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Posts Tagged ‘recycle’

Nice grain bin house (click to enlarge)

Nice grain bin house (click to enlarge)


Grain bin home

Grain bin home


Another grain bin house

Another grain bin house


Stuccoed grain bin home

Stuccoed grain bin home


Grain bin apartment

Grain bin apartment


Interior view of grain bin apartment (follow the link below to see more stunning pics)

Interior view of grain bin apartment (follow the link below to see more stunning pics)


Our recent blog posts about Sukup SafeT Homes and SafeT Home Videos proved popular, so I thought readers might enjoy seeing a few more grain bin homes.

Image source: Little Homestead in Boise
Image source: Mother Earth News
Image source: Greenieweenie
Image source: EcoFriend
Image source 5, 6: Travel Shack
Related:
Mother Earth News: Convert a Used Grain Bin to a New House (best article I’ve found so far on grain bin houses)

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Top view of double pallet wall with post and beam frame

Top view of double pallet wall with post and beam frame


Wooden shipping pallets are typically available for free and are very practical for building homes, furniture and many other things. We’ve already explored several ways of building pallet walls: Post and Beam Pallet Wall, Earth Lodge Pallet Walls, Interior Pallet Walls, Straw Bale Pallet Walls.

This new design sprang from the idea of creating wider pallet walls to provide space for extra straw/clay insulation or other type of insulation. Total wall thickness is about 16” not including plaster and/or wall cladding. Note how the good side (top side) of pallets all face outward. The building process is as follows:
1. Construct the post and beam frame. In this proposed design, the posts are spaced two pallets apart.
2. Build the interior pallet wall. Horizontal 2×4 or 2×6 plates are attached at the base, between courses of pallets and along the top. Plates could be 3’-4’ salvaged boards from broken pallets.
3. Add a spacer board between the pallet walls to help stabilize the wall. This could consist of short pieces of scrap blocking or a long board.
4. Build the exterior pallet wall so the outer surface aligns with the outside of the posts. Some partial pallets are required. Partial pallets could be cut from damaged pallets.
5. Mix and stuff straw/clay inside the pallet wall.

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Heart pine flooring is naturally harder, and insect and decay resistant than sapwood

Heart pine flooring is naturally harder, and insect and decay resistant than sapwood


Premium heart pine flooring

Premium heart pine flooring


Reclaimed antique heart pine or ‘naily heart pine’

Reclaimed antique heart pine or ‘naily heart pine’


Antique heart pine illustrating how the color deepens with age

Antique heart pine illustrating how the color deepens with age


From Woodweb.com:
“What is heart pine?
Heart pine is the actual heartwood of the tree. Since pine used to be quite large when it was logged some hundred years ago, the pine trees were able to grow large enough to develop heartwood. Now that is not the case, as pine trees do not grow as big because they are harvested at an earlier age.

The “heart” is dark colored. It is decay resistant and more stable than the white/yellow sapwood.

Heart pine is generally considered to be recycled timber from first generation trees (trees that were standing when the first settlers landed in the 1600s). I believe most of the trees were long leaf pines, many as old as 300+ years. There were probably some other pine species mixed in, but the predominate tree was the long leaf. There were approximately 80,000,000 acres of these trees and almost all were gone by 1900. This wood was the primary building material for homes and factories. It is now being recycled as heart pine. Most structures built after 1900 were from second generation trees and do not exhibit the very tight rings associated with the first generation timber. So here in North Carolina heart pine being recycled is usually first generation timber with tight growth rings (I have seen as many as 30-35 per inch) and a large heartwood (usually red to yellow to orange). Anyway, if you are interested in purchasing old recycled original pine, be sure what you are getting. Prices can vary widely but, nevertheless, be prepared to pay between 5.00 to 12.00 per board foot. [Or salvage it yourself for free by helping demolish an old building.]

Heart pine does not have to be reclaimed or centuries old. It can be the heartwood of the southern pines. Often, the reclaimed or “old” pine is called antique heart pine, while pine sawn from trees today is called new heart pine.

The old mills treasured the heart because of its insect and rot resistance. There were two markets – heart pine and the less desirable sap pine. Because there were some applications where sap wood was wanted, there was still a small market for it. The trees they were sawing were, many times, filled with heartwood. Timbers and lumber were marketed with ten percent or less sapwood. The sapwood is creamy white to orange and the heartwood is reddish brown, getting darker with age. It wears better in a flooring situation too. You can still cut heart pine from trees growing today. It is just that there is not as much to go after. All you have to do is provide a board with a goodly portion of heartwood in it. Calling pine “heart pine” only because it is old and dragged from a river or because it came from an old building is just marketing. To actually be heart pine, the board must contain the heartwood of the tree.”

Source: Woodweb.com
Image source: Contemporary Floor Coverings.com
Image source 2, 3: Appalachian Woods.com
Image source: Whole Log Lumber

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It’s easy to make wood cladding with pallets, barnwood or other recycled wood. (click to enlarge)

It’s easy to make wood cladding with pallets, barnwood or other recycled wood. (click to enlarge)


Top view showing four methods of adding wood cladding to earthbags or pallet walls. (click to enlarge)

Top view showing four methods of adding wood cladding to earthbags or pallet walls. (click to enlarge)


Look at all the benefits of recycled wood cladding: almost completely free, reduces or eliminates plaster work, creates an interesting and beautiful contrast to plastered walls, can use short sections of wood from pallets or scrap wood. Wood cladding is a good way to avoid plaster work if you’re more of a carpenter than a plasterer. It’s a great way to add warmth and texture to your home, hide any irregular earthbag walls and utilize some of the recycled materials that our wasteful society has piling up everywhere. And best of all, wood cladding like this is super simple and easy. You could even do this on gently curving walls!

I want to hammer home the advantages of using wood cladding instead of plaster. For many, it goes beyond aesthetics and convenience. For instance, you may live in a very cold climate where plaster work is not practical or the cost of plaster is not affordable. You could use wall cladding, and similarly wood siding on the exterior if you want, to continue construction work through the winter.

Construction notes:
– Rent or buy a used brad gun and air compressor to speed production and eliminate hammering and bouncing wood. (Sometimes you can get good deals on used tools.)
– Rent or buy a chop saw, orbital sander and bench size table saw for greater efficiency.
– Prep the wood in advance. Do all the cutting and sanding preferably outside with a good dust mask.
– This method is perfect for pallet wood. Use a saber saw or sawzall to cut off the slats. Then use a chop saw or radial arm saw to trim one end. Then use a stop block to cut all the pieces to the same length.
– The vertical nailers can be made by using several short pieces put end to end. Example: pry off 1 meter slats with a hammer and crowbar for use as nailers.
– Save the best looking wood for cladding. Use inferior wood on the back part of nailers and where it won’t be visible.
– Tamp the earthbags relatively flat as you stack the bags. It’s more difficult to straighten/flatten the walls after the bags have dried.
– For best results on straight walls, use string-lines on the floor and ceiling to align the nailers. Make sure all the nailers are plumb and spaced correctly so the cladding fits neatly.
– To reduce waste, the spacing between nailers can be adjusted to match the size of your wood. For instance, you may decide to cut the slats off pallets instead of prying them off to save time and effort dismantling pallets. Allowing 1” for trimming the ends, you would have boards about 15” long for horizontal cladding.
– You could cut rabbets on the shoulders of the vertical nailers with a table saw as shown in drawing #3. It may be easier to assemble the nailers from smaller pieces of wood as shown in drawings #1 and #2. Join the pieces with a bead of glue and brads.
– Use logging spikes, large nails or possibly ¼” rebar (put in bench vise and flatten one end somewhat) to secure the vertical nailers to the wall. Drive in the spikes or nails at different angles so the nailers can’t pull loose. Counterbore for the nail head so the cladding will sit flat.
– Cladding can be installed with cladding boards set edge to edge (flat) or lapped like exterior siding (see photo).
– Other designs are possible: modified batt and board, angled, chevron.

Related:
Wainscoting
Interior Pallet Walls

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Shipping pallet flooring can be laid in various patterns such as this herringbone design.

Shipping pallet flooring can be laid in various patterns such as this herringbone design.


Parquet flooring can be made with recycled pallet wood or other recycled woods.

Parquet flooring can be made with recycled pallet wood or other recycled woods.


The post the other day on Pallet Floors explained one low cost floor building method made with pallet wood. A photo at Pinterest.com, originally from JetsonGreen.com, shows how pallet flooring can be arranged in different patterns. Very beautiful, and it’s free! (A big thumbs up to Pinterest.com and JetsonGreen.com for their fine work. These sites are producing lots of quality work.)

“Icelander Högni Stefan Thorgeirsson, owner of Iceland-based Arctic Plank, found a better use for it and produces flooring made from upcycled used pallet wood. Obviously, there is a unique and different aesthetic with pallet wood, which is often a mix of whatever junk species of lumber is cheapest and most readily available. Because of their size, pallets might not seem ideally suited for flooring, but Arctic Plank uses herringbone and parquet patterns to work with the short lengths of wood. Arctic Plank has been used for both interior and exterior applications. Turning what is usually regarded as junk wood into a finished flooring material is a fine example of upcycling.”

2nd image source: Reclaimed (click thumbnail images to see different designs)

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In this funny and insightful talk from TEDxHouston, builder Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he’s built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own creative drive.

Phoenix Commotion.com

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Rustic wood ceiling by Whole Log Lumber

Rustic wood ceiling by Whole Log Lumber


Barnwood ceiling by Stout Carpentry

Barnwood ceiling by Stout Carpentry


Open beam ceiling by Vintage Timberworks

Open beam ceiling by Vintage Timberworks


‘Naily grade’ wood by Whole Log Lumber

‘Naily grade’ wood by Whole Log Lumber

Recycled wood or reclaimed wood ceilings add warmth and character to a room. Each ceiling is unique, and the final result often looks better than new wood. Not only can you save a lot of money if you gather your own salvaged wood and build the ceiling yourself (which isn’t particularly difficult), no new trees have to be cut down. This means recycled wood ceilings are eco-friendly, especially when the wood is locally sourced. Reclaimed/recycled wood ceilings can last almost indefinitely and don’t have to be painted. Rustic wood ceilings are often made with old wood timbers (beams and joists) and planks of old recycled lumber. You can combine rustic wood planks with box beams for special effect.

A wide range of woods can be used – barnwood or barn boards, rough sawn pine, beetle kill pine, naily wood, unique hand-hewn antique woods, old growth wood (stronger and typically more beautiful and durable than new), remilled wood, knotty wood, pallet wood, beadboard, tongue and groove, recycled trim. You can mill almost any wood for ceilings if you have a bandsaw mill (blow downs, wood from tree trimmers, etc.). For more wood ideas, check out our blog post on Low Cost Wood for DIY Homebuilders.

Image source: Whole Log Lumber
Image source: Stout Carpentry
Image source: Vintage Timberworks

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Recycled concrete in rubble trench and gravel bags, with moisture barrier between earthbags and gravel bags to preventing wicking.

Recycled concrete in rubble trench and gravel bags, with moisture barrier between earthbags and gravel bags to preventing wicking.


From time to time we answer reader’s questions.
Zafra: We’re researching the possibility of acquiring cheap recycled concrete rather than having to pay for gravel for our foundation, but we’re concerned because we’ve read that concrete can wick water upwards to the earth walls.

Owen: Good question. Recycled concrete will work fine if you break it up into rock-sized pieces no larger than about 6″. Mix in plenty of small pieces (or some gravel) so the rubble trench is full of tightly compacted rubble with few air spaces. Compact the rubble with a tamper to reduce settling. Gravel bags are placed on top of the rubble trench.

You can also use concrete rubble in lower courses of ‘gravel bags’ or ‘rubble bags’ if it’s broken into small pieces. Use double bags – one inside the other – for added strength. Add a capillary break (moisture proof barrier) between the rubble bags and earthbags if you’re in a rainy climate or in doubt. (See drawing above.) A few dollars worth of plastic or tarpaper would prevent wicking of moisture up into the earthbags.

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Recycled wood can look better than new

Recycled wood can look better than new


Locati architects used reclaimed wood to create this fabulous living room in this luxurious mountain home

Locati architects used reclaimed wood to create this fabulous living room in this luxurious mountain home


Green flooring is not just bamboo

Green flooring is not just bamboo

I was lounging in one of my favorite restaurants the other day and just realized all the wood there is recycled. Maybe that’s why the ambience is so nice. The cooling system is another plus. Sprinklers water the roof and then the water trickles off into a fish pond in the center. In addition to cooling the open air restaurant, the sound is very soothing. Anyway, I love the character of old wood. The photos above are worth a thousand words, so I’ll keep this short. Recycled wood can save you money, help save the environment AND look great.

Image source: Pinterest
Image source: The Enchanted Home
Image source: Service Magic Connection

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Confined Earthbag (click to enlarge)

Confined Earthbag (click to enlarge)


Sometimes incremental changes are the most effective. People are naturally resistant to major changes, but they’ll more readily grasp and utilize small changes. That’s the thinking behind this confined masonry/earthbag system. Confined masonry is one of the most common building systems in the world, with millions of structures built this way.

Confined masonry construction consists of unreinforced masonry walls confined with reinforced concrete (RC) columns and RC bond beams. In Mexico, where confined masonry makes up over 60% of all structures, it is used for lowrise construction and for buildings up to seven stories high. Confined masonry housing construction is practiced in several countries that are located in regions of high seismic risk, including Mexico, Slovenia, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Serbia and Montenegro. A very important feature of confined masonry is that columns are cast-in-place after the masonry wall construction has been completed.

The drawing above shows how to mimic traditional confined masonry using mortared stone or rubble and rebar columns, with earthbags between. Make the columns with steel cages filled with mortared stone or rubble as shown. This is one good way to build long straight walls without buttresses. (Note: mountains of rubble are freely available in Haiti. This system was created to help utilize some of that waste material to rebuild the country sustainably.)

Confined Masonry Construction, by Mario Rodriguez

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