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Shipping Container Housing

01/16/2010 12:05 PM

I have a civil engineer friend whoose dream it is to design and build shipping container housing for general use and for emergency use, like an instant city for Haiti. Im trying to motivate him to live his dream, so what does everyone think about container housing?

spacecannon

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Anonymous Poster
#1

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/16/2010 12:10 PM

I say - why not?

Though it is nothing new or innovative - one website for example:

http://www.shipping-container-housing.com/index.html

So he will probably not get rich, but it would be a noble endeavour for humanitarian purposes.

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#2

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/16/2010 1:11 PM

I say go for it.

I have sketched some ideas of emergency, moderate and, even shopping complexes.

I am impressed with their potential as housing, clinics, and the like.

They could even be secured and parachuted into disaster areas.

And used ones are cheap right now.

Kudos to your friend for a well meant endeavor.

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#3

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/16/2010 1:39 PM

There has been a fair amount of banter concerning the use of shipping containers as living spaces on the Forum of late.

They have been used and will be used for that purpose, though I think it is better to do something different.

It's probably been 30 years now since I had a meeting with an ITT executive and pitched the creation of folding modular living and work spaces that would fit into cargo aircraft for ready deployment.

I heard later that this executive ridiculed me to others, including my brother for a good while afterwards.

While shipping containers have their obvious merits, and have been adapted as living and working spaces, they are built really for another purpose.

Moving them around using a variety of mechanisms, and even by what they were designed for, ships, represents significant disadvantages as far as emergencies and housing are concerned.

If you notice the response to the needs in Haiti is dependent on air transport, and while shelter is of course of concern, Haiti in general apparently has pretty good weather. The main needs in that situation appear to be really at point of crisis in time, not so much shelter, but food and water. This makes MREs, (Ready To Eat), and water purification mechanisms, or simply iodine tablets, and tents first items to throw on the plane, and deliver.

We see and hear as well that roads are not so great in that situation so throwing in a few motorcycles would probably be recommended.

But back to containers. They are not built to live in, they require ships and trains trucks and cranes to be moved.

I think it would be better to make purpose built designs that folded up, were prewired, and fit into common freighter aircraft, instead of attempting to adapt shipping containers to the purpose, especially if you want something workable for emergency situations.

In the end, as far as shelter is concerned, and emergency situations, the lowly old tent has significant advantages.

The disadvantages of tents are that they are right hard to lockup and leave so anybody with a knife can pretty much get in and take whatever may be stored inside.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/16/2010 5:21 PM

Transcendian,

I tend to agree with you. Shipping containers can be converted to living spaces, but it only makes sense if the containers are where you want them. It would not make sense to ship empty shipping containers to Haiti for the purpose of housing, but those which have already been delivered to Haiti could possibly be adapted to housing.

The idea of prefabricated, foldaway housing may have merit but in the case of Haiti, the units would need to be hurricane resistant, not easily achieved in such light structures.

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/16/2010 6:23 PM

Actually the threat of Hurricanes in relation to inshore mobile homes, which really are not much stronger than the shipping containers we have been discussing, is obviated by ground spikes and wire rope, by those that recognize the factors and forces involved.

Right on the shore, well, that means stilts, to allow for storm surge, and tides and winds.

In fact, while I do not prefer to live in a tent, I have.

In fact, during my life I have lived in a tent for more than recreation.

As well I have lived in "mobile homes" which are better than a tent.

On one hand it is unfortunate that I have had to sleep in ditches by the road, and other hand it is good that I have, since when I speak of some of these things, I pretty much know what I'm talking about.

Plainly I can say that due to nights, more than one, sleeping in ditches, in the cold, by the road, does inform my comments.

At one point in my life I lived in a bottom of the line Airstream in a place that was condemned for living. During that period everything I owned of any value at the nearest pawnshop, was stolen.

So I do sort of like a ridged structure with doors that will lock well.

During the events in New Orleans, FEMA rightly paid for Cruise ships to be docked and made available to those whose homes had been flooded, or swept away.

"Oh no, I don't want to go there, it's on the water!"

Sometimes I really am cruel enough to wonder at the stupidity of certain sets of people.

How to deal with it requires nothing less than the talents some have as beyond what any genus can summon.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/16/2010 8:05 PM

Well said Trans.

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#42
In reply to #6

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/19/2010 12:46 AM

"which really are not much stronger than the shipping containers"

Actually shipping containers are significantly stronger I think.

I saw on the news, a call for thousands of tents to be set up.. but if the Haitians are left to rebuild on their own, there will be shantytowns grow... and Shipping containers will be better structures to live in than shantytowns... like had south africa in apartheid times... I hope it doesn't happen.

Chris

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#228
In reply to #6

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/27/2010 4:41 PM

I don't know what others are talking about in the way of shipping containers, but the one I have for temporary storage is MUCH stronger than ANY mobile home and MUCH stronger than all but VERY few houses. If tied down adequately, which mine is not yet, I would choose my shipping container for protection from a tornado over any thing but a tornado shelter. Hurricanes not a factor where I live.

The problem I see with shipping containers is contamination from previous use. Mine has a chemical smell to it, and even though I am not the worrying kind, I don't think spending a lot of time in one is a good idea. (I am sure there are ways of 'de-toxing' it, but for what I am using it, I am never in it for more than a few minutes, so I don't worry about it.)

As for needing a crane to place it, there are simple self loading trailers that can pick them up and place them without other equipment needed. -- JHF

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#231
In reply to #228

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/27/2010 5:26 PM

This particular thread is fairly voluminous.

Interior contamination has been discussed in the course of it.

I believe it is important to understand what insecticides may have been applied to the flooring, for it has been mentioned that the floors may well contain chemicals and poisons intended to cut down on bugs.

Converters of these shipping containers have some maturity of knowledge concerning the issues you have raised.

In this case we are fortunate that this is not necessarily at all out of the blue, and all new.

The methods for movement have also been proffered and posted to the thread.

It would probably be a good idea at some point to condense the thread to its most salient posts, but that work is not my forte, or proper even for me to presume to do.

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#247
In reply to #231

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/28/2010 1:05 AM

Not all containers have wooden floors many are steel floors.

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#260
In reply to #231

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/28/2010 5:07 PM

I interpreted the OP to mean that existing containers be used as is. i.e. diverting a ship in transit with empty containers to the affected area and unloading containers as is, then adding a "kit" that could be locally installed by semi-skilled workers.

I was also questioning the comments about the strength of a container. Having moved mobile homes and lived in them and worked on them I was just saying there is no comparison of any mobile home to a cargo container as to Resistance to wind blown debris. Comments such as "not much stronger than a mobile home" show a total lack of knowledge of both cargo containers and mobile homes.

Over all, I think making housing units out of cargo containers, if done, as you say by knowledgeable people, is a good idea for mid term to long term use, especially if they could easily be incorporated into an axpanded structure and not look like a cargo container that has been added onto. -- JHF

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#261
In reply to #260

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/28/2010 7:49 PM

Actually when spacecannon kicked the whole thing off he said he was looking to encourage a friend of his. His friend was interested in making homes from shipping containers. Turns out it has been done, and is a fairly mature industry.

Even my favorite concept of fold ups has been done, and these productions are available to some extent.

Even folding composite made shipping containers are now on the market.

Really about all that isn't being done that I know of, is that the Haitian Government is having the roads all cleared, rubble bulldozed flat, and they and the UN are working to quickly put in place strong housing, such as shipping container conversions represent.

I think one poster, maybe bwire said, what we can really expect is just more shantytowns as were built and rebuilt after every other disaster.

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#262
In reply to #261

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/28/2010 9:39 PM

It would be ideal to relocate the people outside of the previous city limit, away from the destruction and lay in a new infrastructure. Use the energies available to build anew then attend to the rubble.

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#263
In reply to #262

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/28/2010 10:06 PM

I see the logic of what you are saying bwire, but I'd simply have to be there to really know how realistic your thought might be.

At this point I would say we on the thread are lacking certain bits of information.

I feel I am at least.

Both Chicago, New York, and San Francisco in the US have been destroyed by fire, and or both quake & fire. NYC twice burned.

Truthfully I'd have to check back on historical precedents and the movements of the people for insights.

One factor that leaps is how dependent the people are on the port, and how far from it they will move in relation to its importance to their day to day needs.

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#264
In reply to #262

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/28/2010 10:54 PM

This is not unprecedented in Latin America- the original Panama City was moved several miles west to a more defensible position after being destroyed during an attack by the Pirate Morgan in 1673. The original capital of Costa Rica (Cartago) was abandoned after an earthquake in 1823 for a new capital, San Jose. Actually, not abandoned completely, as it is still a small town, but subject to earthquakes and, in 1963, a volcanic eruption...

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#272
In reply to #264

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 12:20 PM

With a map of what was working, and what wasn't we could probably come up with a good plan. Possibly put some at the airport that is working, and some at the port, and run a road to the next best place with clean water and power, and work from there.

Captain Moosie says he has attempted to get through to US government forces, and I've tried to get through to Haitians at the UN.

I've also suggested that some of the companies making these shipping container homes, ask their clients if they would be interested in sponsoring some.

Reporters I've written to have not answered. I reported I was disturbed that the Haitian Mission referred me to the Red Cross and Unicef.

I encourage others to call or write whomever they can think of, or call or write those who I have already tried to contact, as sometimes numbers pushing for one thing in one place are taken into account when one voice is ignored.

212-370-4840 Haiti Mission to the UN.

212-963-1234 Main number of the UN.

202-887-9040 UN Foundation.

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#279
In reply to #272

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 3:15 PM

Dear Trans, and others:

I don't know where you're getting your information from Trans, but I have never stated in this Blog the following:

"Captain Moosie says he has attempted to get through to US government forces, and I've tried to get through to Haitians at the UN."

You are mistaken dear Sir, and it isn't the first time I've had to come out and say so in the Blog. It's high-time to get your facts straight......like the statement you made the other day that I have lived in Haiti, which in fact is a erroneous statement on your part.....I don't know how having been on the Island of Grenada equates with living in Haiti. THE FACTS DEAR SIR: I participated in the US invasion of the Island of Grenada on October 25th, 1983 during Operation Urgent Fury. During that Op, I served as a Platoon Leader (2nd Lt.) with C Company/2nd Battalion/75th Ranger Regiment. We were tasked that morning to jump (parachute to you civies) onto the designated LZ on the Pt. Salines Airfield that had been undergoing construction and defended by the Cuban military, both Regular Army and reserve guard. this is the second time I've had to post this information in the the blog to set certain statements about me straight.

To correct another piece of bad info: I haven't contacted anyone in the US Armed Forces about anything in this blog. Another erroneous statement.

I regards to my efforts to contact elected US officials: I have in fact received a reply and thank you email several days ago from President Obama's staff for my email letter regarding the proposed use of steel shipping containers for long term housing. Also, within that letter I directed the President's attention to the blog that preceded this one where I first proposed the use of the containers on Jan. 15th. Sorry that I didn't copy and paste it herein....MY BAD I suppose for not sharing it with the masses.

And as far as receiving responses from other elected officials that I've written to, all I have to say is that I have not received any acknowledgement from either one of them. No doubt they were quite busy this past week due to the President's "State of the Union Address". I haven't the time to go chasing potential contacts to further this blog. Hey, we have you to do that Broski since you're so good at it! Keep up the great work! We all applaud your fine efforts!

OTHER MATTERS:

Okay, enough is enough about the attacking my character guys: I do not feel I have to prove anything to you or anyone else about my activities herein to promote the use the shipping containers......that goes ditto for bragging rights about who and how many people and agencies I have contact the past 2 weeks. Obviously to you I haven't done enough in the blog? No, I've been too busy trying to guide this blog along (with everyone else....have you ever been in a rowboat with 2 other people rowing madly away as well as yourself? See what I mean?) on a realistic tone, but trying to put out fires, by trying to point out that some ideas presented herein weren't feasible for many obvious reasons, plus trying to shoot down some of the wild pie in the sky ideas whilst trying to keep a whole bunch of ya grounded. On top of that I have kept reminding people to stay on track and keep their ideas and formulations FACTUAL. But hey, I'm not God and can't do everything in the blog to do what I can to save the Haitians.

Also. I've already provided in one of my postings to the blog a feasible schedule regarding LOGISTICS. The US Army is doing exactly what I wrote about over a week ago regarding logistical ops. I haven't been too far of base from what I've seen and heard....helps to have Shortwave radio too in addition to standard Sat HDTV and old fashion Sat TV access.......

No, on top of all of the previous and more goings on I have provided to the blog, I do have to run my Consulting Engineering business, take care of clients throughout the day and after hours, delegate authority with my staff as well as check their work progress, and then there are the project deadlines, do billings, write Engineering Reports, write proposals, and conduct design and analysis calculations and conduct computer analysis modelings.

Then, there's my personal and family life to contend with that sometimes punctuates my business time, then I have my commitments at home to my wife and kids. And I haven't even begun to discuss my friends and social life.....

Then there's the dealing with the Solar PV Contractor installing the modules on my house roof the past 2 days who constantly punctuates by work time, then home time later, with a few boxes of questions.

Get 'er done!!!!!!!

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#281
In reply to #279

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 3:31 PM

you've gone off yer meds dude.

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#283
In reply to #281

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 4:08 PM

And Dear "Guest" posting comment #281: You're nothing but a chicken sh*t by registering anoymonuously.

Nope, no meds needed as I'm an all natural kinda guy dude....hells bells, I even roll my own smokes for that matter......and them smokes ain't no Mary Jane either bro.

Do me a favor and get lost "guest".....and please have a crummy gray cloudy freakin' day for all I care...... Really tired of a'holes like you!

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#282
In reply to #279

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 3:53 PM

Thanks for filling the billet in your prior role I'm sure we all owe you respect.

Just before reading your post I was thinking about the direction the thread was heading or vein of comments. Seems one may overlook the fact those on the ground are as busy as long tailed cats in a room of rocking chairs. Though we all may have ideas which at some point maybe deemed helpful the efforts being made now are still in a supply strategy mode and much needs be met before any of these reconstruction ideas can be rendered useful.

The U.S. Army is fully capable in fulfilling the role of logistic support and security for the endeavors ongoing at Haiti. I believe the "Hope" hospital ship is on location and the Billy Graham hospital aircraft and many other church rescue teams whom are experienced from working in devastated areas around the globe and interfacing with other agencies combining to put forth a concerted effort.

If I have in some way troubled you I assure it were no intention.

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#284
In reply to #279

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 4:09 PM

Figured your corrections to my mistake were enough.

Thought your attempts towards the US Gov were intended to influence the military there.

While I may well have been mistaken and confused your contributions to national security I don't think anyone has been attacking your character.

In fact seems the opposite, even if mistaken.

Simply asked if you wanted any back up for the directions you've moved in.

Sure enough we all have lives in front of us to deal with. Sorry that you feel anyone feels you haven't done your share in the time available.

If it makes you feel any better, I was able to line up some paying work for tomorrow, so won't be around.

c warner was making an observation about spacecannon's friend, I think, pretty sure.

Often enough we do see people reject ideas that they haven't thought of.

It had not likely crossed anybodies mind to report you to the Forum administrators.

I myself mentioned that the thread was unwieldy and in light of that have attempted to condense bits to those who showed up after they were drawn in due to the announcement.

If your work here is finished, that is okay, and you can move on.

Your corrections are noted, and contributions acknowledged.

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#850
In reply to #279

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/13/2010 3:42 AM

Hell, with a fuse as short as yours it's a damned wonder they let you pack anything deadlier than a box of Kleenex.

[Different Guest]

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#855
In reply to #279

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/13/2010 10:24 AM

I re-read it too. Sounded like a lot of 'chest puffin' to me. His words, not mine. He's not the only one on the planet who has to work. And at engineering as well. Jess' sayin' Stu

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#858
In reply to #279

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/13/2010 11:02 AM

CaptMoosie good reply off topic and Packrat lets keep on point.

Some of us have served and been in dangerous awkward scenarios we would not wise on our friends, but have been ordered too by the Higher ups.

Remember the majority of the postings from everyone has bought an incredible awareness outside the community of the skills/knowledge we all bring to this enormous number of postings.

I feel everyone, no matter what some postings have said, have as an idea. Are all part of the ongoing puzzle solving, that seems to be coming together. With many outsiders now are considering as good concepts/ideas for the use of shipping containers.

Whereas some Government agencies we contacted felt was "unproven technology"....so we have affected the Bureuacratic mind set, to thinking outside the BOX. As they are now viewing and reaching out.

Thats why the Haitian Government reached out to a group of people, we have been in contact with...for help in using the shipping containers right there in there own back yard.

So the CR4 commuinty has made a mark/impression, no matter what some people feel within the community...so lets offer some thanks and praise to each other for everyones ideas/concepts and incredible effort.

Geoff Daly NH

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#869
In reply to #279

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/13/2010 12:44 PM

The thread has done it's job & raised awareness.

As johnnyE & others have pointed out there are far too many posts for anyone outside the CR4 community to read

I've started some new discussions:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/50522/How-to-Install-Anchor-Shipping-Container-Housing

Doors windows & other openings discussion

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/50523

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/50525/Drainage-Sanitation-Other-Issues-Related-to-Shipping-Container-Housing

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#870
In reply to #869

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/13/2010 12:52 PM

Good idea, Garthh. I will try to post "summaries" of what has been said so far on the original. Might be a good idea to add one about potable water, as well...

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#872
In reply to #869

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/13/2010 12:59 PM

CW

I can't I guess 3 is the limit of new threads one can start

You (or someone else on the same network) has done this operation too many times.
You will have to try again tomorrow.
Sorry for the inconvenience.

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#873
In reply to #872

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/13/2010 1:10 PM

I suggest starting a blog (which you may be leery of)... and then all the subthreads can be organized. ie:

  1. Emergency Response Discussion
    • Water Purification
    • Shelter System
    • Power Systems
    • Sanitation Systems

etc.

Chris

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#880
In reply to #873

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/13/2010 5:11 PM

I have no problem with a blog, but I don't think we have that much that is unique to say

As you continue to link to there is a wealth of technical knowledge already available.

We [Russell & Geoff] put the bug in the right ears at the right time, the weather helped. Being able to say an international group of engineers think the use of shipping containers as housing helped.

The Haitians are more than able to decide for themselves how exactly to utilize the resource of shipping containers.

Getting a few miles of cable & 1000's of Uclamps for anchoring donated would help.

Getting some moving equipment donated would help.

We [CR4] are not by nature a political organization.

USAID is going to handle the logistics as they see fit, should there be some glaring faux pas we could offer advice.

We should give them a day or so to see if they have a handle on the situation.

All that being said I'm still more than willing to lend more of my efforts...

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#888
In reply to #869

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/13/2010 11:43 PM
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#890
In reply to #869

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/14/2010 12:36 AM

I filed to your new blog threads to see what might happen.

I looked for the card that all my first set of digital photos were put on, the one with the pictures of a great ditch I dug, but it seems to have disappeared.

I'm very upset about this loss.

Just today I was telling a young photographer that it is best to never think you will make more than one print of a photograph, and you might as well throw the negatives away.

I get home and look for a card, I put in an envelope, and put a label on, and put in my important desk drawer, and there was a picture of a ditch on it, and I wanted it, and its gone...

Where? Where?

This sort of thing happens to me over and over.

It drives me nuts.

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#265
In reply to #261

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 3:01 AM

GA's to Circuit, Bwire and Trans

I did start this to encourage a friends dream, I knew how much was going on in the world regarding shipping container to housing construction, he didn't, when he first mentioned this to me a couple years ago he didn't know about everyone elses progress in the field, and after he visited our forum hear, he actually became disappointed and may not pursue the idea, you can lead an engineer to paper, but you can't make him think...

He and others think Im crazy for the dreams I follow, but sometimes they lead to the end of the rainbow. The real regrets in life come from the things you didn't do.

Spacecannon

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#267
In reply to #265

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 3:48 AM

Hi Spacey, I must proffer my congrats on your opening up this discussion. The very reason you did deserves accolade itself, and the outcome was/ is great. Not enough folks know to use this gigantic resource, and thereby add to the reduction in waste ( double neg. Owzat?). My Company leads the world in using recycled shipping containers for our structures. Sorry I can't show you just yet. We're trying for patents. That said, it's been a real pleasure to read the feedback. And what about old Chris. He must have nothing else to do. What renderings? Better that good. Anyway 'till next time good luck and more power to you. 'You did great". I'd love to be involved in setting up a city of recycled container housing. We all know it can be trendy as well as practical. Just hoping that someone in 'power', with some kind of imagination and drive has read some of the blog. It just may galvanise the forces into action. Never know, it may start a trend and then put the price of the units beyond us, so then we'll have to reinvent our stuff. The ONE way it'll get some action will be for someone to develop how they could make a motza of dough out of it. THEN it'll become universal. Cheers for now, Stu.

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#268
In reply to #267

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 9:14 AM

Hey Stueywright and Others:

I just wanted to point out that I first proposed the idea of using empty steel shipping containers for use as long term shelters on Haiti back on January 15th within another Blog entitled:

"Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster" in posting #22 long before this blog started to roll......

Just want credit where credit is due since because of that posting plus I have experience with the use of these containers in the USACE many moons ago..........just setting the record straight as I have been a very active contributor throughout both blogs. In fact I was most likely the first to write to the President and NYS Congressional Senators, and in fact challenged the members in the CR4 Forum to do the same or contact other powers that be......

Have a great sunny day folks!

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#273
In reply to #268

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 12:49 PM

You have provided a great deal of traction and foresight to this effort, of course. That is evident. An excellent example to all.

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#275
In reply to #273

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 1:36 PM

Hello Chrisq288,

Thank you for your comments and support.

You too, have been a great facilitator within this Blog by offering many foresighted and innovative ideas and concepts. My hat is off to you dear Sir!

Signed,

CaptMoosie

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#274
In reply to #268

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 1:28 PM

Dear Captain, This is of course true and recognized. How so far have your forays turned out? Any numbers or addresses you want share with us for back up?

My own attempts have been directed towards the Haiti Mission to the UN, the UN Foundation, and two of the companies mentioned in the thread.

So far today I've written an email to an old contact at NPR in Washington, asking for a redirect towards someone there that might pick up the story.

I liked the Clemson U. concepts, googled Clemson and wrote a note to Lansford Bell there asking simply at what stage they were with their shipping container designs.

Talked with a guy at Infratech a couple of days ago.

Christian Lopez of Latino Housing Development wrote to say they were trying to show off what they had made, and get some shipped.

I need to make my phone calls count, and keep them to a minimum in light of my own resources.

If any of you on the thread are good French speakers, you're likely to do better with the Haitians themselves than I seemed able.

Heard of a text message info sharing system under the title Solutions being operated by some Haitians for coordination of efforts, so anyone here with a working cell phone good with that might make some attempts for info inputs and exchanges through that. I myself currently have no cellphone.

It would be good to know whom to contact on the ground in Haiti, should we discover that there are either teams of converters on the way, or discover whom is willing to send already converted shipping container homes.

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#285
In reply to #268

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 4:48 PM

No lack of credit to Spacey, but more credit to yourself. I don't have the time to read all of the blogs. I only joined this one because it caught my attention due to the reuse of containers. I was about to apologise for my ignorance of your personal ,earlier, post, when you waded in with your 'setting the record straight'. I didn't see any malice in any of the posts which have not recognised your efforts. I personally don't care if you own a country, or have jumped from the moon onto a dime piece. Military? A lot of us have done that. It's what's happening here that counts to me. I am sorry you didn't seem to get the kudos you required in this blog. I apologise purely on my behalf. You also did good. The guy who said that you're 'off your meds' is heading on the right track for the rest of it though. For my part, thanks for the effort in attempting to motivate someone to do something with a modicum of commonsense in the realm of busted up Haiti. ( You'll find that the Haitians will do what the Haitians will do, no matter what the commonsense influence from the outside ) I live half a world away from the problem, and there is tyranny in distance. Besides, I work too. A lot of us will be frustrated as to the wastage, in every form, there in Haiti, after this disaster. I see a scenario: half a dozen or so of us from here, (CR4) given the authority, could have the place 'cookin' in a couple of weeks. Reason? I see most of us here as givers, not takers. Could rant forever, but won't. Cheers to all, Stu.

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#269
In reply to #265

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 9:23 AM

It is really tragic when someone abandons a good idea just because they find out they weren't the first to think of it...

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#270
In reply to #269

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 11:43 AM

Bullseye! After all the second mouse gets the cheese

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#286
In reply to #265

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 5:12 PM
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#582
In reply to #265

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/07/2010 5:10 PM

It ain't crazy spacecannon.

It's do-able, if you keep it simple.

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#271
In reply to #261

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/29/2010 12:18 PM

Transcendian, With all the discussion about cargo containers, I forgot to compliment you on fold-able mid to long term housing units purpose built for disaster recovery. I think with modern technology it is a very real, doable idea. The money FEMA spent on mobile homes was then wasted because they didn't meet local building and zoning codes. They were auctioned off not long ago, after sitting not too far from here for all these years. And, even though my brother hauled some to rural areas in S. Louisiana and Texas, his truck can't do Haiti! So yours is an excellent idea. A little legislative common sense would help, too! -- JHF

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#581
In reply to #260

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/07/2010 5:05 PM

JHF you are sSpot On

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#246
In reply to #228

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/28/2010 1:02 AM

Crane is to lift from ship deck to pier

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/16/2010 5:44 PM

GA Trans,

His dream is for emergency situations, mine is just for cheap housing.

Your point is totally logical and factual, so for emergencies I agree.

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#30
In reply to #3

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/18/2010 4:39 PM

As you say the weather at Haiti is fair an for immediacy tarpaulins, tents etc. are useful.

In regard to temporary or permanent housing we should develop a facility on location to produce from raw materials shipped in; who knows we may bequeath an industry to them befitting the work force at hand.

"If you want to bring fundamental change to people's lives and behavior, a change that will persist and influence others, you need to create a community around them where those new beliefs could be practiced, expressed and nurtured."

— Malcolm Gladwell, summarizing the beliefs of John Wesley.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 2002)

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#797
In reply to #3

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/11/2010 4:27 PM

Further to your idea of folding accomodation, it has already been fleshed out in the form of "hardshell" folding camper trailers. Just scale it up, do away with the trailerability and quick set-up/break down functions (to cheapen it up), and it is essentially already designed. Give them a pallet-style base, make them stackable, stack a bunch on a flatbed, as available, and deliver. Men with poles could unload them, litter-bearer style.

I find it hard to fathom people who are so insecure and void of imagination that they need to ridicule things they can't grasp. Especially things that have already been proven in only slightly different applications.

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#799
In reply to #797

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/11/2010 5:48 PM

Trans, Russel, is that you?

Wish you were here and we could share some, Ky.

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#800
In reply to #797

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/11/2010 6:03 PM

I don't think you are reading him correctly Russell. and we don't want namecalling in public here... take that offline if you must do it at all. We are hoping for more eyeballs from the world to come here, and such vehemence doesn't help the people of Haiti get their needs met.

As for unloading containers, I've seen a quickie wheelbarrow capable of carrying 100 lbs built out of 2x4's, a small bicycle wheel, and a small chunk of plywood.

Chris

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#803
In reply to #800

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/11/2010 7:02 PM

Come on Chris, I read him correctly and you know it.

People are dying and I don't feel its time to be sweet about it with anybody.

-Much less somebody that doesn't know that when you move heavy things you use an inclined plane, or a block and tackle, or a boom truck or a crane.

-Not to mention tractors and some chains.

Want some eyeballs, start a fight, that's all people want to see.

Early TV was based on boxing, and watching people beat each others brains out.

That's the reality.

Every day now more people die from the aftermath of the earthquake while others in power won't do more than think and feel that sending some dimes and abrogating the elections as they set up a puppet government intended to do nothing but push the Haitian people deeper into dependency, makes me sick and angry.

I really do have a record here and most everywhere else I've lived.

Around where I live, in my little town, one Councilman said, "Russell has great ideas, we're not going to do them."

The announcement is down.

Nobody is going to find this place.

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#805
In reply to #803

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/11/2010 7:34 PM

... but he wasn't talking about 'heavy things' or containers. He was talking about his idea for collapsible shelters based on campers, which in his mind were light enough to move 'litter bearer style'

Secondly, when he spoke of others with a lack of imagination, he was saying that in support of you and your idea.

As for 'sick and angry'... me too. but you feel bad because you care.. stick with that.

As for 'we aren't going to get seen'.. I disagree. I consider the best thing that I can do is to keep brainstorming... mental R&D, and then when the ideas are good enough, they will be born... in their own time. Great ideas have a magnetic quality to them, that attracts great people. The best thing to happen here is have our ideas stolen... you know they are valuable then. keep contributing till this goes 'viral'.

Chris

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#811
In reply to #805

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/11/2010 8:24 PM

Munky referred back to my post 3. That was before I had decided that shipping containers were the best option. That's why I went off.

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#807
In reply to #800

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/11/2010 7:52 PM

Chris I was very concerned earlier that distribution was a problem, in fact spent quite a lot of time designing clip-on wheel systems and tow frames.

Now, having looked a bit more at the images coming out, there are on-hand tip trucks and machinery floats as well as the machinery itself, excavators and dozer's.

Most sites look like they need to be machine cleared and/or leveled, so with a bit of timing you deliver to a dozer location, via tipper or the dozer's float (low loader) and tip or push or pull them off and doze into position.

As you need tie-downs - this could be manual digging or by excavator. Or - as some one said put weight on top - there seems to be a lot of broken concrete slabs about. I'm not a particular fan of loose things on top in terms of the next tremor - but improvisation is part of the necessity at times.

An excavator of the size shown in the shots and links, will easily lift and position a container. You can deliver containers to an excavator site by any means you like.

As I see it, it doesn't matter if the site is the lawn full of 'tents' or a collapsed urban street - they can be got there, off loaded and positioned and tied in place.

The main thing is how to get them to be secure living space. I believe the shade, ventilation and tie-down, is solved 'in principal' but needs some detailing.

Partial burial of the rear portion of a container on a slope, I think is worth a look. It is remarkably hard to get them out with any dirt having a grip (due to burial compaction).

For water - Natural slope means annexes can be grouped to a reservoir. Bamboo gives channel style plumbing options. I'm now thinking bagged semi buried 40 foot containers can be pseudo wells, and/or hand lift pumps can be fitted.

Similarly a buried or mostly buried container can serve as a latrine.

So picture a slope with as series of spaced containers, set across the fall line, the ground between built up with rubble topped with fines or soil, so the annex living space is raised above minor flooding by heavy rain. This build up also serves to lock the containers in place and further bury tie-down masses.

The annexes are supported by bamboo as appropriate and catchment of the series is drained into the mostly buried last container/ well.

At some position adjacent to the group is a latrine container.

Going off camping and caravan park practices frequency of latrines sets population density.

Sophistications in time;

Set a bagged 20 ft container above to provide a reticulated (filtered/treated) water supply.

Set the latrine system up as a methane digester - use the methane for pumping up water and for cooking. This will take time as a meaning full mass in the latrine container will take a fair while to acquire.

At the end of this - you should have a "new sustainable community picture" Oprah will grasp.

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#812
In reply to #807

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/11/2010 8:50 PM

Perhaps when we get this wonderful knowledge and insight compiled, we should have it translated to french, then both publish it to the web, and perhaps printed and shipped to Haiti, as a How-To...

Perhaps when we are done, for compilation purposes, if everyone has done their job , our GA list will serve as a reasonable compilation.

GA btw

Chris

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#815
In reply to #812

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/11/2010 9:51 PM

Chris-

The GA list misses a lot of good input, and there are a lot of good ideas buried in the OT's- I already tried sorting by GA's and it misses too much...

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#8

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/17/2010 7:58 AM

I've seen shipping containers used as site offices. You could live in one if you had to.

The best I saw was a refrigerated container - perfect for the 40C + conditions in the desert.

Another one was fitted with a shower and toilet facilities.

While the idea is feasible, transport is a problem because of their bulk, unless they could be broken down and reassembled. In that case, purpose designed shelters would be more suitable.

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#19
In reply to #8

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/18/2010 12:42 AM

While the idea is feasible, transport is a problem because of their bulk, unless they could be broken down and reassembled. In that case, purpose designed shelters would be more suitable.

Or

They could be used as containers to ship relief goods in....

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/18/2010 1:35 AM

bwire, thats a good idea, - ship a bunch of supplies in them and have them premodified for easy conversion to housing upon arrival. You and others have spoke of transportation difficulties but I don't see it, I own two of them and have moved them around short distances, 100', without much problem, lots of work by hand, but the military has cool little dollies that can be attached for moving longer distances. method of transport could even be folded and put in the container, I don't see transportation as a limiting factor, but efficientcy as the limiting factor as in... it might be better to only convert containers to housing when the container is already within a couple hundred miles. However if the containers were filled to the brim with suppiles first we could be killing two birds with one stone.

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#51
In reply to #20

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/19/2010 2:53 PM

Tell us a bit more about the dollies you mention that the military has for moving these containers please?

I was near about to suggest that Chrig288 figure how to put wheels on them, but reread your post.

Garthh had posted showing slant back trucks used to move them.

Even using that sort of system, I imagine being able to attach wheels to the containers with simple lever a simple lever lift system would speed movement along.

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#56
In reply to #51

Re: Shipping Container Housing

01/19/2010 7:08 PM

Trans,

military container dolly looks like this, one variation, it attaches to the tie down points at the corners and then jacks up by hydraulic ram, (hand or powered), then tow behind yer truck, this aprox configuration is street legal in europe, it needs to be made legal here, its simple and functional, there is another variant that will also stack them.

google shipping container dolly for further info.

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#961
In reply to #56

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 6:09 PM

Modular Chord-Wheel system. Alternate method of moving containers. (ancient egyptian method of moving stone blocks) The whole assembly is reasonably quick to install with locking pins. 6 men can move container.. and one or two as brake men. (orange chock block)

If it isn't obvious, each 'wheel' is comprised of four shaped pieces and four connectors.(yellow) The chords have a centering interface to each other which you can't see, kind of like tongue & groove, at the corners.

note groove in unit to accomodate rope or strap. A version could also be designed for moving over soft terrain, which has wider tread.

allows for relatively easy manual moving of containers.. instead of 100 men, you only need 6-10... and can wiggle to steer and position. Use lifting mattock to place bottom chords. Use ropes to make rolling easier.

Chords should be cast aluminum or some other very durable material. have recycled tires on wooden chords if nothing else. (laminated layers of plywood) ??

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#962
In reply to #961

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 7:12 PM

GA Chris

Were could these be ordered? Or is it just a brilliant CAD, as usual?

Love it, Ky.

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#963
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Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 7:51 PM

I think there is a factory in Picnic Bay...

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#964
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Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 7:55 PM
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#965
In reply to #961

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 7:59 PM

Not wild about this at all.

Needs too much space.

Clip on end wheels would be better.

That's even too complicated.

An axle and two wheels is three parts.

Make something a beat up car can drag.

Towbar chain, rope, axle wheels, skids, okay.

Gottah get the containers from the port to places inland.

Hardly any trucks, hardly any cars, people are tired and underfed.

Organization is lacking.

Nothing that is complicated is going to work.

Take up a collection and I'll go down there and see what really is possible.

I'd go to the port with a cutting torch and just deal with it best I could.

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#966
In reply to #965

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 8:17 PM

You know Trans - If you hooked those up to say a water wheel, given it is a fault region, so might have semi-precious stones - or just nice stones - you could start a lapidary industry.

Yin and Yang Trans

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#967
In reply to #965

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 8:24 PM

I know that a thing with wheels will be a good idea, obviously, but...

at a low level of technology, these can be built with wood, or torch/welder & parts from containers. you may not always have a beater car to pull with.

there are places where this will work where little wheel things won't. so don't refute it out of hand. Its just another technology in an array of possibilities.

Chris

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#968
In reply to #967

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 8:38 PM

In reality Chris - you probably be better of just using one in the center and fit a wide domed 'tyre' - think old broad leather belt pulley.

But I'd stay away from hills - and I don't fancy the 'brake-man' job.

How's the fort illustration coming along?

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#1004
In reply to #967

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 1:54 PM

Pallet trucks are more practical

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#1005
In reply to #1004

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 2:11 PM

sure... on level cement. on gravel or even rough pavement, the small wheels are a problem. in a rough field.. useless. What I propsed could allow a few people to push a container over a rough field. Practicality is dependent upon terrain. This system could also help get containers off boats, over docks (on rails would be even better), if no cranes are available. They can even get a container out of the water and up a rough beach. It all depends on what technology is available, and what the terrain is. As I said, this is just an option.

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#1006
In reply to #1005

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 3:31 PM

Yep,

How about using those highly contested torches to disassemble the rear suspension of fwd cars. Cut the axle tube off at each end and weld the wheel ends to a piece of angle, blow holes through the angle to allow u-bolts. Have containers set on piers or dig wells to allow assembly, set angles at each corner of a container, attach chain w/binder to each side and tighten with binder then tow away.

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#969
In reply to #965

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 9:01 PM

Are/were there any rail lines in Haiti?

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#970
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Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 9:11 PM
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#971
In reply to #965

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 10:02 PM

Trans,

there are over 500 trailer beds in and around the city area amd more tham 120 tugs/trucks for these trailers to go with as of today....9,650 containers (they offloaded according to Miami Herald approx 1285 plus 250 plus 875 and 240 made up by US Army/OCL/Mearsk and some unknowns since Jan 28th added to the 7,000+ already in and around the docks of the Capital). Chris and Kyzine's ideas are still workable for some movements no matter what...doing as we have encouraged think outside the box....yes do not want to be the brakeman on a hill!

Now here is a statement posted by the AP's reporter Paisley Dodds...."even Haiti's President Rene Preval is scared to sleep inside. He said he was staying with friends until he couls move to an earthquake-resistant sructure.Days after the quake he said he was considering sleeping in a tent".

What better endorsement for the use of a shipping container..... be built for the President NOW to show they are liviable and can be if enough money put into made quite luxurious and very earhquake/storm proof.

Geoff Daly NH

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#972
In reply to #971

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 10:50 PM

I am referring to the wheels on the lateral and not on the ends.

In other words what I was saying was if it looks like a truck, put wheels on it that make it work like a truck, don't put round things all over it that would only serve for pushing it into a grave.

Get Preval to build one and he might get elected again, oh no, he can't run!

Get him to buy an Infratech then.

Didn't he get any money?

Hear 10 million in donations is already missing.

When Stueywright came on board and said you can just drag containers around with tractors, it all came together.

Tractors seem not much in supply.

Trucks are short in supply.

It is amazing what a car can pull if what it is pulling has some wheels on it too.

A tow bar is a pipe with a chain run through it to keep one thing off the other when you brake.

I'm not really a redneck, but well, I know how to act like one.

Chris is a close friend of mine. He knows he can tell me if I'm wrong, and I can suggest he's on a tangent.

The containers are shaped like trailers, but they don't have wheels.

Weld some cleats on the bottoms and make some axled wheel that fit into the cleats, and drag 'em out the port and bring back the axle and the wheels, and do it again, and again and again...

Couple of bottle jacks and cribbing would help.

Have your General friends give me a call. Tell Preval to buy a Infratech Conversion from Exxon, or BP, to use for the remainder of his term. Hey the election is canceled due to the Earthquake!

Ban Ki Moon put Clinton an Bush in charge.

Last I knew Clinton was in the Hospital, and God knows Bush is still fighting a drug war, or something...

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#976
In reply to #972

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/16/2010 11:41 PM

When Sean Penn was on Larry King Live last night, they showed him working with the 82nd Airborne, and the images showed a lineup of Hummers, which I'm sure would be more than capable of pulling an empty container. If there were any kind of dolly such as what Spacecannon showed, then it would be easy.

Chris

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#979
In reply to #976

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 12:46 AM

Trans,

Go to www.cdkmobile.com and see one portable system.....$88,000.00 10 weeks delivery.

Lets use whats in the docks now and some ingenuity.

Geoff Daly NH

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#980
In reply to #979

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 1:26 AM

speaking of docks.. if they are required, shipping containers could be used.

Those water bladders that were shown previously, or other inflatable bladder designed to fit inside a container. Blow them up, lash them together X wide by Y long.. out into the bay. done.

Chris

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#982
In reply to #980

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 1:56 AM

Two point on this;

Geoff note this as well;

The bladders linked to are not "full container volume" - we want a 'full volume liner" - not 'permitted liquid gross weight' ~1/2 vol. Or an inflated to reach volume liner.

For Chris;

You need to ballast the containers for stability and the bags are last to float so you won't have much free board - check out Mulberry harbour note the shape and weight

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#986
In reply to #982

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 2:12 AM

Kyz,

just use two per vessel.

Stu

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#987
In reply to #982

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 2:24 AM

Kyz,

doesn't matter a hoot what shape this thing is.

Weld 'em together side-by-side until calc. stability is achieved.

Not enough vessels available? 'Tee-square' the thing for roll stiffness (with a welder of course).

Not knowing the exact mass of the bladders, nor the actual 'fill' of the buoyancy in each, estimations are in the order of 45-50% submersion, as an individual entity.

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#988
In reply to #982

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 3:51 AM

"You need to ballast the containers for stability"

The 40' containers weight ~8350 lbs each and if you have a bladder weight of 500 lbs, the average density of a 40' container is 3.265 lbs/cuft (vol 2720 cuft) compared to a water density of 62.40 lbs/cuft of water.. so it will ride high. But, when they are all tied together, then the aspect ratio of width to height assures 'group' stability.

If the water bladders are used, and when pressurized, fill 75% of the vertical height of the container, and as you point out, ride high inside, then the bottom 25% of the containers could have water in them, increasing the average density of the containers, and lowering them in the waterline. I agree with Stuey, that they would be stable enough depending on what they are required to carry.... according to my calcs... I dunno. a test can be performed with a single unit.

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#989
In reply to #988

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 6:56 AM

What assures stability is the change in displacement with roll.

They will simply roll on the bladder.

All you have is the pendulum component of the submerged steel - It will assume its natural stable position of - one corner up.

Hence - I said - needs to be ballasted.

Next; as one welded structure; it will break up in any swell.

As a tied together structure; gaps will open and close with each swell.

If you don't want folk's feet, legs, arms, bodies crushed, you need hinges, so you need 'reach' on hinges, or the bottoms collided and break the hinges. So you need covers/ bridges between the modules ...you need anti-slip surface.... you need multiple anchors......

SO so so.....

But why would you use perfectly good habitats for something someone else can buy/hire, or the military have in their kit?

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#995
In reply to #989

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 11:43 AM

Kyzine,

Seebees, have two LC's onsite now and are running up onto beaches.

I think what Chris is getting at if the docks are not fully reapairable and the Corp cannot bring in there floating hinged pontoon docks then someone needs to improvise...agree about stability in swells...but not very much tidal movement in Carribean (CW what do you see in Panama for tidal rise/fall?)

Could also place loads of used/discarded sealed 55 gallon drums and debris inside for floatation and ballast (got lots of concrete arond). Then tie together with steel hawsers and lap plates between....should be at least two containers wide for the lifting trucks to manouver.

Geoff Daly NH.

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#997
In reply to #995

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 11:53 AM

Geoff- Pacific side of Panama- 14-21 foot tides. 60 miles north, on the Caribbean side, less than 1 foot. OK, this is more than you asked for- just an interesting phenomenon...

I doubt that one sees much tide in Haiti- it is close to the center of the basin which determines the height of the tides...More like the Caribbean tides of Panama, no more than 1-3 feet. Also, the prevailing winds and currents when hurricanes aren't blowing should be out of the east- the bay should be pretty well protected from large swells. Not so on the northern side of the island, in Cap Haitian...

If this is really critical, there are web sites and programs that can actually calculate the tides for us...

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#999
In reply to #997

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/17/2010 12:50 PM

somebody mistakenly gave you an OT. I have given you a ga, and recommend more.

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#1125
In reply to #997

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/24/2010 3:58 PM

Charlie,

Interesting facts, and I can't help but wonder if there isn't an opportunity for a pipeline fed generator system? Tidal variations could be levelled by a storage pond at the generator (carribean) end of things.

the most important factor, that while it is cyclical per the tidal rhythm in nature, it is eternal and constant. It might not support large power requirements, but could eventually see a payback. it is not dependent on watersheds, rainfall, etc.

It will potentially increase the tidal difference if global warming does increase the ocean levels. A few inches increase in water level would be a massive increase in tidal levels, don't you think?

Chris

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#1126
In reply to #1125

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/24/2010 5:06 PM

Chris-

It is unlikely that Haiti has sufficient tidal variation to make energy generation viable- and rising sea levels will have no impact on the tidal range. It is the moon's gravity, and not the amount of water that determines the tidal range (although the size of the basin does have an effect).

On the other hand, there should be some pretty good currents around Haiti that might serve for in-stream generation that does not depend on the tides...

Of course, I am just guessing here- one needs to look at facts before drawing conclusions (my estimate of tidal range in Haiti is based on the tidal range on the Caribbean side of Panama).

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#1128
In reply to #1126

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/24/2010 5:24 PM

Charlie,

thanks for the quick response.. but I meant across Panama.. Pacific to Carribean pipeline type of thing.

Chris

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#1134
In reply to #1128

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/25/2010 7:52 PM
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#1129
In reply to #1126

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/25/2010 10:11 AM

Charlie,

NY has a series of in river hydro generators on the east river that have been quite sucessful, not sure how much power is being generated.

The area you are speaking of has quite good under current flows, but yes needs to be explored...so an off shore underwater current farm could be looked at as an alternative energy source feeding the communities using the shipping container shelters if thought out properly...make them moveable to differnt areas as required and run power cables on shore to a substation (portable).

Even regular wind turbines mounted on roof tops to supplement solar, look at Dr.Bill Weeks of U of Chicago's turbines...self regulating cannot over spin www.aerotecture.com

Geoff Daly NH

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#1130
In reply to #1129

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/25/2010 10:34 AM

Geoff-

One of my projects here in Panama is the develop0ment of ocean energy sources, so I am quite familiar with the East River installation in New York- they originally had problems with blades breaking, but have solved this...

The problem for Haiti is cost- these in-stream turbines are still pretty expensive.

With regards to wind- I can not see installing wind turbines, even self-regulating ones, in hurricane regions- even when they are't turning, they present significant resistance to the wind, and most likely any beefing up to withstand hurricane winds would have a significant negative impact on power output. For the most part, wind is turning in to an energy scam in much of the world- even Europe, where they have been strongly committed to wind, the developers appear more interested in scamming government subsidy programs than in creating energy...Wind is mostly greatly over-rated and (exce4pt in Spain) has been unable to meet the promises bandied about by the promoters.

On a small scale, or for emergency situations, solar is much better, but one still needs to address the storage issue before one can think in terms of general applicability. Reliable batteries are expensive, and generally have to be replaced every 4 years or so- IF they are properly maintained, and are installed in environmentally controlled rooms. This is where the real cost of solar lies- the panels are cheap. For the small home owner that wants to run a few lights and maybe a TV or boom box or computer or a small electric fan, solar is OK. Add a refrigerator, and the system gets way out sight price-wise. Don't even think about air conditioning.

Even with the high prices of diesel these days, it is still cheaper to generate with thermo-electric. If one has the available land and proper geography, conventional hydro is the cheapest- but expensive to install. Again, scale is critical- I recently did a small micro-hydro plant for a customer here in Panama at a remote site where he had no access to the grid- cost worked out to $3000 per kW capacity. Not something your typical Haitian is going to be able to afford...

Charlie

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#1132
In reply to #1130

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/25/2010 12:00 PM

I have wondered about ways to get Haitians to move away from charcoal to cook with.

Biodigestor Gas systems are possible. Somewhere in the thread is a link to one of those systems.

Some years ago now I looked at the simple solar reflector types of systems which would seem promising and suited to Haiti.

Garthh and I know a guy in India (Chandu) that makes a Solar Cooker.

As far as cheapest and most portable seems like the focused sunlight systems may offer best option.

Unfortunately Haiti does not seem to have any oil, or natural gas of its own. There is the further complication of seismic activity as far as gas pipes even if a large Landfill Gas system was to be installed.

It would appear that in the case of gas from biomass, or even human wastes, the Micro Infrastructure models are the way to go.

There are some really amazing solar cooking designs out there using polished metal, or mirrors.

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#1133
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Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/25/2010 1:10 PM

GA Trans!

A solar cooker that is inexpensive and made by the Haitians themselves!

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#1137
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Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/25/2010 10:30 PM

Trans,

Sorry to blow your hat, Haiti has large oil deposits off its coast but never developed when discovered, gas was only 35c per gallon and oil $12 / 42 gal barrel. There are not sufficient serviceable rigs for shallow water driling right now....all owned by Exxon, chevron, CITGO and Petrobras who have bought the rights and keep paying off who ever...still very hush hush about the NG there as well, is on the same strata veins as Venezuela.

Do you and Garthh have a direct contact with the Indian Solar oven/cooker guy? Also any deignes you know of we can offer the Haitians to build and go in the container shelter areas for communal cooking in the outdoor area?

Geoff Daly NH

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#1155
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Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/26/2010 4:59 PM

Garthh and I have direct contact info for Chandu.

There are many many designs for similar cooking from the Sun designs out there.

I once lived in a Commune.

Hence I have some insight into why clear ownership and responsibility for property matters.

As to Haiti and gas et al out in the oceans consider that they have no army, and their coast guard has about as much power as a couple of PT boats up against an armada.

I do not believe Haiti has NG, or oil, under their control, especially if it is out in the ocean.

Go right ahead and blow my hat, and tell me that Haiti has oil and gas, where it is, and who gets paid for it.

"Sorry to blow your hat." is the sort of phraseology that implies the reader is an ignorant dumbass worthy of insults.

Such ways of speaking do not recommend you as any sort of a front man or contact person for this work.

If you speak like this to USAID, USA, HAITI, the RED CROSS, or the UN, you may well satisfy your own private agenda, that has not a thing to do with getting anything done, and only serve to allow you to crow to yourself about what perfections exist within the limits of your eyesight.

Frankly and truthfully I am extremely offended that you think it appropriate to speak to me in the manner you have.

"Sorry to blow your hat."

"Sorry to blow your hat."

If you can piss me off, you can be damn sure you've got a talent for it, for normally you have to hit me in the head with a hammer, or near kill me with stupidity to get me to burn bridges.

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#1156
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Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/26/2010 6:27 PM

G'day Trans.

Would "raining on the party" or "being a wet blanket" have been more acceptable to your sensitive soul? The fact is that the natural reserves are not in the hands of the people and that is the important point here. You said that there were non and that was set straight.

They way you are reacting is really unasked for Trans. How about you take the hat that was blown off and just put it back on. Burning down bridges, come on Mate, just because your not happy with the drugs you have at hand at the moment? You are completely over reacting and have done so in the past. Spreading poison is not the way to go. You should have a close look at what you have just stated but give it a couple of days before you do so.

Get a hold of your self Trans, this borders on embarrassing, Ky.

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#1157
In reply to #1156

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/26/2010 7:14 PM

Dear Ky,

While I am a particularly sensitive soul, I do know serious business from egocentric posturing.

It is embarrassing that children continue to die in schools that fall over.

I'll make my own apologies as I see fit, and not brook insults from anyone that I do not judge warranted.

Next time some hundreds of thousands die on your doorstep, I'll be sure to be concerned about your party blankets, and pray rain will clear your head.

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#1144
In reply to #1132

Re: Shipping Container Housing

02/26/2010 6:41 AM

If Haiti is like Cairns, summer will have considerable periods where it is heavily overcast.

This would make solar cooking a bit iffy.

If really cheap, solar cookers could still be used for winter and most of the year, except mid summer. This would at least reduce the charcoal use.

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