Friday, August 22, 2008

Shipping Containers For Better Housing


Shipping Containers For Better Housing, By James Osborne-Johnson
Level: Basic

Dad was a Master Builder of the old school and known for his quality workmanship. When his teams built a house, it was solid, square and built to last. Before I could follow in his footsteps, the credit squeeze of the 1960's hit, he closed up shop and we went farming, but I have always been interested in developments in the building industry.

Traditional structures are built with frames of timber or steel, and with materials not as plentiful as they were, framing timbers are not the quality they used to be. I still have friends who are in the building game and one is a plasterboard fixer. These days one of his greatest frustrations is trying to hang plasterboard on frames that are not square and which have warping in the timbers. If the underlying structure is not square and flat, the finishing off cannot look as good as it should. He is often delayed in his work while the framers are called back to square up their work.

Consider also the time and material usage in building the frames, erecting and finishing them, all adding to the cost of he structure. Consider also the foundations of the traditional structure, the many stumps to stabilize the floor, or the concrete slab. Then there is the vermin proofing, and decay proofing to add to the costs.

Used shipping containers are built to carry payloads of 20 tons, across the oceans of the world, without distorting or corroding. They are built to precise measurements so that they can be stacked on top of each other, loaded onto trucks, trains and ships and precisely lock into place so they won't move in transit. They are designed so that they can carry their 20-ton payload supported by only the four corners of the container, without distorting and I repeat, they can be sacked on top of each other. They are sealed to be weather proof and secure to prevent break-in and theft.

Of course they have been used for storage sheds and offices on building sites for some time now, because they can be easily relocated without damaging them, They are designed to be lifted and moved by cranes and forklifts. In places like Papua New Guinea they are used as corner stores because of the security they offer as burglar proof, robber proof structures. They are built to be secure.

Mining companies have seen the benefits of using shipping containers as housing for their workers at mine sites for some time as they can be fitted out at a workshop, transported to a mine site and quickly installed and inhabited.

Recently there has been some discussion that the use of shipping containers as housing might be a useful alternative for housing the poor and homeless, but the criticism has been that this will crate ghettos of substandard housing, creating more problems than would be solved.

I would suggest that the humble shipping container represents the greatest revolution in the building industry for some time. As other materials are becoming less available and the issues outlined above persist and increase, shipping containers, which have outlived their original purpose, litter dockyards around the world. They are ready made housing modules, awaiting discovery and use. They are economical building blocks, more solid and durable than traditional materials and methods, which can be erected faster and more accurately than our current styles of housing.

When set on solid foundations, they are cyclone/hurricane proof, would survive earthquakes and landslides better and can be used either above or below ground level.

Of course there are some limitations. Modules predominately come in 8-foot widths and either 10 or 40-foot lengths. Cutting them smaller would compromise their design strength. They already come at standard ceiling height for housing. However, sidewalls can be opened up for wider living areas, but designs need to be multiples of the standard dimensions of shipping containers. And of course, they look like shipping containers, unless of course, with a little imagination, you clad them as you would any other form of housing. And there will be some building authorities for whom these are outside their ability to perceive the benefits and approve.

Realistically the limitations are only our lack of imagination in utilizing these amazing building blocks for safer, environmentally friendlier, more economical shipping container housing. They have been approved as housing structures and additions in various authorities around the world and any change takes some effort to bring about.

For those who can catch the vision, here is an opportunity waiting to be explored further.

Sir James Osborne-Johnson long time owner/developer of along with the beautiful, Lady Toni Osborne-Johnson we are building our personal wealth through multiple streams of passive income. Using only proven strategies from Millionaire Mentors who have amassed their wealth from nothing, we eliminate many of the mistakes they have made and accelerate our personal wealth growth. Saving on costs is one way to create investment funds and one way to do this on housing is explored at

Article Source:

James Osborne-Johnson - EzineArticles Expert Author

Article Submitted On: August 15, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Clerestory Windows Barn Search

Dear Casey - or is it AMY?

I can't wait to build with Clerestory Windows; so glad you reminded me about them, and that you used them in your horse barn. Here's what I found searching for: clerestory windows barn. Photos attacked at end.

Stephen Knox,
architect, timber frame homes and barns:

The Triton Daysailor
The original design for the barn called for seven clerestory windows along the upper edge of one of the walls. Because of the way the barn ended up situated ...

The Complete Guide to Contemporary Sheds: Complete Plans for 12 ... - Google Books Result
by Philip Schmidt - 2008 - House & Home - 239 pages
In addition to their unique architectural effect, clerestory windows offer some practical advantages over standard windows. First, their position at the top ...
clerestory windows on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
clerestory windows by omoo. View omoo's map. Taken in a place with no name (See more photos or videos here). barn sitting room ... - 83k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Clerestory Windows pictures and videos on Webshots
Clerestory Windows pictures, videos, images and albums from Webshots. ... 1882 Eight Sided Barn at The Red Mile in Lexington ... - 94k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Selected Round Barns
This set of buildings, including the round white barn in the center of the photo, ... "turret-like" structure with clerestory windows between each dormer. ...

Show map of 9526 Locust Hill Dr, Great Falls, VA 22066 - 8k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Home Plans - Home Plan Details : Barn House
The Barn House was originally commissioned by a gentleman farmer for his farm in ... windows, as well as indirect light from upper level clerestory windows, ...


Clerestory - Architecture Glossary
Definition: A clerestory, pronounced clear story, is a high wall with a band of narrow windows along the very top. The clerestory wall usually rises above ... - 19k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Clerestory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The clerestory carries the clear glass windows at the top of the picture. ... The iconic road sign for a factory shows multiple clerestory windows ... - 27k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Clerestory Windows Highlight Passive Solar Homes
Clerestory windows make for stunning architectural detail, but how can they lower your ... Clearly, clerestory windows are a critical passive solar element. ... - 16k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
The North Clerestory Windows The first six windows are made of single large sheets ... The South Clerestory Windows These windows, by the Connick Studios, ... - 21k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this - Clerestory Windows
Clerestory windows, placed at ceiling level around the edge of a room are very ... Like skylights, clerestory windows also allow people to see the sky, ... - 14k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Tucson Clerestory Windows - Tucson AZ Real Estate
Clerestory windows are set high in the wall, they enhance a room's feeling of spaciousness by bringing daylight deep into the house. ...

Stephen Knox, Maine Barn Designs

Wonderful drawings and plans from Stephen Knox, Designer, Maine Barn Design (more)

Stephen Knox, Barn Design Photos

Maine Barn Designer Stephen Knox

From architect Stephen Knox: "A wonderful Douglas Fir barn built in a serene and remote location. Many generations will come to appreciate the expansive spaces and the quality of the detailed joinery."

This architect has wonderful designs and website with timber frame structures. What more could anyone want? See: