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Modern Metal Adventure starts HERE!

6 Jun

It’s just madness, I tell you.

Everyone and their brother is starting their ISBU builds.

And that means that between emails, phones, messages and messenger, we’re getting pounded. LOL!

I’m working on a new project that may be of interest to small families or people looking to build a remote cabin  or waterfront getaway.

I was originally contacted by a Development team in Idaho who wants to build a MODERN destination resort in Colorado. Perched in the mountains overlooking lakes and wildlife, they wanted  to expand on a single ISBU cabin idea that they’d seen in Russia. They supplied us a photograph of that 40′ ISBU cabin. We don’t know anything about it’s origins and we’re doing research now to determine who designed and built this first unit. Whoever they are, they provided us with awe and inspiration! As a single ISBU cabin design, it is a wonderful thing to behold.

We’ve taken that idea and run with it. Add another container alongside the first and you get a really nice 16’x40′ 600+ square foot cabin. By insulating on the exterior and flooring (under the crawlspace)  using SPF, installing high efficiency windows and glazing and using SIPs (structural insulated panels) on the roof, you get a highly efficient structure capable of withstanding both high heat and low cold temperatures. BY adding a photovoltaic farm to the roof (as well as rainwater harvesting) these cabins will operate off-grid.Water is supplied via well and the septic is actually above ground, installed in a 20′ ISBU container that will handle four cabins each.

Here’s a rough render of what I think our Colorado project could look like:

We’re at the very beginning of development but here’s what I want you to consider;

This rental cabin could also make a wonderful 2 bdrm home in the mountains or meadows of America. It would be easily accomplished and the  views could be spectacular. Surrounded by a deck system, the cabin would appear to float on the edge of the meadow. I can imagine how wonderful it’d look perched alongside a beachfront area looking out at magnificent sunsets!

Note that  these two containers are carried by three “Sonotube” type pilings and a concrete foundation in the  rear. (In this case there’s a sub-grade storage access area plus a ramp system for the disabled so concrete walls and footings are being used to carry the ISBUs so that they will form the roof of that structure.)

It should be noted that this foundation system is easily “family built”. You can “sweat equity” this  foundation without a hitch at relatively low costs.

Here’s how it’s done;

These pilings are constructed by digging a hole (usually with an auger) and then dropping round construction forms into them that look like the form depicted here.  A “bell” is usually placed on the bottom of these forms to give the piling a better base. These bases come in several shapes  and sizes and you can find them at the same construction supply store you buy your forms from. The bell shaped base snaps on the bottom of the tube (you usually apply screws to hold it into place) and then you insert the “based piling tube” into your hole.  We add rebar to the pilings to reinforce them and you should consult your structural engineer for the specs.

The containers don’t simply “rest” on top of the pilings. We also insert large J-bolts into the top of the piling so that we can add a steel plate to the top of it. This steel plate, attached to the concrete piling is the base that your ISBU will be welded to to secure it to the foundation. Concrete is poured into the piling and it fills the base at the bottom as well.  Like any concrete component, you’re better off waiting for the concrete to cure. Nobody likes to set containers on “green” (uncured)  pilings! 30 days should do it!

You could just as easily carry this entire structure using pilings and concrete pads. It’d be pretty simple. Because very little site prep is required (as you sit OVER the land and not ON it) it’s an inexpensive solution that eliminates a lot of heavy equipment costs usually associated with construction.

Normally, we’re not big fans of cantilevered containers. The reason is that they’re “harder to fly” without that support. But what you don’t see here is the steel cradle that  carries the front of the containers all the way back to those pilings and foundations. The cantilevered deck is carried by steel cables. No “hanging from thin air” here.

Sitting on the deck, you’re high enough to observe Mother Nature without having to worry about wildlife trying to eat your meals or bother your decking plants. LOL!

A lot of people ask us if we’re doing a lot with Tesla Solar Roof systems now that they’re available to the public. The simple answer is; “No.”

While we love them (and the concept of them in general) I’m still not a big fan of Tesla Solar Roofs simply due to the costs involved in building them into your project.  With Photovoltaic Panels operating at high efficiency for less than a $1 a watt, spending $8 a square foot (or more) for a beautiful Tesla Solar Roof is simply beyond the reach of most building families.

Forbes Magazine recently published this:

The average home in the United States is 2,467 square feet. According to Tesla’s handy solar calculator, the new system will set an average homeowner back $51,200 for a 70% solar roof. The company also recommends purchasing the additional, but optional, Powerwall battery to store all that new energy at $7,000, bringing the grand total of installation to $58,200.

 The percentage of solar paneling is an important metric when deciding if you really want to buy the system. It all depends on a homeowner’s energy needs, if the roof is partly shaded or sunny and how much he or she already spends on electricity each month. When all these things are considered, the ratio of solar paneling and non-solar paneling can greatly vary, as well as the price. For example, if the typical American home only purchases 40% solar tiles the price drops to $36,700, plus the $7,000 battery, totaling $43,700. And that 40% may be all you need. As Tesla noted on its site, “If you choose to increase the portion of your roof covered with solar tiles, your home may generate more electricity than it needs. In this case, you may not realize the full value of energy your Solar Roof produces.”

To help combat the sticker shock, Tesla also noted the tax credits associated with buying solar. For the 70% solar roof, homeowners may be looking at a tax credit of $15,900, while a 40% solar home can expect a $10,000 credit. The company also explained that over 30 years, a 70% solar roof will generate $73,500, meaning a homeowner could net profit $31,200 over 30 years.

But still, the price is a tremendous leap from traditional roofing. According to the calculator provided by Roofing Calculator, to completely replace the average home’s roof with traditional shingles will only set owners back between $9,000- $14,000.

Another added cost is a home’s tax estimates. As senior technology editor at Ars Technica Lee Hutchinson shared on Twitter TWTR -3.62%, “My 2600sqft **HOUSE** only cost $200k. My property taxes would explode w/adding another 50% onto the home’s appraised value.”

Musk immediately, and honestly replied, “This is true. The economics are not yet compelling where housing and utility costs are low and property taxes are high.”

Would I put that really expensive Tesla Solar Roof on my own home in the mountains of Montana? Yes. I’d probably consider it. Combined with the Powerwall battery storage system, I think it’s an incredible solution to explore and before I’d use it on your home, I’d really like to live with it on mine to insure it works without a flaw. Now, also consider that my home includes a design studio and a music studio, so I will be able  to justify the expense of all that power production. I won’t waste any of it with “too many tiles and not enough demand”.

WILL I include it in my own building budget?

It will depend on final pricing and installation costs. I suspect that in all honesty, I’ll probably wait for the second generation of the roof tiles and Powerwall units and that commensurate price drop that will come as production costs begin to decrease. I will have several other structures on the property (including guest houses) that require power and we’ll more than likely select one or more of those structures to experiment with.

Stay tuned to learn more about this project. If current responses are any indicator, it’s going to inspire a lot of cabin and remote builds in the future.

Every Tree Needs Roots!

23 May

As we venture into Spring (we still haven’t gotten our 15 seconds of Spring in Montana yet…) LOL!

We’re getting questions from readers about “process”. Everyone is eager to start their building adventures, paving their roads toward their ISBU (Shipping Container Home) dreams and we couldn’t be more pleased and inspired.

Many families are beginning their paths by talking to local experts, trying to gauge the places they’ll put their trust, their dreams and their futures.

We received this email recently and thought it was relevant enough to share it with the rest of you. Building projects begin as hopes, dreams and aspirations. The holder of that dream then gifts it to someone else who will become responsible for turning that dream into a reality.

But along the way, that custodian of your creation will call on others to assist him/her in order to insure that your dream becomes a reality.

Let’s just jump in, shall we?

“Dear Alex,

Q. I just left an interview/consult session with a local Architect. When we were discussing fees, he included fees for several other engineers, including a structural engineer. WTH? If an Architect goes to school to learn to design a building or residence, why then does he/she even need a structural engineer?

Isn’t that the point of Architecture School in the first place?”
The short answer is this:

Successful Architectural projects are collaborations. The architect designs the building. The engineering team ensures the building meets local building codes and that it is physically possible to build. Most engineers have no idea whatsoever or little experience on how to maximize light exposure for certain facilities, including both natural and artificial light, but an architect does. Most engineers have little to no idea how play with materials and textures to maximize comfort, but an architect does. Most architects have little to no idea how to even measure a complex structure response to most accidental load scenarios like earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding etc. But an engineer does. Most architects have little to no idea how to design infrastructure projects such as dams, bridges, highways, railroads, etc. But an engineer does.

Think of it like this:

An architect is like a big, beautiful tree…  and that engineering team is a vital part of it’s trunk and root system.

This engineering support system gives life to the tree. The input of the engineers provides the strength to the tree and makes it possible for that tree to live (and even bear fruit) for a long, long time.

Architects don’t know “everything” about construction.

Some like to think they do but the reality is actually much different.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Architects know a LOT, but an architect is still just a “generalist”. An architect actually needs all sorts of engineers to create and complete a project successfully.

In a nutshell, the architect is the conductor and the engineers (and other specialists) are the musicians. They have to work together to complete a project. It’s a orchestra of skills.

It is up to the conductor (architect) to take overall responsibility and coordinate the overall intention of the project. The conductor has to have some basic knowledge of the musicians’ (engineers) instruments. However, the overall success depends on the skill and experience of the individual musicians (engineers). You can’t do one without the other.

The architect creates, orchestrates and oversees the building project design and usually provides oversight during construction. However, the engineers are specialists and they play their parts in the orchestra by being tasked with the design and oversight of their specific trades and project aspects only:

  • The architect plans, organizes (orchestrates) and gives form and space to the building project.
  • The architect develops a design that finds solutions and fulfills the client’s requirements.
  • The architect presents this information to the planning boards, review committees and building authorities.
  • The architect obtains planning approvals, obtains permits and other required documents required for the construction of the project.
  • The architect is also responsible for special (particularly safety) aspects such as building code classifications, fire separations, exits, emergency exits, emergency systems, and egress stairs as well as insuring that all accessibility requirements are met.

In addition to this, the architect usually provides the “Architectural Artistry” the project brings to the community – this because the determination of whether it is a work of art or not depends on how it will later be judged by the clients and the public at large. You can bet that this judgement will be based in a large part on the actual design of the project.

As the design leader, the architect usually conceptualizes the structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems – and coordinates all of it. Again, he/she is the conductor.

However, the architect relies on the various specialist engineers to assess and assist, to finalize and take responsibility with calculations, detailing and oversight. The “musicians”.

For most buildings constructed in most places, only qualified engineers can provide these specialized engineering services. The architect is – by law in most places – required by virtue of their generalist training and certification and is licensed to “practice architecture” and NOT engineering.

Structural engineers don’t go to traditional architectural schools or classes. They are required to study Civil Engineering courses designed to build the required skills allowing them to resolve structural and other engineering aspects of a project. Because of this education, they are licensed to ‘practice structural engineering’, and not architecture.

You don’t need an architect to design “everything”. Certain buildings that are not intended primarily for human occupancy may not be required to be designed by an architect.

In those cases, a civil engineer usually takes the lead role – as in the case of the construction of bridges and roads.

Also, building projects such as small square footage houses often don’t need any professionals at the design level to be involved. These projects are often designed by technical / design drafting services or even design/build contractors.

While your architect will bring your dream to life, those engineers involved are vital to it’s creation. Put simply, engineers have to come up with solutions to complex problems and implement them; they literally shape the world that we live in.

For those of you out there considering a trade path, there are many different specialties within civil engineering. These include environmental, structural, electrical, municipal, transportation and geotechnical engineering services. Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain construction projects and systems in both the public and private sector. These projects include roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.

If you really want to push the envelope, look for a University that has an Architectural Engineering program.  If you do this, send us your shipping address and we’ll start sending you as many Tylenol tablets as you can eat. You’re going to need them! This challenging path insures many, many long nights of bookwork and studying!  LOL!

Basking in the glow of Builder’s Hell!

21 Sep

We’ve all seen the photographs.

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You can past any shipping port in the United States and you’re going to bear witness to evidence that somethings wrong in America. You see, as you drive past ports like Long Beach, you are bound to see mountains made of steel. I’m not talking about skyscrapers. I’m talking about row after row of empty shipping containers stacked up to the sky like a child’s Legos,  colorful building blocks piled on top of each other until they almost kiss the clouds.

We know why this  is happening. It’s a testament to the failure of American Manufacturing… the lack of export commerce. Yes, I said that out loud. It’s a reminder that today’s economy is suffering and it’s not getting any better, despite what you read on the internet.  In the global arena of manufacturing of goods, we don’t compete. We simply import more goods than we produce.  American households are filled with possessions and a lot of them come from “someplace else”. Think about that for a minute.

This also means that we don’t export products to other countries to support a growing America competitively. Due to America’s trade imbalance with foreign countries, countries like China, over half of the shipping containers that enter our ports never make it back to their points of origin. It’s just not cost effective to return empty containers to China to refill them. It’s cheaper and more efficient to build new ones to ship that Chinese TV over so you can buy it at Walmart.

And, these monuments to our manufacturing failure have to get piled up someplace, right?

It’s because of these metal mountains that more than a few creative minds have started to think outside the box. I mean, we’re stuck in traffic, staring up at them.

You know where this post is going…

Over the last few years, many outspoken architects and engineers have addressed the use of shipping containers as structure. Readers of this blog know that we are heavily involved in taking these cast-off steel boxes and turning them into incredible, sustainable, affordable homes for families across America and beyond it’s shores.

Recently, I’ve witnessed yet another resurgence of naysayers from the trades who claim that building with containers is a boondoggle. They claim it’s a “budget busting peril” to be avoided at all costs… especially when cost is a determining factor. They say that building with containers is anything but affordable.

Yeah? Bull.

Let me tell you WHY these “tradesmen” are so outspoken. We live in difficult times for housing. Money for building is getting harder to get. Many building firms are going out of business due to the lack of projects. Fewer families are entering the housing market. They’ve simply been forced out of them as the economy squeezes their paychecks harder and harder each year. It’s because more and more Americans are learning that there are other paths to take… paths that lead away from tradesmen stuck in “doing traditional things in traditional ways.”

Your decisions to look beyond the “run of the mill” aren’t “normal”. They don’t want you to save money. They get paid a percentage of what you spend. They don’t want to be forced to learn new skills. That costs them even MORE money. Your decisions about housing are affecting their bottom line.  They’re scared…

What scares them the most is that people are listening to people like us…

(And we have the hate mail to prove it.)

Many of our building families offset budget expenses by using “sweat equity”. That’s right. They do it themselves. By enlisting friends and relatives in the trades, they reduce their construction costs by reducing their labor costs. Of course they have to factor in expenses like beer and burgers… but it’s a trade-off they’re willing to make to insure that they build the house of their dreams affordably.

Some of these building families break the $100 a square foot threshold on a regular basis. Even in 2016, It’s possible to build a 1,200 square foot 3 bedroom/2 bath home for $70 a square foot. I know that this is true because we’re witnessing it in locations that stretch from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, inclusive of the Gulf Coast of America.

Case in point:

I want to take a moment to remind you that some of the most famous homes in Shipping Container (ISBU  – Intermodal Steel Building Unit) history were built for under the $150 a square foot threshold that most of these naysayers claim is the “starting point”.

Indisputably, the most visible Shipping Container home in America is the work of Peter DeMaria in Southern California. Now, we admit (even openly) that we think that Peter is a genius. He’s a visionary who decided that he didn’t care where his hairline moved as he played “David” to LA’s “Goliath”. We don’t agree with every step he takes but he designed and built a Container Home amidst the hostilities of some of the toughest building codes in America.  Peter and the Pirkls (the building family) captured what many think is “lighting in a bottle”.

demaria-redondo-beach-container-house-exterior-front

In Peter DeMaria’s hybrid 2 story design for the Redondo Beach House, conventional stick-frame construction was combined with eight repurposed steel shipping containers to form this wonderful “Corten Castle”. This isn’t your “run of the mill” typical tract house, either. The contemporary house sports four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths nestled beneath soaring 20-foot-high living room ceilings and it was outfitted with glass-panel airplane hangar doors that actually disappear by folding out to create a seamless indoor-outdoor living space. To accentuate the industrial looks of the containers, the Pirkls left the corrugated steel walls exposed or enhanced with siding to replace the sturdy maritime wood floors that come standard in cargo boxes.

demaria-redondo-beach-container-house-rear-view

If you’re  a regular reader, you can see where we differ with Peter, but still… the results were amazing. There are many paths to Corten Heaven… Peter journeyed along his passionately and it shows.

This home wasn’t a “slapped together shell made of recycled/junk steel”. They included all the bells and whistles. The home was designed and constructed to provide long-term energy savings. They employed carefully selected low-flow plumbing fixtures. They embraced LED lights and Energy Star appliances. Stick-frame walls were insulated with a material called “UltraTouch” manufactured using recycled denim material. Using simple passive solar techniques they oriented the home to catch the prevailing Pacific Coast breezes so that the residence remains cool and comfortable year-round.

Did this incredible feat of Shipping Container engineering cost a proverbial arm and a leg?

No.

Did it cost the typical $250 a square foot (or more) that most of our naysayers project this home’s constructions cost demanded?

No.

Is the construction of a home like this cost prohibitive for middle class families across America?

No.

According to the guy paying the bills, home-owner Sven Pirkl:

“Once all the bills were tallied, using steel containers for more than half of the Redondo Beach House’s 3,500 square feet equaled big savings.”

Let’s read that again, shall we?

“Once all the bills were tallied, using steel containers for more than half of the Redondo Beach House’s 3,500 square feet equaled big savings.”

Remember that they built their home on Los Angeles County, Ca. Remember that when they built this home in 2006, the average cost of construction for a typical (middle class) semi-custom single family dwelling ran an average of $250 a square foot or more. The median price of single family homes in Los Angeles CA in 2016 is $477,000.00. The average SIZE of these homes runs in the $412 per square foot range.

Take into consideration that this cost represents a home that is much smaller than the Shipping Container Home built by the Pirkls.

In order to afford to purchase the median-priced home in Los Angeles, you’d need to earn $96,513 a year, according to HSH.com, a mortgage information website.

But consider that the median income in Los Angeles is about half that: $49,497, according to census numbers from 2009-2013.

So it’s no surprise that Los Angeles has been rated as the most hostile, most unaffordable city to rent in America by Harvard and UCLA.

So think about this for a minute… in the worst possible place at almost the worst possible time…

A time when the average price of building a custom home in their area was upwards of $250 a square foot, the shipping container housing project cost roughly $135 a square foot to build. Best of all, says Sven Pirkl:

“We’ve been living in the house for five years, and we’re still very happy.”

Years after that, the energy savings and the performance of the home have more than met the families expectations.

Even with the adjustments to cost projections that would be factored in over the last 10 years, the Pirkl house doesn’t begin to touch the median selling price of new construction in LA.

And remember, this is Los Angeles CA, a land where “you must make $33 an hour (over $68,400 a year) to be able to afford an (average) apartment at all.”  – Matt Schwartz, president and chief executive of the California Housing Partnership, which advocates for affordable housing.

The average RENT of a typical apartment in Los Angeles exceeds $1,700 a month. The average Los Angeles resident spends over 47% of his/her income on rent… or they drive into work from another county.

So the next time you talk about Shipping Container dreams with your friends and relatives, remember that you can show them a photo of the most photographed Shipping Container Home in American History and proudly exclaim;

“Totally cool! Totally Huge! Totally famous! 3,500 square feet as good as it gets! They built it for $130.00 a square foot in the middle of “Building Hell”! Shut up!”

It’s okay to dream. It’s even better to be able to do it when you have the facts to back it up! LOL!

— end of transmission —

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Wandering with “Weathering Steel”…

31 Aug

Recently, one of our readers sent us several photographs of a “tiny house” constructed from a single 20ft ISBU.

The boatbuilder owner used his yacht skills to design and build a really nice little house that could be shipped anywhere in the world.

(This can happen because he didn’t cut any exterior doors or windows into the existing shell.)

We were particularly pleased to see the innovative kitchen he laid out in that small home. Frankly, it rivals many of the small kitchens that you or I may encounter in our day to day lives. He used a full sized refrigerator. The space behind it houses his water tank. He didn’t waste an inch. Good lad!

Take a look;

ISBU Bunkhouse - Corten Cabin3

His “corner kitchen” even incorporates a washer/dryer unit. We use similar LG washer/dryers in many of our off-grid cabins in remote areas.

His container isn’t “conventional” as one entire wall surface opens up to expose the inner shell. You can find these boxes from time to time and he’s taken full advantage of the space that it provides. On nice days, he can literally open up one entire wall section to the outdoors. Talk about bringing the outside in!

And because he can ship his little Corten home anywhere in the world, that “outside view” can change whenever he wants!

Guys like this are literally rethinking housing.

As we looked at his little gem, I was reminded of another kind of “traveling ISBU Home” concept we’d seen lately. Many of our readers know that we’ve spent years working on “disaster relief housing” and the establishment of rapidly deployed shelter systems for victims and volunteers after natural disasters strike globally.

The use of ISBUs as a shelter component means that you can “rack and stack” them together to form housing units very quickly. We’ve stacked as many as a hundred units together in less than 24 hours. Read that again slowly. LESS than 24 hours. These temporary constructs can house workers, clinics, first responders and more.

But what if you could just take your home with you wherever your future  led you?

Jeff Wilson, an environmental science professor at the Huston-Tillotson University, had a similar dream. It’s called “Kasita” and it’s basically a little 20′ High Cube ISBU based apartment that actually fits into a steel exoskeleton. By “racking” these apartment units, they can be removed and shipped to other locations with similar exoskeletons.

ISBUs in exoskeleton

Small extension modules are added to the ISBU to expand it’s livability. In fact, those add-ons increase the size of the little apartment by 30%.

ISBUs in exoskeleton4

Inside, you have room for a full kitchen and even a washer/dryer. The bathroom is “normal” as well. No microscopic toilet or shower to force yourself in and out of.

ISBUs in exoskeleton5
The whole idea of a “transportable condo” sounds complicated, but it isn’t. While you wouldn’t be able to ship the little apartments overseas (because you’ve modified the shell) the small ISBUs are easily trucked from site to site. The small exoskeleton footprints allow these units to be “racked and stacked” 3 or 4 levels high without much difficulty.

If you get transferred to another city, you simply call the mover and have him disconnect and remove your unit.

You don’t pack, you don’t box up your gear. You simply take the entire residence and it’s contents with you. When you get to your new location, your unit is racked in an empty space in an exoskeleton and you’re back in business.

ISBUs in exoskeleton2
The fact that the exoskeletons that house the units take up such a small footprint (as little as 1,000 sq ft) means that they can be constructed as in-fill in almost any urban city that you can imagine. These steel racks could bolt together in the configuration that benefits the lot and observe the local building codes.

You could even build a small village of these units in previously unbuildable lots and locations. You could revitalize neighborhoods. You could build them along greenbelts.

Are you listening, Detroit?

Now add a power system like a TESLA Powerpack to this little condo and you have a unit that’s even capable of going off-grid.

Despite a long list of smart-tech and energy saving features, the size of the condo and it’s ability to be placed on small lots that no-one wants makes this a very embraceable idea in many metropolitan areas. And it solves one of biggest dilemmas for employers;

“Where will my workers live?”

Companies could even embrace these versatile condos as “corporate housing” for their workers.

Think about this for a moment;

NO Roomates

NO searching Craigslist for a rental

NO calling friends and relatives in those cities to crash on their couch while you hunt down that elusive new apartment.

NO hunting through boxes to find your packed goods.

The only thing that changes is your street address.

Imagine how workers in places like NYC or San Francisco would embrace these.

ISBUs in exoskeleton3
It’s the idea of transportable housing taken to the next level. It will allow us to house friend and families in a whole new way.

We can’t wait.

Roaring Lion, Montana – Forest Fire update

1 Aug

Okay,

Life is hectic when you’re having fun, right?

We’re jumping around all over God’s Creation like crazy people. It’s the trials and tribulations of ISBU madness! LOL!

SO after regrouping…

We’re getting set to jump back out again to the East Coast late Saturday. A client aircraft stuck in London gained us an extra night in our own beds as we work out delays in aircraft transitions. While we need to get to NY, we’re grateful for the sleep.

We do what everyone does in “stand-by mode” on Sunday morning. We take care of clients, email and surf the internet. About lunchtime on Sunday as I’m helping my son build a Lego menagerie, Sheri runs into the living room and tells me that the Hamilton, MT area is on fire, and it’s bad. After a long, hot, dry spell, I immediately wonder just how bad it is.

Moments later, I realize just how bad it really is. This photograph, taken moments before, arrives in my email. The fire is located in the mountains behind Hamilton, in a remote area of a canyon that we used to live in. It’s rugged, beautiful and heavily forested. And, it’s on fire.

Roaring Lion - 2016_07_31
This is distressing because (a) it’s a FOREST FIRE, and (b) we have many friends and my child (and his mother) living in the path of the fire.

While we immediately start to reach out to friends and family to determine who needs help evacuating and to explore the information available to determine how severe the circumstances are, we walk outside our home and realize that you can actually SEE the flames on the ridges burning in the distance.

It should be noted that I don’t currently live in Hamilton, I live 20 miles to the north in a small farming/ranching community. By observation, the firestorm is 200 feet high, fueled by thousands of beetlekill pine trees that explode like Roman Candles when set ablaze. At this point, the fire line is already over a mile long and racing DOWN the mountain toward the highway.

Roaring Lion Fire
An hour later, we get a call from friends who still live in the Roaring Lion canyons that we originally evacuated a few years back due to forest fires. Some of my readers will remember that I’m talking about an incident where at 1AM we were contacted by Sheriff’s Deputies who arrived to wake us up and help get our most important valuables into trucks so that we could get escorted out of the canyon, the fire raging right behind us.

Luckily, we had a small home in town to run to. Many families were not as fortunate as we were.

Yesterday, a wildfire started near the Roaring Lion trailhead that almost immediately turned the surrounding forest into a fire tornado. Within the space of about 4 hours the fire had spread to over 2,000 acres in some of the most rugged terrain in the Bitterroot. The guess is that it was ignited by a campfire or an errant spark. There were no storms or lightning strikes in the area.

We grabbed gear and headed toward the fire to gain some scope on it’s severity. In many years living in the Bitterroot, we’re accustomed to forest fires. They are a part (terrible, albeit) of life lived in the rugged mountains of Montana. The fire was much worse than we expected. Raging out of control, it quickly spread through canyons as the winds blew it toward Hamilton. Even with several helicopter and aircraft already on scene dumping water and fire retardant, it was clear that they were overpowered by the fire racing through thousands of dead trees that virtually litter the countryside.

Roaring Lion Fire4

In Montana, the US Forestry Service uses a “zero management” program in the local forests. This means that they let Mother Nature take care of herself. Today, once again, we see what happens when you ignore threats to life and limb. While environmentalists will tell you that it’s just “nature’s way”, many would argue that allowing conditions to erode to the point where they endanger local lives and a way of life is just foolish. It’s an argument that local residents have had with US Forestry officials for decades, that seemingly falls on deaf ears.

I’ve personally fought forest fires. I’ve run fire crews in these mountains and I can tell you that when the neglected beetlekill trees ignite, they literally explode setting everything around them on fire. The inferno created by these events causes fire lines to jump like Olympic Athletes from ridgeline to ridgeline in moments. This is particularly frustrating as we realize that those dead trees can be harvested and turned into beautiful cabinetry and flooring which is highly prized by many custom builders throughout this nation. The monies regained in this endeavor could go a long way toward offset responsible land management fees.

After conferring with locals last night, Sheri and I made a bonzai run to Missoula (a large college town to the north) to buy everything we could find to help establish a fallback center for firefighters and first responders. We literally emptied shelves at both Walmarts as we loaded carts with supplies that will allow those retreating from the fire lines (for much needed rest and refueling) the food and showers necessary to help prepare them for their return to the fire lines.

As we drove back down into the Ravalli Valley at almost midnight, we could actually SEE the fire raging almost 50 miles away. Those little spots of red in the photograph below are actually flames almost 100 feet high. It reminded me of those photographs you see of lava flowing down mountains after a volcano erupts. The entire valley glowed eerily from the light of the rapidly spreading fires.

Roaring Lion Nightfall - Valley Entrance View
As we got closer and closer to Hamilton we watched as fire truck after fire truck passed us heading toward the fire in the dark of night toward the glow.  Sadly, we also witnessed tow trucks towing damaged fire vehicles out of the fire zone.

After we dropped off bins loaded with supplies to the First Responder center, we drove up into surrounding hillsides to look up at the fire as we headed back to the safety of our home. I can’t tell you how blessed it actually felt to be safely removed from the fire zone. The forest fire literally looked like it ringed one end of Hamilton as the fire burned toward some of the outlying communities that are home to many of the Bitterroot’s residents.

Roaring Lion - Marcus DalyER

This is the forest fire burning behind Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital. There’s a river separating the hospital from the blaze. Thank Heavens for that.  At least as doctors and nurses care for the injured, they won’t have to worry about being evacuated themselves.

To say that this fire is burning out of control is an understatement. With many, many local firefighters and law enforcement officials standing the line, it’s clear that these brave men and women will personally face danger and destruction as this fire vents it’s wrath on our homes.

UPDATE:

As the sun rises today (Monday, August 1st), many families aren’t as lucky as we once were, as many homes and structures (barns, outbuildings, cabins) have been lost and over 500 homes in the surrounding canyons are evacuated (mandatory) as one of the biggest Type One fires in Ravalli history turns what was pristine forest into a firestorm. Type One teams are quickly arriving and assembling from all over Montana and the region to fight this fire as I type this.

This fire erupted without notice. There was no opportunity for preparation by local residents. Fueled by acres of dead (Beetlekill Pine) trees and 90+ degree heat, it’s like the hillsides simply exploded. Hundreds of animals and livestock are presumed missing or dead as homeowners escorted by Sheriff’s Deputies abandon residences, unable to search for their horses and cattle as the fire races through the canyons.

Returning to the area to seek out lost livestock is impossible. It’s simply too dangerous and cannot be allowed. While it’s a terrible tragedy, the loss of human life is the first (and most important) priority.

This forest fire is currently raging and burning toward Hamilton proper, a town located approximately 5 minutes from the fire’s epicenter.

This morning, some of the downtown areas of Hamilton, MT are covered in a thick layer of ash. As the sun starts to rise today, it simply illuminates the thick red clouds of smoke pouring off the mountains.

It’s going to be a dark day in Montana…

Strong winds have pushed the smoke and ash from the storm all the way to Butte, MT – over 2.5 hours to the east. We’re talking about a distance of 155 miles.  Estimates are that the fire will cover 4,000 acres by midday with thousands more acres of forest standing between it and population centers.

With 40 degree temperature drops aiding the first responders, the firefighters are staging to stand between the fire and Hamilton homes.

Many local families are opening their homes to those families displaced by this firestorm.

Remember that the Bitterroot is a small mountain community. 500 evacuated homes is a huge deal, when you consider the baseline population of this valley. Local restaurants have turned their kitchens into supply lines for firefighters and refugees from the fire. Churches between Missoula and Salmon, ID have opened themselves up to serve as shelters for the families fleeing the fire.

As the day begins to bloom, we can only hope that everyone survives this day. It’s hard to think about tomorrow, when today brings such hardship.

To those first responders, brave firefighters and LEOs… we can only hope and pray for their safety as they face this inferno trying to protect and save the citizens of Ravalli.

To the families fleeing the fires, we can only pray that they are evacuated to safety without loss of life or limb.

It’s going to be a very long day, in a string of very long days to come.

To friends and clients:

As we reach out to assist those assisting others in this terrible time, we ask you to be patient. Our deeds and prayers are with all those impacted by this fire and as we work to aid them, we pray for their safety.

We’d ask that you remember Bitterroot families and the brave men and women that stand the line to protect them in your prayers as well.

Stay tuned.

Happy Independence Day!

30 Jun

Greetings Campers!

Now I know that you’re expecting another “Gather round the campfire whilst I tell ya a story about steel and determination”…

But today we’ve put the welders down and picked up another set of tools…

You see… campfires are now officially a no-no!

Let’s just jump in, shall we?

That “Hail and how are ya?'”  camper reference seems perfectly appropriate as we dive into the July 4th weekend!

I say “dive” as I’m hoping that you are all headed to some glorious beach, river or lake to find respite from the heat waves baking the country!

Here at the homestead it’s been 100 degrees plus daily and it’s not just tempers that are flaring.

Mother Nature has decided, in her infinite wisdom, to try to burn off most of the surrounding forests and we’re seeing the wildfires double in size, in less than a day.

Wildfire4

Just south of where I live (by a few miles) a wildfire is raging out of control. The fire line is miles long as it consumes everything in it’s path.

Many readers remember that a few years back I had to evacuate my own home to get clear of the horrific wildfires that threatened our canyon.

Now, many other Montana families are revisiting that adventure…

Property owners who haven’t evacuated their homes have dug in and fire crews from all over Montana and elsewhere have been mobilized to help combat the flaming inferno that is now the Bitterroot Montana forest. I say “flaming inferno” because the surrounding forests are filled with “beetlekill” timber that is almost incendiary when it’s introduced to a spark. “Beetlekill” trees (trees killed by insects) are literally “standing dead” trees just waiting to go off. The trees literally burst into flames like bombs when embers hit them.

Wildfire2

Despite my personal injuries (I’ve torn muscles in my abdomen), I personally spent the wee hours of last night up in the fire zone, surveying the fire’s growth and photographing it as it jumped from canyon to canyon. You could literally see the trees exploding as the fire races from ridgeline to ridgeline.

As I did this, property owners not in their yards clearing out a firebreak or standing the lines in the surrounding mountains… were packing cars and trucks with precious belongings in case they needed to flee the path of destruction that roars toward them.

Why  I telling you all this? I mean, I’m sure you have better things to do than worry about rural Montana, right?

I’m telling you about this  because I want to remind you to BE CAREFUL as you enjoy your July 4th Independence Day extravaganzas!

One stray spark and you can literally turn your party into an inferno!

Wildfire7

Q. What do Montana Firefighters see as they battle flames in the darkness? . A. They see HELL 80 feet tall and raging out of control.

If you’re  camping or playing in the  woods, PLEASE EXERCISE SAFETY!

Please be careful where you point those sparkleys!

Please make sure that the remains of your fireworks displays are  extinguished! Put a bucket of water next to your display area!

Please make sure that campfires are out and doused with water after you’re  through roasting , burgers, hot dogs and marshmallows!

Please exercise safety in every aspect of your celebrating!

The lives you  save… may be your own!

A bed is just a bed unless it’s not!

15 Apr

From the “why didn’t I think of that?” files;

There’s this guy who has decided that the best furniture encompasses every need in one small footprint package. His name is Roberto Gil and he calls it “Urbano”. After looking at his work, we think he’s pretty darned smart.

roberto-gil-casa-collection-urbano-loft-bed-1
His forte of late seems to be “loft beds” where your bed is actually perched on top of your other bedroom  furniture to maximize room space. Now, it should be noted that we build loft beds into containers all the time, but I have to admit that his system makes ours look like something cobbled together in shop class by comparison.

They say that “good things come in small packages”. In this case, they hit that nail square on the head.

roberto-gil-casa-collection-urbano-loft-bed-2
Measuring 119 inches in length and a width of 83 inches, with the furniture system topping out at 107 inches, you can see where I’m going with this. Let’s do some math, shall we? (Not that new “Common Core” crap. I don’t possess enough patience, crayons or even paper to do arithmetic that way!) Let me see, carry the one, divide by hammer-struck thumbs and a few splinters and you get an entire bedroom suite in an approximately 9’11” long x 6’11” wide x 8’11” tall package.

roberto-gil-casa-collection-urbano-loft-bed-3
The Urbano system, based on a King sized bed is the largest furniture unit in Roberto’s “Casa Collection” line. It features interior and exterior closets, dressers with drawers, shelving and a desk underneath its bed. The clearance under the bed platform is tall (almost 6’4″) and that’s enough to enable most people to walk under it without stooping or hitting their heads. The cool part of this system is that you can purchase it with either ONE or TWO staircases depending on your needs. Each staircase has built in storage drawers. To make things light and bright, mirrors and lighting are installed.

As intriguing as this is, it does make me wonder what this format would look like tucked into the bowels of an ISBU bedroom.

Imagine a suite of “sleeping rooms” built from ISBUs that had these units installed. Imagine three containers placed side-by-side, with the outer ones being “sleeping rooms”. Now imagine the center one being a shared “Hollywood” style bathroom.

If you were to build a gable roof with a decent pitch (say 6/12) over these (I’d build that roof on a kneewall of about 3’… and run the single staircase configuration on the inside walls (to take advantage of the gable height) you could do something pretty cool. It would also allow you to utilize the top of that “bath” container in the middle as a shared loft. The best part is that the kneewall floating that SIP (structural insulated panel) roof could also have integrated glazing to allow you both sunlight and ventilation.

You knew I was going to slip SIPs into this conversation, didn’t you? Hands down, SIPs topped with a waterproof membrane and SSMR (Standing Seam Metal Roofing) are my alltime favorite. I’ll mention them every chance I get!

Think about this;

If you used 20′ High Cube ISBU containers to do this you’d have (2) King Sized bedrooms and a large, spacious bath suite tucked into a 20’x24′ footprint. Okay, so you’d be just a little cramped in the headroom department on one side, but by using high cube ISBUs you have a ceiling height of 8’9″. Couple that with a kneewall and this is actually doable.

It the Urbano bed system is just too much for your needs they even have a smaller Arca system that might fill the bill.

roberto-gil-casa-collection-urbano-loft-bed-6

roberto-gil-casa-collection-urbano-loft-bed-7

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Unlike the Arca series of beds, the Urbano beds really do have the whole shooting match installed. They feature interior and exterior closets, dressers with drawers, shelving and a desk underneath the loft bed.

roberto-gil-casa-collection-urbano-loft-bed-4Roberto knew that one color wouldn’t be enough so both the Urbano and Arca beds are available in two color options and prices start from (hold your breath) US$15,000 and $6,000 respectively and you’ll wait about 10-12 weeks for your units to arrive.

Look, I warned you to hold your breath…

You CAN buy these in the United States, but I’m thinking about something else entirely. Wait, I’ll tell you about it after I catch my breath. That price tag had me hyperventilating… LOL!

Okay, I’m back…

What if you went to a big box store like IKEA and purchased prefab cabinets and such and then cobbled this together yourself? Look at the photos. You can SEE how easy it is. Heck, a couple of carpenters could build a similar unit for a lot less than $15,000.00. (Well, unless maybe they’re Union Carpenters!) LOL!

(I know, I know… please send your hate mail to alex@nahnahnanahna.com) 🙂

After passing the photos around here, I’m thinking that we might just have a go at building something similar, based on ready-made “catalog” cabinet kits. No offense to Roberto (because quite frankly his idea is pretty darned good) but we don’t know anyone with enough extra cash laying around to shell out $15 grand for a bedroom set for the kids.

Stay tuned.

PS. ALL of the images for Roberto’s bed systems were collected from Gizmag.com. Why? Well to be honest, I don’t have $21,000.00 to go out and buy copies of these bed systems! That’s actually more than it’d cost me to build the ISBU structure for the three rooms we’re talking about!

(But I have to admit that I wish I did. I think they’re pretty spectacular!)

All you need is a little “bump”!

1 Feb

Greetings, Campers!

It’s that time of year…

You know, that time when (faced with the winter snow and ice outside) thoughts drift (no “snowdrift” pun intended) to “things Corten”.

Elk Tribe - web

As we look out into our yards, many of our building families are eagerly exploring their hopes for Spring, as they begin to draw final lines for their ISBU Home projects. And they better keep at it, because Spring is rapidly approaching. Heck, we’ll get our few days of Spring here, eventually!

As these families get their plans in order, we’re seeing a LOT of indicators that demonstrate that the US isn’t in “recovery” in the housing areas. A lot of investment is happening in Real Estate, but it’s not in the areas you’d expect. It’s in the “rental housing” arena. As times grow hard, more and more families and individuals are renting in lieu of buying that “dream home”.

We’ve received many, many responses lately from singles and couples asking about affordable ISBU (Shipping Container) solutions that use a single 40′ ISBU as structure.

We’ve all seen the medium and even high density buildings being created using these boxes to house people.

High Speed Man Camp - from ISBUs - Oil Country

And, YES… it does make us feel like we’re looking at sardines packed in a can.

But, what about if you simply bump the box out to gain additional footage?

Adding 4′ to a box in width isn’t particularly challenging. In fact, we do it all the time (usually to gain an entry foyer or a space for built-ins). All you are doing is expanding that ISBU to sit on a 420 square foot footprint.

And, dropping it onto pilings that you cast by hand (using Sonotubes and concrete) makes it a no-brainer.

TheSingleBoxRocks
We’ve shown you this before, but I think it’s time to show it to you again. 

Imagine this as a Mother-In-Law apartment or even as an income apartment on your existing property. It’d make a nice guest house as well.

  • Do you have a student in High School or College itching to “get out of the house” without leaving the property?
  • Do you have a rental property that needs more units that are potentially duplexed or even stacked?
  • Are you looking for a “tiny house” type residence?

The “bump” wall is perfect for additional glazing (windows not shown) or even a big sliding glass door and deck.

Or, executed in “rowhouse style”, you could add a front and rear deck to this lil gem and it becomes quite luxurious. Imagine this plan staggered so that each home and deck had privacy! Simply offset these units by 8 feet and you’d have a very attractive rental complex.

While this unit was originally designed to be “home built” by “sweat equity” families, it could easily be executed by builders and contractors without a ton of headaches.

(For all you “naysayers” out there, this home has been built several times in the $50 per square foot range. The costs vary by location, labor costs and choice of materials. If you build it yourself and reuse, repurpose and recycle materials diligently, you can achieve amazing things. Don’t forget to add “beer and beef” to your budget to help your friends in the trade, and volunteers! LOL! )

And you don’t have to DIY this home. While the price per square foot would rise (because builders and sub-contractors don’t work for free) it would still be quite cost effective.

The solutions are out there, folks. You just have to reach for them.

O Magic 8-Ball – Where, oh where is housing going?

15 Jan

Here at “Corten Central”, we’re pretty concerned with the direction of family housing. It’s vital that families have homes that work with them and not against them, especially in troubled times.

We teach families globally to create symbiotic housing environments that provide a nurturing of family life and not a seemingly endless maintenance cycle that requires infusion of resources to keep going forward.

As housing evolves, we find ourselves more and more dependent on systems and gadgets that seemingly make life worth living. But do they really?

yoda

Yoda said; “Live in harmony, you must.”

He was exactly right. Sure, he was 800 years old. But he knew that to live a good life, you have to eliminate the stress and chaos.

(Okay, you can begin this process by NOT telling your relatives where you are moving… but at some point you have to think about the home you’re living in.) LOL!

In a perfect world, your home and lifestyle merge to create a sustainable path that makes the burdens of home ownership easier. In some cases with good design and the right elements, it makes home ownership seamless.

Are you paying attention to the AIA’s (American Institute of Architects) recently announced “future housing trends” for 2016 and beyond?

These “future trends” look suspiciously like a return to the past, at least in our case. For example, we’ve always been proponents of using natural materials that lack synthetic or chemical components that can prove harmful to family members or pets.

We’ve always urged families to build redundant power and water systems that will insure family safety, seamlessly. It’s about being self-reliant and self-aware. It’s about taking control of your life. It’s about being responsible for your family.

We’ve always urged families to use “environmentally responsible materials” whenever possible to insure family health and well-being.

We’ve preached recycling, repurposing and reusing. It just makes good sense and done correctly it can produce amazing results. We love reclaiming materials and turning them into magic.

We know exactly what we are talking about. We have a lot of practice and field work behind us. We’ve earned our scars.

We don’t just “build stuff”. Many of you know that on the philanthropic side, CHC and RR are heavily involved in “first responder” humanitarian aid. Our non-profit foundation is internationally known for being there first and doing the job required no matter what chaos exists. We understand “disasters”, both natural and manmade, at a level that few others can even have nightmares about.

haiti

(Ask us about Haiti, the Philippines or Nepal sometime…)

Let’s look at the “trends” that the AIA just announced as “pivotal”;

1. Disaster-resistant designs

This means designing and building “environmentally responsible structures”. With more extreme weather brought on by climate change, architects and builders are already seeing that design features meant to insure the durability of homes in low-lying areas are being embraced nationally, regardless of GPS location. There is, indeed… a need.

agaton-floods-philippines

Architectural Design firms are already incorporating protective features intended to safeguard homes from flooding, fires and wind damage in impact areas. This will become common even in noncoastal areas.

Such protective measures can include elevating a home several feet up in the air on pilings, building safe rooms in the home to protect the residents and installing water cisterns or providing back-up power generation.

2. Healthy building materials

Everyone is talking about this lately. We’ve all seen the “local farmers market movement”. We’re reminded that eating healthier leads to a better life and it improves the local economy at the same time. It’s win-win.

This “organic” movement is influencing building material selection as well. Home builders and their buyers have become more educated about building materials that don’t promote good health and clean living.

Think of all of the materials in your home that “linger on after the tradesmen, construction workers and installers have left the building”. Paints, flooring, adhesives, and even cabinet materials off-gas, giving off fumes that can make you and your loved ones sick. Remember also that those off-gassing materials are often installed low enough in your home to be harmful to your pets as well.

TIP:

Look for caulking materials that are solvent free. Look for adhesives that are water based. Insulate with cellulose instead of fiberglass. Look for solid wood cabinets and fixtures instead of their laminated or particle board counterparts. Anything laminated or particle board based probably contains formaldehyde.

Did you know that although plywood is NOT a “healthy choice”, the exterior grades of plywood are actually preferable to their interior grade cousins? It’s because the phenol formaldehyde binders of exterior grade plywood are waterproof and more stable than the urea based formaldehyde binders used in the construction of interior grade plywood materials. And it should also be noted that the binders in interior grade plywoods are only water resistant, and not waterproof. It makes a big difference.

3. Smart-home automation

Architects anticipate that smart-home automation will continue to intrigue families as the features include more and more “relief of input” in areas like temperature control, elevated levels of security and more efficient lighting programmable from a laptop, tablet or even your cell phone. Costs for these products have dropped significantly. They are no longer gadgets for the rich and famous. With a little planning and foresight, they are easily incorporated into your home.

home-automation

The idea is to make the home work FOR YOU. If done properly, the home becomes a nurturing family member.

4. Designs catering to an aging population

We’ve known for a long time that good design means building responsible structures that look after the inhabitants as they grow older. Trend driven design fixes that will allow people to continue occupying their homes longer are likely to become more popular as the families age.

Hallway2

These features will include elements like wider hallways. Think about this for a minute.

In our view, hallways should NEVER be dark, narrow gauntlets crafted to be navigated with caution.

Hallways should embrace a family and add functionality and efficiency.  Wider hallways provide the opportunity to utilize that space by allowing the creation of multipurpose areas, additional (and quite stylish) storage and even provide display locations for family heirlooms and galleries.

They become focal points instead of confining and herding you to other locations.

Great design contributes to your quality of life. Great design increases function, reduces costs associated with building and focuses on efficiency and reduction of maintenance.

Now add lower windows and features like smaller footprint structures similar to that of cottages and bungalows to the mix and you have something. 

5. Energy-efficient design

We’ve always known that homes should work with you and not against you. We’ve always known that resources diminish over time. Looked at your power bill lately? Has your water bill gone up?

Good design includes efficiency, especially in areas of water use and energy consumption. But you can pursue this too far. Take LEEDS for example. While it SOUNDS like a great idea, LEEDS adds significant costs to construction that few homeowners realize as a viable return. GOOD design will lend itself to not only efficiency and saving, but provide alternatives in times of hardship.

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For example, photovoltaic panels (PV’s) sound expensive and complicated when first embraced. But boiled down, they’re simple, relatively easily understood systems that are easily monitored, insuring that your family has reliable power despite local conditions. Remember that when your neighborhood is suffering rolling brown-outs and your house is the only one on the street with power because you get it straight from the sun.

We’ve always thought “out of the box” despite teaching families to live within them. And as we grow older, wiser, more experienced… It’s good to see that we really weren’t the “crazy guys” our peers claimed we were, way back when.

It’s funny what a few decades does to prove theory (and dispel myth and urban legend) when properly applied.

Holy Hernia, Batman! Can you “heavy lift” an ISBU?

12 Jan

Okay, while we sit here in the snow and ice pondering our next post, I thought I’d share this little gem with you.

The proud folks at Boeing, the parents of air transportation everywhere on the planet…

… have finally decided that maybe, just maybe, a shipping container is for just that. Shipping stuff.

You see, when aircraft move cargo, they don’t use a shipping container, they use a palletized system that allows that cargo to be loaded with a high level of versatility and efficiency.

But what if you could just shove that loaded shipping container (and several of it’s friends) into the cargo bay of a modern aircraft and just fly off into the wild blue yonder?

I mean, military aircraft carries heavy equipment all the time.

So, the idea of moving containers using aircraft should be doable, right?

Check this out;

And BOEING is serious about this;

Patent Information:
Number – US 9,205,910 B1
Title – CARGO AIRCRAFT FOR TRANSPORTING INTERMODAL CONTAINERS IN TRANSVERSE ORIENTATION
Inventors – Lowell B. Campbell, Mukilteo, WA (US); and Victor Ken Stuhr, Seattle, WA (US)
Assignee – The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL (US)
Filed on – Aug. 20, 2015
Appl. No. – 14/830,867.
Application 14/830,867 is a division of application No. 13/968,422, filed on Aug. 15, 2013, granted, now 9,139,283.

Coming up;

Looking at “Future Architecture” sometimes means looking at the past.

Stay tuned.