Monday, June 28, 2010

The Art of Container Construction

Container Home Construction Explained:

Construction with used shipping containers has made incredible advances over the past few years. It's no longer uncommon to see stories about shipping container homes on the evening news and the Internet will lead you to dozens of drawings and renderings of cargo container home concepts.

Given today's economic conditions more and more people are getting serious about saving on construction costs, reducing maintenance, and keeping more equity in their pockets. So, when it becomes possible to build a sleek, secure, modern home with the classic good looks of the case study homes of the mid 20th Century, for a fraction of the cost of traditional construction, people get interested.

But, even with all this interest, you will quickly find out that it's still virtually impossible to get any concrete information on learning how to design and build with used shipping containers.

Shipping Container Home Design:

Because their standard design and modular nature, shipping containers provide a flexibility that makes them almost irresistible to anyone with an eye for design. If you have found this web site and have read this far it's probably because you see the ecological sense and simplicity of this method of building. You may even have a design of your own in mind, if you do, wouldn't it be helpful to have an affordable way to play around with various floor plans, to be able to look at the layout in three dimensions, perhaps even adding people and landscaping for perspective?

Con-Structure provides you with the hard information necessary to learn all of the steps of designing and building with used shipping containers. Including the 3D CAD programs you will need to get up to speed right away. ...(more)


It's something to buy; haven't seen it but perhaps it's worth a try:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Portal into Paradise: Doorway

Doorway, originally uploaded by IslesPunkFan.

See more by IslesPunkFan on

Would that I could be there, right now.

Vaulted Ceiling

Vaulted Ceiling, originally uploaded by IslesPunkFan.

How did they do this? I want to build a vaulted ceiling. Perhaps in Guatemala I can. La Antigua Guatemala is full of gorgeous Spanish Colonial architecture. Someone here may know how to do this, or we could figure it out.

Looking Out at the Hudson River

The Cloisters ~ Renaissance (rebirth)

The Cloisters, originally uploaded by IslesPunkFan.

What was life like from the twelfth through the fifteenth century?

It was the Renaissance, a time of cultural rebirth.
No wonder I catch my breath when I "see" from this era.
No wonder I loved France so much. Medieval. My time, my era, for sure.

The Renaissance (French for "rebirth"; Italian: Rinascimento, from ri- "again" and nascere "be born")[1] was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Florence in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. ... (more)

Main article: Outline of the Renaissance

* Weser Renaissance
* Gilded woodcarving
* List of Renaissance figures
* List of Renaissance structures
* Medical Renaissance
* Scientific Revolution


How can people literally see the past by using light waves?
In: Physics


Here's the example that illustrate what you just asked. I will be using this example from astronomy. When you look up the sky to the stars, you are literally seeing into the past. The distance from you to the star you are looking at is x lightyears away. Lightyear is distance light travles in 1 year. So if a star is, say 100 lightyears away from you, then you are seeing the state of the star that much time ago.


The Cloisters, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, was assembled from architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that date from the twelfth through the fifteenth century. The building and its cloistered gardens—located in Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan—are treasures in themselves, effectively part of the collection housed there. The Cloisters collection comprises approximately five thousand works of art from medieval Europe, dating from about the ninth to the fifteenth century. View selected highlights from the collection, or learn more about the curatorial department that oversees The Cloisters collection. ...more

Portal to the Lion

Portal to the Lion, originally uploaded by IslesPunkFan.

Photo credit:

Cloisters Museum:

Fuentiduena Apse Window

Fuentiduena Apse Window, originally uploaded by IslesPunkFan.

Cloister from Saint-Gilhem-le-Desert

This is what I want to build, and where I want to live. Anywhere within these four open arched walls, with the light pouring in.

Cloister from Saint-Gilhem-le-Desert

Sunday, June 6, 2010

3D Printing Demo by scorch1974

THIS IS TERRIFIC: We could collect old inkjet printers - saving them from landfills and all the problems they cause - and bring them to Guatemala where people could make things to use. People here have more time than money so this would be a real boon to everyone concerned. Some of the schools here in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, would probably love to give this a try. Now, if someone could come up with using recyclable plastic, much of the trash and lack of landfill problems could be solved around Lake Atitlan. Wonders of Wonders. Will imagination never end?

This technique uses powder made of 50% Weldwood & 50% Water Putty.
Comment from deminisher98: "Every time it "prints" it applies a layer of water thus hardening the sand or clay or whatever and then when you make the "sand" over the newly "printed" thing, you apply another layer of sand to make it thicker... Right?" Right.

Terrific. Can't wait to try it. Hope the inventor, scorch1974, responds.

scorch1974 — June 05, 2008 — Demo of manually printing simple 3D objects using an old inkjet printer

Category: How To & Style
Tags: inkjet Zcorp powder 3d printer

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Global Village Shelters ~ Help for Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, after Hurricane Agatha?

From: Catherine S. Todd
Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 11:36 PM
Subject: Global Village Shelters ~ Help for Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, after Hurricane Agatha
To: Global Village Shelters ,
Cc: DrJohnWMerrick

To: Global Village Shelters LLC
221 Looking Glass Hill Morris, CT 06763 USA
email for information and inquiries:
telephone: 860.567.4118, fax: 860.567.4265
Video: 20 Meter Assembly

"Global Village Shelters LLC is a for-profit company based in Litchfield County Connecticut, USA. It is co-owned by father-daughter team Daniel A Ferrara and Mia Ferrara Pelosi."

To Whom It May Concern,

I am sure you have heard about the hurricane and extensive destruction in Guatemala and in all the villages around Lake Atitlan. There are more than 200 people sleeping on the concrete floor of the local gymnasium here in Panajachel, where I live part of the year, and these people have lost EVERYTHING, when their houses slid into the river or down the mountain in a mudslide. I haven't even been able to check on my own property since the roads are still closed due to mud and giant boulders and trees. Things are getting cleaned up very quickly, though, and most utility services have finally been restored around the lake. Which bring us to why I am writing you.

I have been collecting information about kit and modular homes for a number of years, and working with my architect here in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala to start producing some kind of easy to set up and inexpensive home for the people who have to back-pack (literally) every bit of material up the mountain sides here in Panajchel, and across Lake Atitlan to the other pueblos and villages around the lake.

Most building materials here are scarce, expensive and difficult to transport, as well as adding to the pollution of the environment. Adobe is used extensively here, but some people believe that it is not well-suited to earthquakes which due occur here occasionally.

Your coated cardboard structures and your configurations are just marvelous. Your Global Village Shelters are at the top of my list.

NOW is the time to try one or more out, as NOW is when they are needed.

I seem to remember that one of the small shelters cost about $550.00. Is this true? Do you know of costs & ways to ship them to Panajachel, Lake Atitlan in Guatemala? I have talked to Crowley Container Shipping Services in the past, but I don't remember what the main shipping port is from Miami.

Are your shelters sized for containers or trucks? Could your shelters also be driven overland?

I have very little money right now, but we sell beautiful hand-beaded keychains and jewelry through the American Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and more to raise money for schools in Panajachel, Guatemala. I am going to add DISASTER HOUSING to the charitable list we are working on right now.

When the fair and festival season starts in Sept. I will have more cash coming in and could start putting it towards one or more of your shelters. How much do they cost? Who knows, perhaps a major sale will come in sooner than that. Either way, I would like to be prepared to test out your wonderful housing ideas in a most needed, real-world situation that would benefit these people greatly. I could even conceivably put one or more of your shelters on the four lots that I own, that did NOT slide into the mud, and the people could use them until other arrangements were made. These people have lost everything and are left with just the clothes on their back. Their children have no shoes. One man who is a carpenter has of course lost all his tools, their garden disappeared in the mudslide, the land he owned is gone along with the house. They are sleeping on the concrete floor. It's unbelievable, and for them, it's as bad as Haiti for those affected around here.

I hope you are able to help. I am NOT asking for a donation of any kind, just information as to COSTS and SHIPPING and how we could get some of your two-year temporary shelters here to the Lake Atitlan area.

Thank you so much for working on disaster relief housing. It means the world to the people who require it. Your website is full of interesting photos and technical information, and so many simple yet elegant ideas.

I will be coming back to the states through NYC for a few days on June 29 until July 3rd, when I deliver some of the beadwork to my customers and work on special projects, before I return to NC. I would love to be able to meet with you if you are going to be in NYC during that time, or perhaps I could come to Morris, CT since it is only two hours away.

There is a local Habitat for Humanity office in Panajachel, which I hope to visit this week. Perhaps there is something we could do together to help. I've attached some photos of the river after the storm; I'm uploading more on flickr later on. Please advise.

Yours, Catherine Todd
(all contact info & links below)
NY, NC USA & Guatemala

GLOBAL VILLAGE Links, Configurations and Specs

Specifications for the 6 Meter Global Village Shelter

Physical/ Material Specifications

•Interior space: 6.25 square meters (67 square feet).

•Interior height: 8 feet maximum (at peak) / 5.1 feet minimum

•Material: White 13mm polypropylene (PP) profile extruded sheet and polypropylene extrusions

•13mm PP is UV resistant

•13mm PP meets ASTM E84, Grade A, Method of Test of Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials with a flame spread index <25.

•13mm PP: Normal temperature performance range is -85°F to 285°F

•White PP material has some translucence and reflects light.

•Construction: All parts are welded.

•Standard 6 meter shelter has one door and two windows.

•Window comes standard with screen and removable acrylic pane.

•Door has double latching system; interior and exterior.

•Global Village Shelter 6 M can be set up by two people in 15-20 minutes.

•Weight: 170lbs


Japan offers aid to Guatemala victims
June 3, 2010 - 10:49AM

Japan has announced an emergency aid package of $US220,000 ($A261,438) to help Guatemala recover from tropical storm Agatha, which left more than 150 dead in the nation. The aid is aimed at helping recovery from the storm and represents "the friendship between Japan and Guatemala," according to a statement from the Japanese embassy on Wednesday. The funds are expected to be used for blankets, tents and other supplies, the statement added. ...(more)

Catherine Todd
3007 Bent Tree Dr. Oxford NC 27565
H 919.693.0853 U.S. cell 919.605.0727

Guatemalan Arts & Crafts (GAC)
Panajachel, Lake Atitlan
Guatemala cell (dial 011 from the U.S.):
(502) 5013.6300

For 2010:

"The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need do is set our sails."
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa ~ Gospel of Ramakrishna

Peace and justice are goals for man.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

John 16:33. "In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world"