What’s wrong with shipping container buildings? Nothing, if they’re used for the right purpose.For a temporary facility, where an owner desires the shipping container aesthetic, they can be a good fit. (Look, I’ve even done a container project!) For sites where on-site construction is not feasible or desirable, fitting a container out in the factory can be a sensible option, even though you’ll still have to do things like pour foundations on site. It probably won’t save you any money over conventional construction (and very well might cost more), but it can solve some other problems.The place where containers really don’t make any sense is housing. I know you’ve seen all the proposals, often done with a humanitarian angle (building slum housing, housing for refugees, etc.) that promise a factory-built “solution” to the housing “problem,” but often positioned as a luxury product as well. This post on ArchDaily got me started on a Twitter rant about the unsuitability of containers for these projects, and the larger trend of online design publications not bothering to ask any questions and run these press releases as “news.” Not to mention the architects themselves presenting this idea as a feasible solution to a major problem. A short list of why this won’t work1. Housing is usually not a technology problemAll parts of the world have vernacular housing, and it usually works quite well for the local climate. There are certainly places with material shortages, or situations where factory built housing might be appropriate — especially when an area is recovering from a disaster. In this case prefab buildings would make sense. But doing them in containers does not.2. If you are going through the trouble of building in factory, why not build to a dimension that is appropriate for human habitation?With only 7 feet clear inside a built-out container, you are left with the building code minimum room width as your typical condition. It’s hardly an ideal width, and it is not difficult to ship wider modular units: modular home builders do it all the time.3. InsulationAll surfaces of the container need to be insulated, and this means either building a new set of walls on the inside or outside of the container. If walls are furred out on the interior, this is convenient for plumbing and electrical lines but it narrows the usable space of an already small box. It also allows for a huge amount of thermal bridging unless the floor is built up with insulation on the inside (which brings up a host of other problems). If the exterior is insulated it no longer looks like a container, and then you have to pay to clad the entire thing over the insulation. In either scenario you’re duplicating all of the walls that you started with. Improper insulation will result in heavy condensation on the inside of the metal exterior walls.4. StructureYou’ve seen the proposals with cantilevers everywhere. Containers stacked like Lego building blocks, or with one layer perpendicular to the next. Architects love stuff like this, just like they throw around usually misleading/meaningless phrases like “kit of parts.” Guess what — the second you don’t stack the containers on their corners, the structure that is built into the containers needs to be duplicated with heavy steel reinforcing. The rails at the top and the roof of the container are not structural at all (the roof of a container is light gauge steel, and will dent easily if you step on it). If you cut openings in the container walls, the entire structure starts to deflect and needs to be reinforced because the corrugated sides act like the flange of beam and once big pieces are removed, the beam stops working. All of this steel reinforcing is very expensive, and it’s the only way you can build a “double-wide.”5. StackingOne recent competition boasted that because containers can be stacked nine high, concrete floors could be provided every 9th floor with stacks of containers in between. That load still needs to travel down through the building, and still then requires columns. Those floors every ninth floor need to hold the entire weight of nine stories of building above, which makes it dubious that you’d really be saving much on structure. The foundation also needs to be built similarly to a “regular” site-built building, and this is one of the most expensive pieces. Stacking also requires a large crane and an area for staging the prefabricated container modules, which can be hard to arrange on a dense urban infill site.6. Utilities and mechanical systemsIn a large building, you’ll still need a lot of space to run utilities. Because of the problems with insulation mentioned above, you will need to install a very robust HVAC system to heat and cool the building (that Mumbai tower would literally be a deathtrap without cooling). You will have a hard time taking advantage of passive strategies like thermal mass if you maintain the container aesthetic. You’ll also end up with low ceilings, as even high cube containers are only 9-foot-6 in overall exterior height, so any ductwork or utilities start cutting in to headroom.7. RecyclingPart of the container narrative is that it’s “green” because we have a surplus of containers that can be reused. This is somewhat true, but in reality many existing container projects use brand new containers from China (which are still very cheap to buy). Used containers need to be thoroughly cleaned because there is a risk they may have been used to transport something toxic in the past.What you get with a container is cheap structure, if you can use the box basically as is. As soon as you remove anything (including the ends) you need to hire welders and buy steel. Architecture is more than structure, though, and structure on its own is not particularly expensive, especially when you are building a space as small as a shipping container, so the savings here are minimal. Relatively untrained people can build a room that size of simple wood framing in a day without needing to rent a crane or learning how to weld for about the same cost (or less) than buying a used container. Competition winner GA Designs had proposed the shipping container skyscraper as a solution to slum housing conditions in India. There are a number of glaring problems with this idea (some of which Llyod Alter takes on in a post on Treehugger). RELATED ARTICLES Shipping Containers Turned Into ApartmentsMaison Idekit: The Container Home Evolves Q&A: Is Warren Thatcher’s “Build a container home” guide worthwhile? Q&A: Can I build a Passivhaus using recycled shipping containers? Q&A: What kind of insulation would you recommend for a 20′ shipping container being renovated into a home/studio space?Q&A: Low carbon and low cost? Planterwald Mark Hogan is an architect and the principal of OpenScope Studio in San Francisco. This post originally appeared at his website Markasaurus.
brian proffitt Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Charles Foster Kane dreamed of Rosebud; Michael Dell yearned for his old company back. Yesterday, one of them got his wish, when it was announced that Dell Inc. shareholders would be returning the company to Dell’s ownership on Nov. 1.Seven months, $25 billion and dealing with Carl Ichan may seem like a lot to pay for a company that primarily makes PCs in a market that is seeing a dwindling of PC sales—especially the Icahn part—but by convincing Dell’s shareholders to sell their stock back to him and his investor partner Silver Lake Partners, Dell may have done the best thing to keep his company alive.That may not seem readily apparent if you listened to Dell CFO Brian Gladden’s remarks in yesterday’s call announcing the news. Gladden stated that Dell Inc. would pretty much stay the course, start to invest more heavily in enterprise software and services, such as cloud computing, and keep on making PCs and “other end-user computing devices”—what we call tablets.On first pass, it sounds like Dell Inc. wants to become more like competitors Hewlett-Packard and IBM (though the latter sent its desktop business off to China’s Lenovo years ago). Which sounds a little nuts. Even if you put aside the heavy competition that these companies will bring to Dell (and, really, you can’t), Dell is focusing on a sector that is at best in flux right now, as consumerization of enterprise IT continues apace, and at worst in some peril, as trust issues regarding cloud computing are still being sorted out by companies in the wake of the NSA leaks.But on further review, it may be that Dell is in the best shape moving forward precisely because of those potential hurdles.The truth is, selling to the enterprise is no longer an easy game of checking off an order with “how many servers do you need?” and “You want desktops with that order?” IT is changing at a deep fundamental level, and IT administrators in the enterprise (and nearly every size of business, for that matter) are trying to figure out what to do.Because of that uncertainty, you see software and hardware companies forced to adjust to market conditions at a pace that some would consider break-neck at times. That’s because, as mostly public companies, they must do everything they can to make money or stem the flow of losing money.Public companies, because of their responsibilities to their shareholders, can only afford to take a certain amount of risk before they have to cut their losses and move on to another plan. This is why we see drastic moves like Microsoft becoming a “devices and services” company and more subtle moves like Google’s infamous Fall and Spring cleanings to axe cloud services that people might love but aren’t making the company any money.But, as a private company, Dell may very well be in a position to take those risks and stick with them. Here’s one hypothetical: if everyone in the hardware market wants to put their eggs in the tablet basket (Dell included), they can, but if tablets somehow fail in the enterprise sector, then the public companies would likely drop their tablet products like hot potatoes. Dell, in theory, could stay the course, slowly and steadily filling orders for businesses that can make business use of the tablets, and innovating their tablet line to something that gets it right.This example might play out, because for public companies, the definition of failure is usually “it’s not making us truckloads of money right now.” Public companies have less patience, because their shareholders do. A private company could take the risk and go for the longer play.It may not be in tablets; it might be in PCs. In fact, I think ultimately PCs will be a good run for Dell Inc., as I remain convinced there will be a bottom to this PC decline, if only because some people have to get some work done. In their quests to bringing in the bucks, Dell’s competition might let their PC efforts slide, leaving more chances for Dell to capture more of a market that will never truly evaporate.Whatever it is, Dell should be able to take its time and figure it out.Is going private the be-all-end-all for Dell Inc.? No, because they could still make bonehead moves and drive themselves into the ground. But with more time and freedom to plan, they may have a better shot to react to this IT market than their competition. Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Tags:#dell#PCs#tablets
Suspended Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and former Lok Sabha member from Koraput, Jayaram Pangi, joined the BJP here on Tuesday.Mr. Pangi, who was suspended from BJD after the recent panchayat polls over “anti-party activities”, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and others. Former Congress leader Giridhar Gamang, who had joined the BJP two nearly two years ago, was also present.While Mr. Pradhan said that Mr. Pangi joining the BJP will be a boost to the party in tribal-dominated areas, senior BJD leader from Koraput, Rabi Narayan Nand, said it will not make any difference to his party.Murder caseMr. Pangi’s name had figured in the case relating to the murder of primary school teacher Itishree Pradhan at Tikiri in Rayagada district in 2013. The BJD had denied a party ticket to the tribal leader in 2014 elections Meanwhile, a tweet by Baijayant Panda, BJD MP from Kendrapara, created a flutter in political circles during the day. “One gone yesterday, another today. Yet when I cautioned last week, was contradicted. Now large sections unrepresented, resentment everywhere,” he tweeted. He was referring to BJD leader Amar Nayak joining the BJP in Jajpur district on Monday and Mr. Pangi joining the saffron party on Tuesday.Reacting to Mr. Panda’s tweet, BJD spokesman Pratap Keshari Deb said the MP should have asked the BJP how they accepted Mr. Pangi, whom they had accused of having a role behind the killing of Itishree Pradhan. “The BJP was accusing the BJD of shielding Mr. Pangi in the murder case, but how did they accept him now,” he asked.
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NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Tyvis Powell #23 of the Ohio State Buckeyes intercepts a ball in the fourth quarter during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Want to relive Ohio State’s Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama, Buckeye fans?Now you can. Ohio State football’s video production staff has created an awesome highlight video of the Buckeyes’ 42-35 upset victory over the then-No. 1 Crimson Tide on Jan. 1. Check it out:
DES MOINES, Iowa — American farmers still working to get out their remaining soybeans after a weather-plagued harvest season are struggling to figure out what to do with a record crop now their traditionally dominant export market is largely closed.Usually by this point in the year, 100-car trains filled with North Dakota soybeans would be moving to ports on the West Coast destined for China. This year is different because that leading soybean customer has all but stopped buying American soybeans in response to President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs.Some farmers are storing unsold beans, hoping prices will improve and markets open. But with farmers already in debt due to high costs but falling net income, economists are warning they could be forced out of business by the export crisis.David Pitt, The Associated Press
BEIJING — China has announced a 90-day suspension of tariff hikes on $126 billion of U.S. cars, trucks and auto parts following its cease-fire in a trade battle with Washington that threatens global economic growth.The tax agency said the suspension that takes effect Jan. 1 is intended to carry out the agreement reached by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping during a Dec. 1 meeting in Argentina.The agency said Beijing will suspend a 25 per cent import charge on $66 billion of cars and trucks and a 5 per cent charge on $60 billion of auto parts.Trump agreed earlier to suspend planned U.S. tariff hikes due to take effect Jan. 1 on Chinese imports while the two sides negotiate.The Associated Press
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flew back to Ottawa last Sunday to meet with both premiers to try solve the impasse, but the meeting ended with no clear resolution.Trudeau said after the meeting that the federal government was prepared to financially back the pipeline, and he had directed Finance Minister Bill Morneau to sit down with the company to discuss the matter.Kean confirmed on the call that discussions have begun, but said he was not going to make any details public until a definitive agreement has been reached or the discussions have ended.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – The CEO of Kinder Morgan says events in recent days have reinforced his concerns about the viability of the Trans Mountain expansion project.Speaking on an earnings conference call, Steve Kean said the company suspended work on the project earlier this month because the investment may be “untenable for a private party to undertake,” and that events in recent days have “confirmed” those views.The political wrangling around the project has significantly escalated since Kinder Morgan halted work, with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley pushing to restrict oil shipments to British Columbia while B.C. Premier John Horgan stands firm in his opposition to the project.
Hyderabad: A 50-year-old farmer was found dead on a paddy heap at a procurement centre in Kamareddy district, police said Thursday. Prima facie it appeared that Gopal died of suspected sunstroke and was found dead by other farmers Wednesday morning on his farm produce, they said. Gopal sold his farm produce in the market three days ago and was waiting for transportation to send the commodity to the buyer. Under the blazing sun, he was guarding his paddy which was kept on the road. He was sleeping on the paddy in the nights. On Wednesday morning, members of his family arrived to the market and tried to awake up Gopal, but he had died in his sleep.
Ohio State then-freshman forward Joshua Jackson-Ketchup (9) takes the ball downfield during the Ohio State- BGSU game on Sep. 22. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignThere is no doubt the Ohio State men’s soccer team came out playing to win their match against Cleveland State on Friday. The opening 15 minutes provided a look at an aggressive Buckeye squad, perhaps more aggressive than it has been all season long. They made passes they normally would not have tried to make in earlier matches. Redshirt senior midfielder Brady Blackwell split his way through two defenders in a spot where he may have elected to pull up and wait for something to develop alongside him. However, even with the increased intensity and aggressiveness, Ohio State (1-8-2) still came up short, falling to Cleveland State (3-5-1) 2-0 on Friday night. Ohio State head coach Brian Maisonneuve cited the fact that his team outshot Cleveland State and created more corner kicks than their opponents, yet said he was troubled by the fact that they are finding ways to lose games.“I mean, right now, you look at the stats and I think we outshot them 10-5, we out corner kicked them 4-1 and you know right now it’s unfortunate because sometimes we’re finding ways to lose games,” Maisonneuve said.For the next 15 minutes, the game seemed to calm down some, a chance here and look there, but nothing too threatening to either goalkeeper. Ohio State redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried plucked a contested pass, bound for the head of a Cleveland State attacker, out of the air.On the other end, Ohio State senior forward Michael Prosuk saw his free kick glide just over the crossbar. But the rest of the game did not go to plan for the Buckeyes. “That is part of the building process but eventually that is kind of a learned behavior is how you find ways to win games and we’re doing the opposite right now,” Maisonneuve said. “So, I mean, we’ve got to focus on that and really find ways to pull these out.”Cleveland State opened the scoring in the 38th minute when junior midfielder/forward Lawrence Karpeh ripped home a blistering shot from over 30 yards out.The second half rolled around and the Vikings added to their lead. A turnover in the midfield lead to a three on two fast break opportunity for the Vikings in the 59th minute and sophomore midfielder/forward Zach Kluever finished the job to make it 2-0 and provide the dagger for Cleveland State.“At the end of the day we’ve got to come out fighting and we may be having probably the roughest start ever, you know, here at Ohio State but it’s all about mentality and how we, you know, bounce back,” sophomore forward Joshua Jackson-Ketchup said. That’s all that matters and if we keep grinding then things will turn around and we’ve just got to look at the bigger picture and look at the future really.”The Buckeyes (1-8-2, 0-3-1) travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange on Monday.