Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hassan Fathy Natural Ventilation

.hassan fathy website

Hassan Fathy, Architect to the Poor

Model house for USD $2,000.00.

About ISBU Depot - Shipping Container Homes

Shipping Container Home / ISBU - Sketchup Animation
ISBU (Intermodal Steel Building Units)
Home  |  Google® Sketches  |  My Planned Home  |  About Me

About Me... (Intermodal Steel Building Units)

I have always been interested in cookie cutter designs

I live in Houston, TX and started getting interested in ISBU ever since I saw that this may be my ticket to building a property in a flood prone area without having to build on traditional wooden stilts.

As you will see from most of the sketches I have made, they are all at least one story off of the ground. This would allow for a clearance of 8.5' before any flood waters would enter the main living areas. I still have a lot to learn about the physical construction of these units that is why I am going to try and post as many pictures as possible that I can find of actual ISBUs being created and fabricated.

I have called around several places here in Houston and the running average price of a 40' Container is around $2300.00 plus a $200.00 delivery charge to the work site. At $2500 a piece I can quickly guage how much the raw containers will cost for each one of the sketches I draw.

 I have now been exclusively looking to use only 53' Jindo containers in my designs as the extra 13' allows for a stronger overall structure and quite a bit of extra sq. footage for only a couple hundred dollars more per container.

Please feel free to email me at with any feedback you may have. I may be open to posting user's sketches as well if they should want to try their hand at Google Sketchup with a design of their own they would like to share with others.

Also, if you have some raw contruction pics you wouldn't mind sharing I would be more than happy to post them online so others can learn as I do about what it takes to build these ISBUs out to finished "live-in" ready condition...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shipping Container Home / ISBU - Sketchup Animation, from Houston TXFrom
Uploaded by on Dec 31, 2010

14 - 40' high cube containers. Stacked and modified for residential use. 2240 Sq. Foot 4 bedroom / 2 bath / 4 car garage. The roof has a 5/12 pitch and is built using 31 - 40' pre-engineered roof trusses spaced 24" apart. The foundations are 3 solid 1' wide by 6' 6" footings with embedded 10" x 1/2" steel plates used to weld the containers to. It stands 1' above the ground. 

 The section plane / section cut animation proved to be rather difficult at first but once I learned the method it wasn't too hard to complete. It was exported at 1920x1080 @ 10 FPS. I built this in Sketchup in order to more easily relay my vision to potential builders vs. just telling them verbally what I was looking to do. I hope you guys like it...

Curving Profile by i profili, for curved walls

“CURVING PROFILE”: the best solution for curved walls.
Thanks to extensive research on the topic of working with curved surfaces made of plasterboard and other coating materials, I PROFILI has patented a revolutionary profile: the Curving Profile (patent no. 01288010).
  • Thanks to its innovative shape memory structure, resilience and strength it is easy to bend and position and can be used freely by both professionals and amateurs.
  • Curving Profile is ideal for curved walls, curved ceilings, arches, and sloping walls.
  • Vertical C-shaped profiles can be slid in without difficulty.
  • The plates can be fixed easily and securely because screws can be screwed in at any point thanks to the original continuous structure of the product.
  • The product can be fixed at various angles.
  • It only takes one person to position and install the product.
Please watch the video for instructions on installing a curved wall using Curving Profile.

Or YouTube:

Curving Profile showreel, international patent by i profili (

Showreel showing how to install a curved wall with an arch inside. Thanks to Curving profile now the installation becomes quick and easy, even if there is only one person doing the installation. visit us at

Bus Stop made from Plastic Bottles


Nader Khalili - How to build an Eco-Dome


The Eco-Dome is a small home design of approximately 400 square feet (40 sq. meters) interior space. It consists of a large central dome, surrounded by four smaller niches and a wind-scoop, in a clover leaf pattern.

Nader Khalili (1936-2008) is the world-renowned Iranian-American architect, author, humanitarian, teacher, and innovator of the Geltaftan Earth-and-Fire system known as Ceramic Houses, and of the Superadobe construction system. Khalili received his philosophy and architectural education in Iran, Turkey, and the United States.

Medieval Ceilings: Different Kinds of Ceiling Finishes

Different Kinds of Ceiling Finishes

The Many DIfferent Ceiling Styles and Finishes

NEW - Use Whatprice to get quotes from painters and decorators
The Medieval age saw the rise of awe-inspiring Cathedrals that even with today's construction technology will be quite challenging to duplicate. The Medieval man had this quest of reaching out to the heavens as exemplified by the spires and vaulted ceilings of the Middle Ages. Frescoes, executed by great artists of those times like Michelangelo, were commissioned by the church to further give emphasis to "looking up and reaching out" to heaven. 

Today, the market is flooded with different ceiling finishing materials. There is no need for a "Michelangelo" to do your ceiling "frescoes" as you can readily buy a roll of decorative sheet and glue the sheet yourself on the ceilings. However, the great ceiling styles of the past are still being employed up to now. Though most homes have flat ceilings to conform to the generic construction materials available in the market, there are buildings that depart from the norm for aesthetics or structural functions.

Basic Ceiling Styles

Architects strive to give their clients unique, functional and aesthetically pleasing designs. The ceiling is one great feature to do details on as its wide expanse draws one's attention to it. There are different ceiling styles that were used and still being used today. Modern construction technology no longer requires decades to construct magnificent ceilings.
  • Conventional ceiling - It is usually 2.40 metres high to fit standard construction material. The finishing is usually drywall or plaster.
  • Suspended ceiling - It is also a type of conventional ceiling. The difference is that a suspended ceiling is flat ceiling built under an existing ceiling.
  • Cathedral ceiling - As the name implies, this is a sloping ceiling attached to the trusses of the roof up to the ridge.
  • Shed ceiling - This type is similar to a cathedral ceiling but only one side is sloped. However the rise of the ceiling is not as steep as the cathedral type.
  • Vaulted ceiling - This type has an angle or arch that starts from the top of walls or columns to the ceiling for a dramatic, high and spacious feel.
  • Tray ceilings- This type aims to resemble an upside down tray. The centre is flat with side sloping from the walls.
  • Cove ceiling - This type is actually a flat ceiling that has rounded corners joining the ceiling and the wall.

Different Ceiling Finishes

Just like the walls of a house, the ceiling has to be decorated or "finished" to some extent. A building's ceiling is in direct proportion to its floor that is why special consideration should be attributed to a ceiling's finishing too.
Plaster - Plastering is probably the "oldest" form of finishing there is known to modern construction. Even the great Cathedrals centuries ago used plaster for their interior finishing. Plastering has evolved over the centuries. There are now various techniques to make your plaster finish more interesting.
    o Plain Plaster -This is plain cement plastering that could be used as base for other types of ceiling finishing.
    o Sand face plastering - A cement mortar with a 1:4 cement and coarse sand ratio is applied. After a week, the second coat is applied this time in a 1:3 ratio. The result is a plaster finish that has a sandy look and feel.
    o Rough Cast Plaster - The plaster is a mix of sand and gravel splattered on wet cement plaster. The finishing has a rustic feel.
    o Pebbled Dash Plaster - It is the same as rough cast plaster but 6mm pebbles are used instead.
Drywall - Is the term applied to a method of construction using gypsum boards. These are panels made of gypsum plaster that is pressed between thick sheets of paper then kiln dried. This method of construction and material is easier and faster to install that plastering. There are different types of drywall materials available in any home depot. There is the regular white board from ¼' to ¾' thick. Some subtypes that came out in the last two decades are: fire-resistant boards; blueboard; greenboard; cement board; soundboard or acoustical board; soundproof drywall; mould-resistant boards; foil-backed drywall; ceiling boards that are stiffer than the regular ½" boards and of course the environboard, which is needless to say is made of recycled materials.
There are drywall ceiling finishing that can add interest to a flat drywall ceiling. Some of these textures are now being used extensively in modern structures as they are cost-effective and simple to
apply to a point.

Read more: The Different Styles and Finishes of Ceilings

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Angel That Stands By Me: Minnie Evans' Paintings

The Angel That Stands By Me: Minnie Evans' Paintings,71,71

Minnie Evans Paintings & Sculpture Garden

The Angel That Stands By Me: Minnie Evans' Paintings,71

The life and work of visionary artist Minnie Evans, born in Long Creek, North Carolina (outside of Wilmington) in 1892 was commemorated with the Minnie Evans Sculpture Garden and Bottle Chapel at Airlie Gardens, dedicated in 2004.

In this video, Wilmington painter and illustrator Virginia Wright-Frierson, who designed the garden gives of tour that includes the contributions of Wilmington artists Hiroshi Sueyoshi, Dumay Gorham, Karen Crouch, Michael Van Hout and Brooks Koff whose works are seen throughout the garden..

Bottle Chapel, Airlie Gardens

Building the Bottle Chapel

The making of the Minnie Evans Bottle Chapel at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, N.C. The Bottle Chapel contains over 4000 glass bottles, and was built by Wilmington artist Virginia Wright-Frierson during 2003-2004.

For more on the work of Virginia Wright-Frierson, visit her webpage:

Virginia Wright-Frierson - Bottle Chapel


In 2003, the artist won a competition to create a memorial garden to honor the outsider artist Minnie Evans at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina, the garden where Evans worked as a gatekeeper for 40 years. Virginia Wright-Frierson selected and managed a team of seven artists, who each created their own sculptures. The year-long construction of the project was supported by grants and the help of many volunteers.

Wright-Frierson’s work is a bottle chapel made of various colored bottles set in mortar over rebar and treated wood posts to form a 7-sided chapel, measuring 17 feet high and 17 feet across in all directions. The chapel is lit at night, giving the effect of huge stained glass windows.

Artist's statement: Virginia Wright-Frierson

Friday, July 20, 2012

McElroy Metal Roofs with Solar Panels


McElroy Metal Solar Solutions combine metal roofing with crystalline and thin-film solar technologies. The end-result is a functional and environmentally friendly roof system that generates renewable, clean, green energy.


The use of metal roofing is rapidly expanding in construction due to its many green attributes. Metal roofing by McElroy Metal…
  • Contains a high recycled content.
  • Can be recycled after its service life- typically decades after installation.
  • Is highly reflective and is Energy Star rated, resulting in lower utility bills.
  • Is an excellent host substrate for crystalline and thin-film solar panel systems.

Kyocera® Crystalline Panels

Kyocera panels are manufactured with highly efficient crystalline silicon. Panels are attached to McElroy Metal standing seam products utilizing S-5! clamps. The main advantage of Kyocera solar panels is greater efficiency and power generation. While crystalline panels will add more weight to your building, the panels will generate twice as much electricity per square foot compared to thin film technology. When you want to get as much power as possible, the Kyocera panels are your best choice.

Uni-Solar® Thin Film Panels

Uni-Solar panels are applied directly to select McElroy Metal standing seam products, such as Medallion-Lok. Because the solar panels are attached directly to the roofing material, this technology is referred to as Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV). Some of the advantages of Uni-Solar panels include light weight, aesthetics, and the ability to generate power under cloudy conditions. Uni-Solar panels can be factory or job-site applied.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

No Cash Stained Glass- Tiny Yellow House


Published on Jul 2, 2012 by
In this episode of Tiny Yellow House (TYH), Deek shows you how to turn a cheap piece of plastic dishware into a stained glass window. It's a simple way to add light, while maintaining a modicum of privacy. He teaches you everything you need to know to add one to the shanty of your choice.



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Glass Office on Forest Floor

Selgas Cano’s Incredible Glass Office Gives Employees a Bug’s Eye View of the Forest Floor
by , 08/26/11

The office takes the form of an aerodynamic tube, with a long window on one wall that extends into part of the ceiling. Acting as both a window and a skylight, the glass wall floods the office with light, eliminating the need for artificial lighting during the day. The window is lined with the employee’s desks, giving them an eye-level view of the forest floor. Falling leaves, animals, and wildlife pass by, creating a shifting forest landscape that changes throughout the day. Employees can also look up into the tree boughs and sky through the curved part of the glass casing.
Half of the building is submerged into the earth, which provides an excellent degree of insulation. During Madrid’s hot summers, the building keep Selgas Cano’s employees cool naturally, with little need for air conditioning. A stone staircase leads down into the office, which has sturdy lower walls of brick. Shared desks line the bunker, which glows with spherical lanterns and desk lamps when illuminated at night.
The extraordinary office has been met with mixed reviews, but we find the unique proximity to nature to be both cozy and inspiring! The innovative office was beautifully photographed by Iwan Baan.
+ Selgas Cano
Photos © Iwan Baan