Friday, May 14, 2010



Green is also using local materials. Shipping wood from far away is not so green and expensive.

Local wood or wood from nearby will also be good.

Monday, May 10, 2010

"INSIDE PREFAB" by Princeton Architectural Press

"INSIDE PREFAB" by Princeton Architectural Press:

A book about prefabricated interiors is coming up "Inside Prefab".
The Book will profile 24 contemporary prefabricated interior elements and designs introduced with a historical introductory chapter defining the topic.

90° Furniture is part of it. It will be published by Princeton architectural press somewhere in 2012.

90° Furniture designed by KapteinBolt,


Hello, We publish fine books on architecture, design, photography, landscape and visual culture. Our books are acclaimed for their strong and unique editorial vision, unrivaled design sensibility, and high production values at affordable prices. Please browse around, let our books surprise and seduce you, and order online via our secure server.

Katrina Cottage VIII
Designed by Steve Mouzon
Silver Spring, Maryland

Katrina Cottage VIII is the first Katrina Kernel Cottage to be built. Most tiny cottages don't grow very well because wall space gets used up so quickly for cabinets, bathrooms, closets, etc., but Katrina Kernel Cottages are designed from the beginning to grow easily.

Excerpt below:

September 12, 2006
The flight from New Orleans got into Miami far too late to call anyone, but early the next morning, I was on the phone to Ben Brown to make sure that he concurred before calling Housing International and offering the manufacturing of the USA Weekend cottage to them.

September 13, 2006
Housing International contacted me to let me know that they would be happy to construct and donate the USA Weekend Katrina Cottage. A few days of discussions of the particulars followed while logistical work was beginning. Manufacturing is different from construction in that there are more steps to think of to get an assembly line set up and running. While prototype units are not built on the assembly line, there is nonetheless more planning involved when building a prototype to prepare for the day when it will be put on the line. (more...)


Haiti House Disaster Relief Page


PermaShelter™ represents the culmination of input from the Haitian people, their government, the many NGOs, relief groups, missionaries and others who expressed their needs, fears and desires. Each PermaShelter™ is 30-year rated, well-insulated and ventilated, easy-to-maintain and provides solid personal security. All for about the cost of a weaker transitional or temporary structure.

Our featured PermaShelter™ Self-Assembly Housing is now engineer certified to withstand a 150 mph wind (a strong Category 4 hurricane) and rated Seismic D, for a superior disaster recovery home! This THIRD generation housing solution answers all the needs of the Haitian people and more.


Critical Value & Performance - PermaShelter™
versus Tents & Yurts / Timber & Transitional Shelters / Foam & Fiberglass

PERSONAL SECURITY and the knowledge that your home is clean and dry is paramount to a less stressful life. Our goal should not be to maintain the status quo, but to permanently solve the issue of appropriate housing.

PERMAMENT HOUSING must be given priority over transitional structures only meant to last a hurricane season or two. Without solid floors and leak proof homes, all that is being accomplished in Haiti will soon be undone by nature.

IMPROVING LIVES and raising the standard of living can only take place once the most basic needs of shelter, food and water are being addressed. If all the Haitian efforts are spent trying to quickly build proper housing all momentum could be lost.

For many years, our company has supplied thousands of disaster relief houses to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and other groups, from single family travel trailers, to larger park models and large family mobile homes. After the Haitian disaster we made a decision to open our government contracting division to the public and offer missionaries, non-profits and even other governments access to the same product lines at substantial discounts off traditional retail prices.

You can read more about us in our company background section and learn why we are a preferred vendor for PermaShelter™ permanent disaster recovery housing, flat pack homes, cargo2™ container village, relief and administrative support units such as showers, baths, offices, kitchens and bunkhouses, as well as park models, travel trailers and other specialty emergency shelters.

Whether your organization seeks to build a small work community with bunkhouses, or establish an entire villages, is ready to immediately produce durable, affordable housing, facilities and other specialized units needed for a wide range of communities worldwide.
Click for: ALL Disaster Shelters, Homes & Support Products List

We want the people of Haiti and the world to know we are ready to do our part and bring the finest quality manufactured housing to the island nation, and help others create more viable villages beyond.


Contents copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved.
All plans are proprietary and property of Harbor Homes LLC, Thomasville, GA 31792
HaitiHouse™ PermaShelter™ and cargo2™ are trademarks of Harbor Homes™ LLC.
Support & Marketing by:

Play The Video Of The PermaShelter™:
Assembly & Tour Below. Now withstands 150mph winds and is rated Seismic D! (Turn up audio.)

Harbor Homes™ Chairs The Panel on Haitian Reconstruction at the Global Summit on Haiti - 3.10.2010 - CLICK TO READ MORE
The PermaShelter™ Haitian Economic Development Plan
HaitiHouse™ Disaster Recovery Division can not only build several thousand PermaShelter™ homes each month to immediately begin resettlement, we have also put in place an economic development plan for establishing a factory in Haiti. Various divisions will be responsible to train Haitian personnel to install these homes, service utilities and upgrades, complete final assembly and ultimately manufacture their own components for Haitians and as an export commodity worldwide. CLICK to READ the PLAN.

Front view of the PermaShelter™ with the porch extension. The steel hurricane shutter/tables are folded open but can bolt closed in case of security risk or inclement weather. The face is designed for maximum air flow and use as a storefront as well as a home.

Back view of the PermaShelter™ showing proximity to other units forming a six-sided enclosed courtyard. With steel divider panels linking units together, the residents will be able to safely cook, wash, do laundry, hang clothes, garden, conduct school, ply a trade or produce crafts, and store food or other commodities.
Harbor Homes LLC and its divisions
are Proud Suppliers of:

Harbor Homes is a premier producer of disaster relief shelters, disaster housing and many types of disaster support units. With a long history of supplying FEMA during disasters in the US, we are able to transship overseas via container or cargo vessel to meet the needs of any area hit by natural disasters. Harbor Homes disaster division has immediate factory capacity to produce up to 500 units a week of the types listed on our disaster shelter page. We can supply a single disaster shelter or many types of disaster housing and commercial support facilities such as laundry centers, bath houses, bunk houses, full commercial kitchens, and simple storage units.
Additionally, Harbor Homes has a proven series of field tested mobile disaster housing like our travel trailer, built to house an average family yet still highly mobile. Our other larger models include a 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom standard mobile home and we even have larger models with more bedrooms.
The travel trailer is highly adaptable and can be towed by a pickup truck to provide a mobile medical clinic if desired.
Harbor Homes is a recognized leader in providing disaster assistance in the form of prefabricated housing, shelters, and support items like our food service, laundry service, and portable bathing facilities. We can produce consistent quality products according to the specs provided, or we can work with you to design a unit based on your custom shelter needs.
Whether you are looking for highly rated emergency shelter, emergency kitchen facilities, emergency bunk houses or sleeping quarters, emergency laundry or emergency bath house units, Harbor Homes can ship container sized units anywhere in the world. We meet all US standards for manufacture and use quality materials in all our products. We also can produce the similar units to those presented in disabled versions for those in wheelchairs or who have other handicaps and require ADA or UFAS approved housing.
Harbor Homes has a capacity to produce 500 units a week of any variety presented. Our unrivaled ability to design, produce and ship disaster, emergency or recovery houses, housing, shelter, shelters, multi-bedroom mobile homes, emergency housing, family sized mobile homes, and other facilities is well know throughout the industry and through our FEMA contacts in the US Government.
From our mobile bath house, mobile kitchen, mobile bunk house and mobile laundry we are able to meet the disaster relief needs for those seeking disaster relief shelters and disaster support facilities. With the portable laundry, portable bunk house, portable kitchen and portable sleeping quarters, or portable showers, we are able to supply rescue and relief personnel as well as recover personnel with what they need to complete their disaster mission work.
HaitiHouse™ - Disaster Recovery Services division of Harbor Homes™

PERMASHELTER™ Self-Assembly Housing

cargo2™ Container Village Support Units


HaitiHouse™.org Main Page Legal Disclaimer, Terms & Privacy
Our Company Background Our Company In The News Wholesale Pricing
PermaShelter™ Self-Assembly Housing Family Cargo Container Homes Mobile Travel Trailers Portable Park Models Family Mobile Homes FlatPackHome™ Foldout House
* cargo2™ CONTAINERS
Bunkhouses/Baths Community Showers Commercial Kitchens Laundry Centers Mobile Offices Mobile Medical Clinic Other Modules

More info:

Harbor Homes, LLC
1207 Sunset Drive
Thomasville, GA 31792
(229) 226-0911

About Harbor Homes, Llc Disaster Housing Production & Luxury Houseboat MFGMFG of Disaster Housing for the Federal Government and Large NGO Groups. Housing Specialties Include Container Housing, Mobile Homes, Park Model Mobile Homes, Travel Trailers, and Temporary Housing.

A Flatpack Housing Concept for Haiti

See Harbor Homes response below to "A Flatpack Housing Concept for Haiti"
The Design of Everyday Life > Allison Arieff on February 9, 2010 at 6:00 am PST


TheHaitiHouse™ division of our company, Harbor Homes LLC, ( is the creator of theHaitiHouse™ FlatPackHome™, the FlatPackQuad™, the cargo2™ container series of bunkhouses, showers, kitchens, laundry, and office units, FEMA approved travel trailers, park models, mobile homes and support facilities for use as temporary AND permanent shelters.

Until the Haitian disaster we only worked privately with the government and its agencies, as in after hurricane Katrina. We produced thousands of portable homes exceeding stringent testing standards. We have the best air quality testing results in the industry, and we formed the HaitiHouse™division to directly assist every charity, mission group, government or non-profit with rebuilding Haiti called

With all due respect to the architect, Mr. Duany, who may be a wonderful planner for urban environments, we are not dealing with the same issues in Haiti as in Miami. While his creation is novel, we believe it won’t function as needed. He only addressed some of the fabrication and construction issues. We will clearly define the issues solved by our products and explain why his supposed solution is no solution at all. In fact, his shelter may present many physical dangers.

HaitiHouse™ FlatPackHome™ and FlatPackQuad™ homes are already being produced. We manufacture a superior, easy-to-assemble home, far better than the one you are discussing here today - because we spent many years developing methods for alternate housing construction by actually constructing and field testing houses of many types. We fabricate our own frames, aluminum and steel structures, ourselves in our own factories. See for plans for immediate mass production online.

We are already manufacturing a home that folds out in 15 minutes,packs down to less than 10 inches and fits 16 to a single cargo container. TheHaitiHouse™ FlatPackHome™ is 7’6”x18’9” long comparable to the creation pictured. We also manufacture a larger version, and an entire FlatPackQuad™line which creates private interior courtyard spaces for residents. Our unique FlatPackHome™ is engineer certified to withstand 130 mile an hour winds and hasa Seismic D rating. People are safer in such structures. The entire integrated raised floor frame sits on the ground with clearance for water to pass through but it does not have to be set up on blocks as the shelter in the photo youshow. Plus, the HaitiHouse™ FlatPackHome™ is already rated for 30-year use, is fireproof,waterproof and impervious to insects and rot. You can a time lapse video of the house being assembled with a wrench and a ladder by a few men in 15 minutes from placement on the ground at And because all walls and roof elements of our home are pre-joined by industrial steel hinges, welded and integrated to the galvanized steel studs that encase the entire structure, our HaitiHouse™ does not rely on small pieces of hardware, properly installed to hold pieces together after arrival. The Duany approach relies too heavily on post-delivery construction, which is completely unreliable as we explain later.

Our newest cottage about to be unveiled in the next day will represent a milestone in disaster recovery housing. It will incorporate security, safety, structural integrity, with great circulation, extensibility and many features most Haitians have never enjoyed, such as lighting, a watercooling system and will be rated even higher to withstand a tropical storm. It truly brings more of a liveable space to the Haitian people, one that is permanent yet we’ve managed to keep the costs to about the same as our previous standard unit, the FlatPackHome™.

Our home is MUCH safer than what Mr. Duany proposes since his offers absolutely no personal security for the residents. Large open screened areas are fine for enjoying the open air, but the focus of any permanent structure in Haiti has to be on how to keep women and children safe while they go about daily tasks. His temporary shelter woefully misses that mark. It also provides no security for personal belongings or a truly clean and dry interior.Another problem with this architect’s shelter is that the entire side coming up will act as a giant sail in a fierce storm or sudden squall. Even if residents manage to collapse it, the wind pressure can simply lift and remove the entire structure from its foundation. That is why the bulk of weight in a HaitiHouse™FlatPackHome™ is in the foundation frame and structural steel sides.

Mr. Duany’s temporary shelter is also not a long-term solution for families. They need space to store, and work, and go about daily tasks. His interior is geared towards cramming as many people onto bunks as possible. We could also install bunks, but after consultations with actual Haitians in Haiti, we found they would prefer to have more internal space, and will use cots, blankets, or hang their own bunks rather than be stuck using prepositioned bunks in an unalterable shelter. They prefer a shell approach which is what the HaitiHouse™ FlatPackHome™ has created for them.

Further, the main issue we have with recommendations about any on-site construction of a home using separate pieces is this is not functional in the real world of Haiti. Between the problematic nature of commerce and the impossibility of getting either professional construction crews, methods or materials in place, due to expense and logistics, we know our “whole house”ready-to-deliver approach is more sound to quickly house one to two million people.Various organizations we are supplying at this time agree.

Part of the reason for the scope of the disaster was the inferior mortar used to hold cinder block construction together. Mr. Duany’s barracks only perpetuates the problem by delivering stacks of pieces that can be pilfered as soon as they arrive.

The FlatPackHome™ by HaitiHouse™ has none of those issues since it is entirely a one-piece unit. The whole house unfolds, and can be erected by a small group with a single wrench in less than 15 minutes, with no power tools and no special knowledge. Once assembled it provides complete protection to the inhabitants with sealed screened windows and doors.

The problem with separately assembled pieces like Mr. Duany’s creation, or yurts or tents or any lightweight structure is they cannot survive tropical climates. They are a temporary novelty and waste of money. The house you picture here is not so much a permanent lodging as a temporary shelter. It is novel, but not practical. We haven’t even addressed the fact that them aterials Mr. Duany proposes would need to be analyzed chemically to make sure he would not be building a toxic cabin that would destroy the Haitians’ health. We too have investigated and rejected most composite and similar materials for the simple fact that they could not pass rigid testing requirements to safeguard the health of residents. And since we are the de facto testing agent for over $3.2 billion worth of FEMA contract award mobile home manufacturing,we can document that we have the best standard in the industry when it comes to exceeding all testing requirements. We practically wrote the book on methodology for selecting, processing and providing materials and construction methods that exceed the indoor air quality standards.

The company Mr. Duany has targeted to mass produce his open bus stop style bunkhouse is using a “proprietary” adhesive to create its panels with fiberglass and a polyurethane that is absolutely NOT fireproof as he may claim. The material safety data sheet for the components that are available for public review do not support his claims. And the typical method of cooking is open flame in Haiti. The materials he says will be used have a LOW flame point of around 240 degrees (on preliminary review) which is a low oven, and any spark or flame in direct contact with this supposedly miraculous material will ignite the structure. While the material in its post-manufactured sealed form may not be toxic in the short-term, once ignited and the chemicals released,they could cause a toxic cloud and respiratory problems that are very serious.Since sophisticated fire suppression and re-breathing equipment is needed there is absolutely no reason to chance building anything in Haiti out of untested,and unproven materials.

Worse, he mentions that the panels are rated for 150 mph winds of Category 4 hurricane-proof. The panel itself might be but his shelter is not.The structure of what he proposes, assembled in the normal manner must be tested by engineers to make that assertion. OUR HaitiHouse™ which HAS been tested IS rated to 130 mph in its final form, anchored into the ground. Mr.Duany’s shelter does not sit on the ground and cannot be properly anchored using the materials and construction he proposes. You cannot use simple straps to cinder block as one might with a large footprint, traditionally-built home.His shelter could literally be lifted away in seconds from a high wind gust.

Finally, the Duany shelter also seems to miss the mark as far as pricing. He is quoted as stating his shelter will cost as much as $6,000 per unit. Given the added costs of transhipment to Haiti and overland trucking, his idea is again unworkable for the millions who need housing. We have already created a bulk pricing strategy to supply units at less than $3,900, a far cry from what only exists on paper. We are actually building them now.

We currently supply the World Health Organization, several combined Church groups, and other entities. We are a long-time and current FEMA vendor ready to create several hundred to thousands of homes every week, and have even begun direct shipment to avoid the damaged port in the Haitian capital.

We feel very fortunate to have been able to spearhead some of the recovery effort and will continue to do so. We have also extended our wholesale pricing to all the groups as we understand the unique nature of this crisis and want to do what we can to be supportive. We have already been in direct consultations with a Haitian ministry, Dominican Republic representatives, the State Department, FEMA, the United Nations, World Health Organization,missions, private distribution firms, individual families and villages, to supply the FlatPackHome™ in an accelerated distribution.

While others anticipate manufacturing “something” at “some time inthe future”, or are designing their “prototype units”, our first shipment ofcargo2 container products for the United Nations arrived Sunday, February 11th,2010, in Haiti. We were called upon the day after the disaster to begin production because of our experience and knowledge. Having housed many families around the globe for many years, and having supplied permanent and temporary solutions for many types of needs, we are confident that our established designs and approach will become the standard in this crisis, as we are one of the leading disaster recovery housing specialists in the world.

While we admire Mr. Duany’s attempt, and we understand he is a known architect with some following, we feel his shelter has some very definite drawbacks, that he may have investigated from an architectural point of view,but not from the sociological view needed in Haiti. Overall, we feel Mr. Duany may have designed his shelter without actually looking into the needs of the people and his unit is more an architectural experiment than a real solution.We believe the crisis in Haiti calls for an industrial solution, not an aesthetic one which masquerades as such.

If you are a part of any organization or know one that could benefit from our support or they need to find custom portable buildings for relief efforts, please contact our company directly. Thank you.

- Harbor Homes LLC,

Thomasville, GA - All products made in the USA!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

90° Furniture: A Flatpack Apartment by Lowrien Kaptein

Imagine how much less shipping, less material is needed when it flatpacks so efficiently, Dutch designer Louwrien Kaptein had designed an entire apartment, complete with working area, sitting, sleeping, cooking and storage.

Source: Original URL


90 Degree Furniture

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sustain Lane ~ Smart Homes for the Eco-Minded

Note the comment at the end:

""Our homes need not be 6,000 square foot McMansions, or Mc-Green homes, to serve as quality safe shelter. The massive trophy home is as much a part of the disease of affluence we Americans inflict on the world as the gas gobbling SUV..."

Hybrid Living Homes: Smart Homes for the Eco-Minded

Hybrid Technologies' recently completed 6,000 square foot "smart home" in Calgary, Alberta produces its own energy and incorporates environmentally sustainable and energy efficient technologies. We spoke with Business Development Director Richard Griffiths about the Las Vegas-based company's Hybrid Living Home project and the future of homes.

SustainLane: Can you give a brief overview of the Hybrid Living Home project?

Richard Griffiths: Hybrid Technologies was established roughly in 2000 as a developer of lithium batteries. We were a company that built lithium batteries and vehicles, and we slowly realized that the development of lithium does not only apply to vehicles and portable electronic devices but can actually power a home. And then, instead of just making it a lithium home, we decided to include all of the latest technology to really enhance what we’re doing. That led to the development of a home that was not only powered by lithium and grid-free, but also embodied all of the latest smart home technology. The home takes a holistic approach, providing the people who live in it with an ambiance of tranquility while using the latest energy and environmental technology. The water in the home is coming from rain water; a heat sink is used to heat and cool the home; solar and wind are used for power; and even the paint deletes UV rays. Every element of the home was considered. It’s sort of a showcase of what you can do with technology but also with environmental concerns.

SL: Can the energy technology coexist with more traditional homes in suburban and urban areas?

Absolutely. Everything we put in this home is a functional and applicable technology. Suburban homeowners can go and buy a $5,000 wind turbine that’s going to help support their home energy use; or a solar panel to decrease the cost of heating water; or lithium components and batteries to power a refrigerator, a TV, and all of that. The hybrid living home is sort of the best and most complete use of current technology, but each piece of that technology can be purchased and used independently.

SL: In the hybrid home there’s also a lot of attention paid to the indoor environment. What are some of the biggest factors affecting indoor air quality in a traditionally built home?

RG: If you look at a traditionally built home, there are a lot of allergens. The carpet, for example, is incredibly filthy and creates a lot of problems for people with allergies. Depending on where you live, your doors can also let in a lot of dust. Designers and builders haven’t thought about things like dust and allergens. With the hybrid living home, there was lot of thought about how to improve the air quality within a home. Also, the materials that are used in the hybrid living home--all the shelves, countertops, and wood--are all formaldehyde-free. There are the hardwood surfaces, concrete, or tile over 75 percent of the floor area. We only used natural carpet, and it wasn’t glued. Everything has a healthy element to it.

SL: Are there plans to construct more homes and put them up for sale?

RG: Our company has been successful working with governments and NGOs around the world. We believe that this technology is applicable not only in a $2 million home, but for example in $20,000 homes being built in Central America or in Asia because of the tsunami. We will never be a manufacturer of homes, but we will be the seller of environmental technology to organizations, to NGOs, to government, and to consumers within the U.S. and European markets.

SL: Why aren’t more people building homes like this one?

RG: Just think about how much technology we’ve had in this short period of time. And yet when we look at the way we live, nothing’s changed. That’s the biggest element about all of this. You have to start showing people that it is not conceptual. It is not only attainable by the very few--the obscure people like Bill Gates with his 40,000 square foot super home. You don’t have to be a billionaire to live that way; you don’t have to be a billionaire to drive a lithium vehicle. What we’re trying to do is make it affordable and also palatable. It’s not just about seeing how much technology you can put into a home, it’s about really respecting the fact that this is your environment. We want you to be a healthier person mentally, spiritually, environmentally by living in a home like this and driving a car like this. That’s our foundation.

Related Content
Learn how to increase your home's efficiency.
Find out how to dispose of remodeling waste responsibly from Chris Sparks.
Get the scoop on plug-in hybrid cars.
Find out how churches that go green save money.

Community Comments

"Our homes need not be 6,000 square foot McMansions, or Mc-Green homes, to serve as quality safe shelter. The massive trophy home is as much a part of the disease of affluence we Americans inflict on the world as the gas gobbling SUV. Where do we get off saying huge homes are sustainable when we just 4% of the planet's humans suck up 25% of the resources. Ah, yes that's right -- 'too much is just enough...' Sick."

-- Bion D. Howard, Hilton Head Island, SC

Bion D. Howard, President. PO Box 23858, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925 USA.,


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