Author Topic: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....  (Read 6044 times)

Offline Tubalard

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2011, 10:01:22 pm »
My house would have following:
It would be sitting on rocks that would be heated in the winter
Windows in low and high position for convective cooling
WIndows to absorb light in winter and a pond to act as a heat sink
A water fountain for evaporative cooling if located in arid land
2 floors would be best in cold areas and winter to reduce heat dissipation due to reduced exterior surface area.
1 floor for warm areas
I think I'd prefer to build it out of foot diameter stones and mud, walls 3 feet thick and exterior lined with concrete.  This works out great for desert like conditions.  Walls remain warm at night and cool during day.
In very hot climate I'd put in a tropical roof so which is really like a double roof.  The exterior tropical roof is exposed to the sun load but a 2-3 inch gap exist between metal (aluminum, steel) roof and the real roof to allow for cooling.  I think it also has some perforations.

I wonder if you can drive copper piles into the ground to draw the 60F heat from the earth?  It proabably wouldn't be efficient.  Or what if a basement was dug some 10 feet into the soil, would that help keep the house warmer?  I think so.

I'm ok with house temps up to about 95F and down to 55F.  I think it would work out.  Maybe I'll come up with further points to the wish list...
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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2011, 10:25:18 pm »
Tubby....check out geothermal heating and cooling....I am about to pull the trigger on this climate control system.  A bit expensive initially but pennies to operate....

Offline Tubalard

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2011, 10:29:28 pm »
Just for fun, here's a similar wrestling building using a low-arch quonset structure for a roof, and two 20' High Cubes at each end.  This pushes the wrestling area out to 44 feet wide by 144 feet long, with a 9' 6" drop ceiling.  That's 6336 square feet; room enough for four full circles.  Plus a bit over 3000 square feet of divided space inside the cubes.

If you got the containers for $3000 apiece (which is reasonable, though you can find them for less), that's $36,000 for the walls.  I haven't priced quonset structures in a long time, but they're pretty reasonable.



Why wouldn't you just go with a full arch quonset building?  The width should accomodate a mat.  So maybe the lenth could accomodate 3 mats.  So for practices perfect.  Portapoties outside.  Showers at home.  Open the garage doors at each end during good weather.  Close doors during winter.  Windows not required, only insulation for winter.

http://www.steelmasterusa.com/products/quonset-hut-history
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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2011, 10:47:47 pm »
I have a ton of stuff saved in my favorites on storage container buildings.....this is a blog I have followed for a couple of years ... http://www.thearkhaus.com/


This thread has some good info with mutltiple links concerning shipping container construction ... http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=53485
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 10:55:05 pm by Drooke »

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2011, 11:32:02 pm »
I always thought abandoned silos would make a cool house as well as lighthouses. Straw bail is pretty efficient and well suited for the SW. Had a large development near us SE of Santa Fe. Also had some earthships http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship that were being taken of the power grid. That would be a major plus and they're kind of interesting. I've looked into the storage container houses and they certainly have some potential. Also ICF's and SIP's (my favorites) http://www.earthcoresips.com/?gclid=CP2iiNnIiqkCFQsCbAodLDnBpA make great alternatives.

I know this isn't the silo you are probably talking about Cougar and I don't know if you saw this in another thread i posted ....so....  http://www.missilebases.com/properties

Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2011, 01:07:25 am »
Why wouldn't you just go with a full arch quonset building?  The width should accomodate a mat.  So maybe the lenth could accomodate 3 mats.  So for practices perfect.  Portapoties outside.  Showers at home.  Open the garage doors at each end during good weather.  Close doors during winter.  Windows not required, only insulation for winter.

If all you want is a place to work out, sure.  Even then, though, there are drawbacks to Quonset huts.  For one thing, you wind up enclosing space which you can't use (for normal stuff) along either side due to the low clearance.  You can go with a modified shape, e.g.:



... but then you wind up paying more to clear the same span (and limit your maximum possible span) because it's not as strong a shape.  So one solution is to build up low walls, and then mount the quonset structure atop them.  You see this sort of thing on farms, and where road equipment is stored, often using a plastic semi-cylinder.

Then you have to insulate the thing and hang lighting, both of which are difficult.  Ultimately, a lot of people find it easier just to put up a pole barn.  I believe the costs are roughly comparable, depending on the price of steel at a given time.

At any rate, that's a solution for just giving yourself a place to put down mats and wrestle.  The plan I modeled is for a fair bit more than that.  It's a self-sufficient (though minimalist) club facility, with more economic potential.  You could even run small tournaments in it each weekend, if you had additional space for people to hang out.

Which brings me around to something else which has been on my mind for a long time:  a permanent tournament facility.  Weekend tournaments can be profitable, but they're labor-intensive (especially concessions).  But if you could put together a suitable facility with, say, 8 to 10 circles, you could run tournaments (wrestling mostly, but also grappling, Judo, etc.)  every weekend with far less manpower, use it for club workouts and other such during the week, and turn it into a camp facility in the summertime.

StephanVonVesthell

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2011, 02:37:21 am »
In the few years I've participated in internet forums, this is by far my favorite thread hands down.

Offline Cougar1

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2011, 08:45:15 am »
I always thought abandoned silos would make a cool house as well as lighthouses. Straw bail is pretty efficient and well suited for the SW. Had a large development near us SE of Santa Fe. Also had some earthships http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship that were being taken of the power grid. That would be a major plus and they're kind of interesting. I've looked into the storage container houses and they certainly have some potential. Also ICF's and SIP's (my favorites) http://www.earthcoresips.com/?gclid=CP2iiNnIiqkCFQsCbAodLDnBpA make great alternatives.

I know this isn't the silo you are probably talking about Cougar and I don't know if you saw this in another thread i posted ....so....  http://www.missilebases.com/properties

True, but I did look into those once as well. Pretty cool stuff and you can get them on the cheap. Don't know if I like the living underground idea though. I kinda like the view from above terra firma.  :)
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Offline Tubalard

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2011, 12:18:18 pm »
Why wouldn't you just go with a full arch quonset building?  The width should accomodate a mat.  So maybe the lenth could accomodate 3 mats.  So for practices perfect.  Portapoties outside.  Showers at home.  Open the garage doors at each end during good weather.  Close doors during winter.  Windows not required, only insulation for winter.

If all you want is a place to work out, sure.  Even then, though, there are drawbacks to Quonset huts.  For one thing, you wind up enclosing space which you can't use (for normal stuff) along either side due to the low clearance.  You can go with a modified shape, e.g.:


... but then you wind up paying more to clear the same span (and limit your maximum possible span) because it's not as strong a shape.  So one solution is to build up low walls, and then mount the quonset structure atop them.  You see this sort of thing on farms, and where road equipment is stored, often using a plastic semi-cylinder.

Then you have to insulate the thing and hang lighting, both of which are difficult.  Ultimately, a lot of people find it easier just to put up a pole barn.  I believe the costs are roughly comparable, depending on the price of steel at a given time.

At any rate, that's a solution for just giving yourself a place to put down mats and wrestle.  The plan I modeled is for a fair bit more than that.  It's a self-sufficient (though minimalist) club facility, with more economic potential.  You could even run small tournaments in it each weekend, if you had additional space for people to hang out.

Which brings me around to something else which has been on my mind for a long time:  a permanent tournament facility.  Weekend tournaments can be profitable, but they're labor-intensive (especially concessions).  But if you could put together a suitable facility with, say, 8 to 10 circles, you could run tournaments (wrestling mostly, but also grappling, Judo, etc.)  every weekend with far less manpower, use it for club workouts and other such during the week, and turn it into a camp facility in the summertime.

The low clearance on the sides is an issue with these structures.  I wonder how the houses that have domes on top cope with the separation forces of the dome above.  Wonder if they have horzontal bars in tension.  If the dome in on the ground floor then the floor can serve as the members in tension.

An any case I saw a documentary on the invention of the modern monolithic dome raised by air pressure.  It was pretty clever.  These guys are still in business.  I wouldn't think using the technology is cheap due to the specialized US labor required.

http://www.adomedream.com/id2.html

The goal of an 8 to 10 circles is a nice little sports facility...

I generally like to start a project and then while I have the optimism, energy and initiative.  Which means the they get an imperfect start but I keep adding iteratively until I end up with a good result.  So yeah I don't mind looking like a fool presenting imperfect first draft results but then with time the team gets on board and then in a few years alls sudden you end up with a great product. 

Unfortunately these structures, like all civil engineering projects are more of a one shot deal in their production.  Meaning that you can't really add to them once built.  So maybe the whole business plan aspect is what has to get worked out to death prior to construction.

Regarding further improvement to dream house - I'd put a large cylinder on top of the structure painted in black to act like a chimeney during hot days.  The cylinder would get really hot from sun load then you could open up a window from inside and the hot air would rise and pull in cooler air from bottom and there you have a great convective current!  I'm sure pyrimidal, semi-sphefical and and semicircular shapes with window on top would also behave similarly but its the superior convection that I would like to see.
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Offline red viking

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2011, 12:34:40 pm »
If I ever build a house it will be made of concrete including the roof.  Great insulator and it is my understanding that radiation cannot pass through it. X-rays, gamma rays, microwaves, etc.  Getting less radiation would probably be healthy, especially in the modern era with all these cell towers, wireless internet, etc. As an added bonus, it would be more difficult for the corporations to spy on me.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 12:53:19 pm by red viking »
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Offline ctc

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2011, 01:36:00 pm »
If I ever build a house it will be made of concrete including the roof.  Great insulator and it is my understanding that radiation cannot pass through it. X-rays, gamma rays, microwaves, etc.  Getting less radiation would probably be healthy, especially in the modern era with all these cell towers, wireless internet, etc. As an added bonus, it would be more difficult for the corporations to spy on me.
And for the space aliens to read your mind.   ;)
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Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2011, 11:16:37 pm »
If I ever build a house it will be made of concrete including the roof.  Great insulator and it is my understanding that radiation cannot pass through it. X-rays, gamma rays, microwaves, etc.  Getting less radiation would probably be healthy, especially in the modern era with all these cell towers, wireless internet, etc. As an added bonus, it would be more difficult for the corporations to spy on me.

Concrete is actually a poor insulator; being very dense, it conducts heat well.  It is reasonably good for blocking radiation, but you might slightly increase your overall exposure from radiation emitted from the concrete itselfSteel is considerably better shielding per inch, so it depends on how much concrete you'd use.  If you designed a steel house properly, it could also act as a Faraday Cage, which would keep nosy people from monitoring your brainwaves.

Interesting perspective on radiation (hard to read here, though, due to the maximum image size: see the original):


« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 11:26:33 pm by Ray Brinzer »

Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2011, 12:21:12 am »
My house would have following:
It would be sitting on rocks that would be heated in the winter

You're not going to want to waste energy heating the ground beneath you.  Heating your floors can be a good idea, but you'd want insulation beneath the heating units.

WIndows to absorb light in winter and a pond to act as a heat sink

Keep in mind, a thermal mass is going to tend to stabilize the nearby temperature... whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends.  A frozen pond might not be what you want when the weather warms up in spring.  (And then, of course, there are the mosquitoes...)

2 floors would be best in cold areas and winter to reduce heat dissipation due to reduced exterior surface area.
1 floor for warm areas

It's not just heat dissipation, it's heat absorption, too.  If you want to keep the inside colder than the surrounding air, you'll want to reduce surface area, too.

I think I'd prefer to build it out of foot diameter stones and mud, walls 3 feet thick and exterior lined with concrete.  This works out great for desert like conditions.  Walls remain warm at night and cool during day.

Since you're interested in thermal masses, something you might like for colder climates:  masonry heaters.



Stoke it once a day, and you're done.

By the way, useless fireplaces a great peeve of mine.  And most fireplaces in the United States are useless.

I wonder if you can drive copper piles into the ground to draw the 60F heat from the earth?  It proabably wouldn't be efficient.

Check out geothermal heat pumps.  You also might find deep lake water cooling interesting.  Cornell University uses it.

Or what if a basement was dug some 10 feet into the soil, would that help keep the house warmer?  I think so.

Yes, berming works.  But you have to take care with waterproofing.

Offline red viking

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Re: How to Convert a Grain Bin to a Home....
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2011, 12:49:55 am »
Quote
It is reasonably good for blocking radiation, but you might slightly increase your overall exposure from radiation emitted from the concrete itself.

The concrete itself is probably going to emit infrared radiation, which isn't harmful at all.  It is the higher frequency, shorter wavelength radiation such as gamma rays, x-rays, etc.  that is harmful.

Steel may be better per unit thickness but you can't ignore the cost and weight factors.

The chart is interesting, but time is a big factor in evaluating radiation damage. What I mean is that when you receive a dose over a long period of time your body can more easily repair the damage to DNA.  When it is received over a short period of time that isn't necessarily the case.  It is my understanding that merely comparing the volume of radiation without considering the type of radiation or amount of time that it occurred over is overly simplistic and if it is a scientist trying to feed this to you it is either negligence or dishonesty. Quantifying DNA damage from radiation is pretty complex and can't be dumbed down to such a figure.

When somebody says that a radiation dose isn't so bad because you get more radiation from the sun over a course of the year, I view that as bunk.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 12:58:56 am by red viking »
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