BOB Grows UP.

23 Mar

A while back, I introduced you to “BOB.”

Now, I ain’t in the “DeNiro social circle,” and I’m not basking in the “Sundance glow” of Robert Redford

So, I must be talking about “Octagon Bob.”

You see… “Octagon Bob,” isn’t really even a “BOB.”

It’s more like a “place out in the piney woods” built out of 20′ High Cube ISBUs. Built around a central octagonal platform, each side being just slightly over 8′ long, it’s a high-speed cabin build, that provides a lot of versatility, and a lot of possibilities. Inexpensive “home-owner cast” concrete pilings hold the whole thing up off the ground.

Recently, I was contacted by a family that wants to build one of their very own, deep in the Arizona Mountains. And, they have the ability to gain some incredible views, from a second floor. So…

They wanted to know if “BOB” could grow up, and become a “ROBERT.”

The idea is to add another ISBU container to the first floor, creating an “airlock” entryway, and then add a  second level of ISBU’s over the first level, creating 2 more bedrooms and a “Children’s Area,” plus a space for the Nanny (who just happens to be “Grandma”) to live.

Here’s the idea that we’re playing around with:

The circles with the “P” in them just illustrate where the pilings that hold up the first floor (and the second floor, obviously) are located.  As you can see, there are several of them (18 – in fact), and those piling end up costing about $150 – $200 each, for materials. The labor will be supplied by “unsuspecting visiting relatives.”

The OCTAGON in the center will end up being 2 stories tall, to catch as much south sun as possible.

The “Children’s Loft ” will overlook the central core, so the parents can scream up at the kids, without having to climb a ladder, or get out of their chairs, in front of the fireplace.

Could you ask for anything more? 😉

Stay tuned, to watch this innovative and affordable ISBU home develop.

We are still trying to determine the future of “Renaissance Ronin.”

If enough readers will help to support it, and help it at least reach it’s operating  costs, we’ll continue. We’re not trying to make a living off this blog. We’re not even trying to make a profit.  We’re just trying to “keep going.”

If you can help, please do. There’s a Paypal button up on the top of the page. Any help you can offer will assist us.  Thanks,

The Tribe of Klein.


8 Responses to “BOB Grows UP.”

  1. Madrigorne March 24, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    I have been experimenting with Octobob (spiderbob?) myself.

    – and if you set the 2nd floor ISBU sections 10 feet
    (or 20 depending on the ISBU)
    out from the center, you get a nice balcony overlook on the central court all the way round
    – and you get covered patio sections on the ground floor.

    I love this design and I love the ISBU blocks.
    Make the court roof out of glass and you have one hell of a skylight.

    • renaissanceronin March 25, 2010 at 4:08 am #

      Hi Madrigorne,

      I like the way you’re thinking;

      Please allow me to make a few observations;

      Okay, the way I see OCTAGON BOB the “coolest” is to build the octagon center up two stories, to give yourself a big ceiling inside.

      Now, wrap that upper floor with windows on the southern exposures.

      In an upcoming post, I’ll explain exactly how to do that.

      It will create the are you need for a huge second floor loft.

      The problem with offsetting ANY ISBU container is that contrary to what you see in all the “hoidy toidy” arch blogs, the side rails (top and bottom) of the ISBU aren’t designed to have anything sitting on them…

      Like the weight of another ISBU full of stuff.

      You see them in the “architectural posterboards” all the time, but in reality, it just doesn’t work like that.

      You’d have to re-engineer the bottom container to carry that load up above it, and that can add considerable cost to your build.

      I would run decking between the “wings,” just essentially big trapezoids, the upper deck would cover the lower one.

      The roof overhang (soffit) would partially cover the upper one.

      No muss, no fuss…

      That’s how I’D do it…

      But, it does kill your cool view… Sorry. 😉


      • Madrigorne March 25, 2010 at 6:45 am #

        Hmm – I am confused (it’s not the first time – don’t be too concerned) – I thought you could off center stack them – will it crush the ends? Would posts supporting the overhanging end alleviate the stress enough to keep the design alive?

        • renaissanceronin March 25, 2010 at 8:10 am #

          See? I told you that inhaling PVC glue can be a real um…er… never mind. 🙂

          It’s not the ends of your ISBUs that will crush, it’s the “middles” where those “hardened corners” press on the side rails.

          ISBU Containers are designed to be stacked and connected “at the corners.” And those corners are indeed “tonka tough.”

          But the side rails are “soft” enough that they’d eventually bow, and maybe even collapse under severe circumstances, like an earthquake or heavy weather event. Those side rails are just there to “form the box” and hold up the corrugated steel siding.

          People will tell you that (just because they saw it on the Internet) they can cantilever ISBU’s all day long. In fact, it’s a good way to figure out if someone knows what they’re talking about. If a contractor tells you that he does it “without any extra engineering,” he’s an idiot and you should keep looking for someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

          I’ve actually seen this “failure” (or the results of it), MANY times.

          Some people just don’t believe you, until they really screw up, and then, it’s too late to do anything about it.

          You could still get that “cool cantilevered look,” by building support columns/posts inside your lower container, directly under the corners of your box, above it. Those new posts would carry the load to the foundation.

          And as long as you don’t try to cantilever too much of that box (no more than 8′-10′), you can just let it “fly free.”

          More than that, and you’ll actually be able to feel the floor move, as the ISBU “bounces” as you walk across it. Seriously.

          It’s “doable,” you just have to really think it through.

          • Madrigorne March 26, 2010 at 4:57 am #

            Gotcha. Have to put an interior frame inside the lower box where the corners of the box above rest – so it wont squish down on me. I have seen hollow aluminum porch posts that will support 5000 lbs – so one on each side with an overhead beam – all welded into the existing framework ought to handle the load, I would think… maybe I can even use that as a riser duct for cabling or plumbing or one for each on either side…

            • renaissanceronin March 26, 2010 at 7:11 am #

              Um… Nope.

              You can’t weld steel to aluminum. At least not cost effectively. The reason you can’t is because the two metals have extremely different melting temperatures. They won’t mix to form that “alloy” you need, to create a bond that has any strength. I’ve seen schemes that try to do it, but it’s just senseless if you ask me.

              If you can get them to “solder” together (using much lower temperatures), you can get a “bond,” but it isn’t strong enough to do anything with. Plus to make matters worse, bonding these two metals together creates a battery when an electrolyte is is present. This makes the metals corrode at a faster than normal rate.

              And that, my friends, is NOT good. Not good at all.

              Unless you’re a freakin’ physicist… just Use STEEL. I mean, I LOOK like Albert Einstein (I really do) but I ain’t him.

              Sheesh, I’m lucky if my synapses touch without a “jump start.” 🙂

              And remember, you have to reinforce the TOP container too, so that as that container above bounces, it doesn’t get bent in IT’S middle, by the LOWER corners.

              It’s called the “piledriver effect.”

              See? It gets complicated.

              IF you’re going to cantilever a container, on top of another one, you have to create a “framed seat” (frame connecting to frame) for each one, so that the strength is maintained, and then transferred all the way to the ground, and your foundation.

              I know it seems like a lot of work, but when you get into the middle of that first really big heavy weather event, you’ll be glad you did.

              Capish? 😉

              Just building a wood deck to hang off one end is getting better and better lookin’ all the time, huh? 🙂

  2. em-cut March 28, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    Seriously, wonderful job! Thank you for writing.


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