zona #3 Guatemala City. (more & photos of the "Garden of Hope" 2006)