Friday, March 16, 2012

A Happy Container School in S. Africa

This fantastic school was designed by a 15yo and is located just outside of Cape Town for local children.

The expansive roof allows for ventilation and keeps the sun directly off the container itself.  Read more HERE, courtesy of Inhabitat.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Who Cuts up their Brand New Toys - We Do

Now that the shifting the containers back and forth millimeters is over (I hope) and they are bolted together, we were able to get inside and mark out where some of the cuts need to be in the container walls and START cutting.

Kyle started cutting first and it went pretty quickly. I did a few spots on this first panel but it didn't pop out quite as easily as I had anticipated. It definitely took a little pushing and shoving before it let go and gained its freedom.

The second wall we decided to do from the same side since we had everything set up, lights and we wouldn't need to cut through some big hooks that are integral at the top and bottom along the walls.

This probably wasn't the best idea as it was more difficult to cut the second wall and was tricky to get it to pop through the first hole. Lesson learned, cut each wall on its own side and don't try to cut corners (hehe). It was also pretty stinky in the enclosed space so we set up a fan at one end pushing out dirty air and small fan at the other pulling in fresh air. Made a huge difference while we were in there cutting.

We also weren't sure how big a panel to cut at each go. We wanted to minimize cuts to save time and energy (the plasma cutter uses A LOT of power) but also wanted to make sure we could handle the panels once they were free. 

Here is Kyle in a blaze of glory cutting through one of those big bolts, its a dramatic undertaking. In the containers there is a seam in the walls every 3-4 ft or so. We thought we would start with this dimension and if it was manageable we would cut bigger pieces next time. HaHaHa, that sized panel was more than enough, which sharp edges, heavier than expected and so unwieldy, we are sticking to this size and not going any bigger. 

Here is a shot of the first panels cut out on both sides. Its nice we can now walk through to the next container. This will be key when we move to the second floor where we can't jump over to the other one quite as easily as we can on the ground floor;-)

Thought I would just show Kyle's cool welding helmet. Its one of those that has a bright screen until the welding arc lights up at which time it automatically dims and then clears as soon as the arc is gone. And the flames are pretty wild.

And you can see inside it has settings for sensitivity to light which came in useful as the arc on the plasma cutter isn't as strong as when welding so it would only dim about 50% of the time so we reset it and it worked perfectly.

This week - cut, cut, cut, cut,cut, cut, get the picture.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Containers Aloft

Yep, its over, Crane Day is over. I can't believe how cool it was to watch them so easily get placed, it went so smoothly and was quiet.

It only took 3 hours to place all the containers and they all moved into place so easily with just a little tweaking here and there. The crane was amazing, its such a compact unit and moved effortlessly. 

The crane is all one piece and they drive it as is, it is really cool and Tom handles it effortlessly.

Kyle and our unbelievably fantastic neighbor, Rob, got up on the containers and set the rigging for attachment to the crane hook. The rigging consisted of large shackles that attached one to each corner and then slings attached the shackles to the crane hook. 

Check out the video below

The first container had to fit within the bolts in the foundation for the shear walls, it popped in perfectly snug.

The second container on the downstairs was a little trickier as it wanted to push out on the west side. It was amazing how easy, once these things were lifted in to the air, they were to maneuver. It only took a slight push or pull on the guide rope to spin them around and move them back and forth.

The second floor of containers was easier as we just had to line up the corners on the back and make sure the sides were in line. But of course there was still a good bit of nudging back and forth.

So Kyle has spent the week nudging them millimeters left or right and then bolting them into place until they can be welded. This weekend we will start laying out the interior and measuring and cutting the walls to come out.

Its fantastic to have vertical progress and technically a roof over our heads even if one roof is only temporary. It was a great day, Tom Anderson at Diamond Crane was fantastic to work with and we finished up faster than we anticipated. Also HUGE shout out to Rob, our neighbor for all his help. He was a life saver.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Monday is still the Day

Update on the Update:

Kyle's fun with graffiti on the containers - it really tells our crane guy - Tom, which container is which and which goes where tomorrow. Of course 3 of the 4 containers are facing the wrong way and will need to be spun when they are up in the air and both north containers are on the south side and the south containers on the north. Typical, huh.

We went through all the containers looking at their condition and any dents or bruises and determined which container should be go in each specific spot based on what walls are going to be removed.  We talked to Tom today and he is all set with the "big" rig and the cameras are staged and ready. 

Till tomorrow - over and out.

Quick update - the crane is due to arrive on site on Monday morning to start positioning the containers on the foundation.

We will be taking lots of pictures and some video that we will get online ASAP. I think we are going to try to rig the wildlife camera to take a picture every few minutes so we can splice together a timeline of them getting into position.

Can't wait!

Meanwhile, I made a container house page on Pinterest, there is a link of the right but you can also access it here. In the meantime I am researching....wait for it - TOILETS!!! Yeh, bet you can't WAIT for that post.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A New Home

WARNING - this post is not for the squeamish.

When we took down the roof of the old house to prepare it for moving we knew there were a few straggler bats that hadn't migrated south like most. We did find a few and they seemed to easily re-position themselves elsewhere during the demo.

But prior to removing the old house Kyle built the bats a lovely new bat house that we positioned facing south and it well anchored and very tall.

Low and behold we have our first resident of the bat house. Not sure when he moved in but I hope when his wussy friends return from the south that he passes along his address and some more move in. Its built to hold 70 bats.