GOING TO PICK UP A TRAILER TOMORROW!

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Jumping jellybeans batman we have a bite! It’s a tandem axel camp trailer that has been gutted for some reason or another but I’m going to pick it up tomorrow!

wooooooooo I’m soo excited!

now I know what you are thinking, it isn’t pretty, I know, but it already has some form of frame that I can build on. This will save time and money having to get a frame together.

Also I can tear the siding off and sell it for scrap to get some starting cash for the project. I am debating the use of windows or just built in vents due to the whole “windows suck as insulation” bit

We will know more tomorrow! For now check out the pics!

Project Logo?

 

So I was just kind of messing around and came up with this, What do yall think?

 

Project UpCycle Logo v4.0

An introduction to Project Upcycle

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Project Upcycle

A MisterInnovation outreach project

I took a trip to the landfill recently and was astonished with the amount of useful material that was being thrown away by people. I grew up in government housing on less than $100 a week for a single mom and two kids, needless to say we learned to make do with less.

While I was walking around I was thinking about the tent cities popping up everywhere because the economy has taken everything from so many families, forcing them to live in tents while they try to get their lives back together. I was thinking about how little security these tents give someone who has lost everything and about how many materials that people are throwing away could be used to create mobile, secure housing for recovering families.

If even ten percent of the trash taken to the landfill could instead be used to create a secure place to live, think about how many people could work their way out of homelessness and back into society.

The goal of Project Upcycle is just that. We want to create sustainable living structures [UpShelters] that can be towed behind a truck, a car, a motorcycle, a bicycle or even by hand. UpShelters will be mobile to fit the nomadic lifestyle of the homeless, increasing a persons chance of recovery while at the same time decreasing the homeless footprint.

A tent city is seen as a nuisance to most people and the lack of sustainable waste removal only makes things worse. I have been to tent cities that you could smell from several blocks away because of the lack of utilities. Some churches have sponsored portable toilets only to have them fill up within a day or two and the smell is just as bad.

Project Upcycle also wants to create sustainable waste removal and power generation to combat these downfalls in tent cities. The larger UpShelters would have their own sustainable waste removal while churches or businesses can sponsor standalone waste removal units for use in tent cities or communities of smaller UpShelters.

Reliable transportation is one of the most limiting factors in homeless employment. With the UpShelter units, an employer could allow a family to dock their shelter behind the business, out of the way enough to not be a problem, but close enough that the employees could walk to work. For insurance, an employer would secure the shelter unit, making it immobile for the duration of the employment, this would protect against theft of the unit as well as preventing an employee from stealing from the place of employment then fleeing. Another theft prevention measure would be to mark the UpShelters with an identification number so that they can be tracked if need be.

We realize that Project Upcycle isn’t for everyone. Many people do not want to be helped, they do not want to find a job or get back on their feet, we cannot help these people. There are many families that do want to be helped and do want to find a job and get their lives back together. These are the people that Project Upcycle is designed for.

Project status:

At this point in the project we are working using very limited space and very limited materials. We are building a prototype unit to demonstrate the effectiveness and sustainability of these units and the potential of the project.

Unit 1:

The prototype unit will incorporate all of the features that could be available in an UpStructure making it completely sustainable and able to accommodate a displaced family of four or more.

Unit 1 will incorporate:

Solar power generators for lighting, cooling, and refrigeration

Pedal power generators for luxury items such as computers, televisions, electric cooking appliances etc.

A waste oil heater for unit heating, supplemental water heating and waste disposal. The waste disposal unit could also be used to generate wood gas that could power a generator if purchased separately. [instead of purchasing a generator, the wood gas could also be used to power an idling car so that the power generated could be used in the UpShelter.

A Solar hot water shower

A propane stove for cooking [this is not technically sustainable however I feel that it is a necessity to provide a safe heat source for cooking]

The waste oil heater could be used to cook food if a propane stove can not be afforded. If the solar array is large enough, although highly inefficient, electric cooking appliances can be used. If electric food heating is necessary it is suggested that pedal power generators be used instead of solar to keep the usage of the battery bank down, extending it’s life.

A chest refrigerator: Refrigeration is one of the most power consuming tasks in a home. Front door refrigerators are inherently inefficient; Every time you open the door, the cold air falls out and the refrigerator turns back on. With a chest refrigerator, this is eliminated as the door is on top. A chest refrigerator used properly can use less than 100 watts per day [less than a light bulb] and can provide sustainable food for a displaced family, you can cook several days worth of food at the beginning of the week, then refrigerate it so it can be reheated using much less energy than if it was cooked fresh.

A solar oven: this is an oven that generates its heat using the sun so that you can reheat foods that you cooked previously and stored. These are simple machines with no moving parts that use only the sun to operate.

Many of the items in Unit 1 are redundant this is for two reasons:

First, they are in place in case one of the devices fails [ie: solar hot water on a cloudy day]

Second, they demonstrate all of the possible systems in one UpShelter, how they are made using scrap materials, and how effective they are.

Unit >1:

The next Units to be built can be completely customized to meet the needs of the individual. They can range in size from a 120 square foot Unit with all amenities down to a 21 square foot Unit that can be moved like a rickshaw containing only enough room to lay down and sleep out of the elements.

Construction:

UpShelters will be constructed using as many reclaimed, reused and recycled materials as possible. Ideally, the Units will contain 100% UpCycled materials although fasteners may be hard to salvage.

UpShelters could be built on anything from a bicycle cart made of shipping pallets to an enclosed cargo trailer. [anything that has wheels so that it can be moved easily.]

UpShelters could be built using anything from a reclaimed camper shell to pallet wood, and covered using sheet metal, shingles, or even old billboard material [anything to keep the elements out]

UpShelters could be insulated using practically anything with insulating properties; Shredded clothes, packing foam, newspaper, even recovered cotton dropped off a cotton truck during the harvest season (if your area permits.) [Anything that helps keep the hot out in the summer and the cold out in the winter.]

Waste disposal:

Waste disposal is the most important part of the project. A composting or incinerating toilet will be used in larger Units. A partnership with local farmers is vital for providing an eco friendly waste disposal option.

Food:

UpShelters would give you the opportunity to cook wholesome yet cost effective meals reducing your living costs over eating fast food. For the same $5 that you could spend at a fast food restaurant getting a burger and fries you could buy two pounds of pasta, two pounds of beans, a loaf of bread and 5 gallons of drinking water and still have change left over. The money for one meal could easily be stretched out to supply a weeks worth of food. All it takes is a little time to learn and a place to cook.

Water:

If safe drinking water cannot be secured water can be disinfected using the Solar Disinfection method. This method uses nothing but the sun and clear pet bottles. Countries without running water use this method to disinfect their gathered water supply.

Showers:

Larger UpShelters would come equipped with a gravity fed shower. This would allow a person to wash themselves and their clothes giving them a stronger self image and a better chance at incorporating into society.

Supply:

This project is not profit oriented, the plans for these UpShelters will be open source and freely distributed. The only cost would be if a person wanted a ready made structure. Even then, the only charges would be compensation for time and effort spent gathering materials and constructing the Unit.

Donations:

Monetary donations are always appreciated and are used when materials simply cannot be found [fasteners are probably the largest demand with the smallest supply]

Material donations are also greatly appreciated. Things we need are:

screws

old trailers/trailer frames

broken, chipped, or damaged solar panels [anything helps]

scrap wood

scrap sheet metal/metal roofing

scrap shingles

scrap pvc pipe and/or fittings

scrap iron pipe and/or fittings

old hot water heaters [gas or electric]

old window A/C units [to be harvested for parts that can be used to make a cooling system]

scrap wiring/outlets/fixtures

scrap hinges

old/scrap/unused batteries

5 gallon buckets with or without lids

insulation materials

dc to ac inverters

12v+ cordless drills [to be used for pedal power or wind generators]

boric acid [to treat organic insulation]

dc lights

dc or ac fans [for cooling]

propane stoves

propane tanks

Designs:

All designs are open source and are free to be used, changed, and republished as long as MisterInnovation and Project Upcycle are given credit.

3×7 bikeshaw

[21 Square Foot (expandable to 45 square feet) Ultra Mobile Bicycle Towed UpShelter]

Upshelter Model 29

[29.2 Square foot Ultra Mobile Motorcycle Towed UpShelter]

Upshelter Model 48

[48 Square Foot Tiny Home]

Upshelter Model 96:

[Full featured 96 square foot tiny home]

Upshelter Model 128 [Unit 1]:

[128 square foot “could be” prototype UpShelter]

3×7 Bikeshaw:

[21 Square Foot Ultra Mobile Bicycle Towed UpShelter]

The Bikeshaw is designed to be ultra compact and towed behind a bicycle. It is built around a simple box frame. A 1 foot deep storage box lies along the entire bottom of the house, a bed mat lays on top for sleeping that can rolled away. Netted storage on the wall holds clothes, food, or other frequently used items.

A table on the far wall holds an electric skillet, hot plate, or camp stove. Due to ventilation issues, it isn’t suggested to use a camp stove unless the door is opened.

There is insulation in the walls, the floor insulation is the 1 foot storage compartment, and the roof is insulated using the living roof concept.

A planter box is built on the roof and food bearing plants are planted in it. The dirt provides insulation for the house while also providing food to the inhabitant. Solar panels can be installed on the roof to supply electricity to the home if the inhabitant desires. If only light is desired, solar garden lights can be installed on the roof and brought into the house when needed. The garden lights can also be used to recharge “AA” batteries for use in other appliances.

The entire house is mounted on a mountain bike and can be towed around with the inhabitant, or docked and used separately. The roof can either be built pitched or straight depending on preference. A pitched roof would drain by itself in the event of excessive rains however a flat roof would provide more interior space.

The measurements for the house are 3 feet wide by 7 feet long by 4 feet tall with a 4 foot wide by 8 foot long roof.

If the living roof is not desired to lessen weight then either bags of insulation can be hung from the ceiling, installed on the roof, or an additional panel can be built and insulation installed inside.

A 5 gallon composting toilet can be used outside with a privacy curtain if a waste disposal system is desired.

If a hard walled room is desired, two 4×8 sheets could be cut in half and hinged in the middle, then each of them installed to form one of the long walls. When the sheets are folded out they would form a hard walled room.4 foot by 8 foot.

The ceiling could be an awning or another hinged 4×8 board.

This design would leave a gap in the walls as tall as the trailer is above the ground, this could be left as is for ventilation, or covered for additional privacy.

Upshelter Model 29:

[29 Square foot Ultra Mobile Motorcycle Towed UpShelter]

The 29 is designed to be ultra compact and towed behind a Motorcycle. It is built around a teardrop frame. A 1 foot deep storage box lies along the entire bottom of the house, a bed mat lays on top for sleeping that can rolled away.

A table on the far wall holds an electric skillet, hot plate, or camp stove. Due to ventilation issues, it isn’t suggested to use a camp stove unless the door is opened.

There is insulation in the walls and the roof, the floor insulation is the 1 foot storage compartment.

Solar panels could be installed on the roof to supply electricity to the home if the inhabitant desires. If only light is desired, solar garden lights can be installed on the roof and brought into the house when needed. The garden lights can also be used to recharge “AA” batteries for use in other appliances.

The entire house is mounted on a small trailer and can be towed around by a motorcycle or small car, or it can be docked and used separately. The roof is built in a teardrop design in order to cut down on aerodynamic drag. In the nose of the unit there is a shelf installed to host cooking appliances. Under the shelf lies a chest style refrigerator. This type of refrigerator is vastly more fuel efficient than a front load refrigerator and works perfect when floor space needs to be conserved.

Along the trailing edge of the roof there is a second layer hinged in place that can be folded up in order to act as a wall of the exterior bathroom. The other three walls for the bathroom could be a shower curtain attached to the top board. A gravity shower could be hooked onto the back board to cover hygienic needs [of course using biodegradable non-toxic soaps and shampoos]

The measurements for the house are 4 feet wide by 8 feet long by 4 feet tall at its tallest point. The nose angles in for the first 2 feet to reduce drag. If the nose angle is not desired you would gain 3 square feet (32 square feet total)

A 5 gallon composting toilet is suggested for use in the outdoor bathroom area.

A [new] pesticide pump sprayer is suggested if pressurized water is desired for the shower.

Upshelter Model 48

[48 Square Foot Tiny Home]

Model 48 is the first UpShelter that can really be called a home. It has an indoor bathroom, a loft bed, and an office/kitchenette underneath. This model is large enough to host an incinerating toilet system which means less waste to deal with, just light it and leave it. The 2 foot by 3 foot bathroom is also host to a gravity fed shower for washing up. The greywater from the shower would run out to a filter underneath the home where it would be cleaned and either released into the ecosystem, recycled for use in an evaporative cooler, or stored in a tank for use in a garden or in a roof cooling system.

Underneath the bed is a chest refrigerator that can act as a desk when not being opened, a small convection oven, and a range also sit atop a small pantry for dry food storage.

The frame is a standard house frame with a pitched roof for water runoff.

Solar panels can occupy the roof to provide power for the home. Pedal powered generators can also be used for power generation.

A gasifier system can be added to the incinerating toilet to also provide wood gas that can run a generator or idling car engine to generate auxiliary power.

If extra storage is desired, the far wall can be cut out and a mother in laws nest added. If a 38 inch deep nest is constructed, a second twin sized bed can be installed.

This Home is designed for 1-2 people, but can accommodate over 4 if need be.

Model 96:

[Full featured 96 square foot tiny home]

Several years ago I watched an interview with Jay Schafer that really blew my mind. He had been living in a 96 square foot home. I measured it out and yep, it was smaller than my bedroom. I watched the tour of his home and knew this is what I wanted to do. In just 96 square feet he had a living area, a cooking area, a loft bed, and a decent amount of storage.

In the Model 96 the kitchenette contains a chest style refrigerator, tabletop range, convection oven, microwave oven, and dry food storage.

The reason that I have been avoiding a microwave oven until now is the thought that it would facilitate eating less healthy, less nutritionally, and less frugally. It’s easy to just go buy a microwave dinner and throw it in when you are hungry, but why is that any better than just going to a fast food restaurant and eating? The reason I am including a microwave in this model is because of how energy efficient they are. If you microwave something for three minutes [using an 800w microwave] you only use 40 watt hours of electricity. [the same as leaving a 60 watt lightbulb on for 40 minutes]

The frame is a standard house frame with a pitched roof. The pitched roof can be exchanged for a flat roof if expansion is desired [adding a loft for storage or sleeping] However if the pitched roof isn’t used the house needs to be raised at the front to facilitate rainwater drainage and prevent roof sag..

The 2 foot by 3 foot bathroom is also host to a gravity fed shower for washing up. The greywater from the shower would run out to a filter underneath the home where it would be cleaned and either released into the ecosystem, recycled for use in an evaporative cooler, or stored in a tank for use in a garden or roof cooling system.

Model 128 [Unit 1]:

[128 square foot “could be” prototype UpShelter]

Unit 1 is going to be built around the what one could have if they worked hard, budgeted, and kept their priorities in order. It can be completely customized to accommodate a single person or a couple, up to eight people if desired.

Model 128 is built on a 16′ by 8′ trailer with a standard shed frame either single story or with a raised ceiling and added lofts for storage or extra sleeping areas. The unit can be built with a pitched roof or, if additions are desired the unit should be built with a flat roof but the unit should be raised on one side to assist with drainage and prevent roof sag.

The bathroom is 3’x3′ and contains an incinerating toilet and a gravity shower.

The kitchenette contains a countertop convection oven, microwave, and range as well as a gravity fed sink.

The living area is open to customization but could contain anything from a fold out couch, to a loft bed, to bunk beds, to bunk beds and loft beds, all depending on how many people are occupying the shelter.

To power the shelter a combination of solar, wind, pedal power, and biofuel generators.

Led and Compact Florescent Light bulbs will help lessen the electrical draw from the shelter

Solar hot water would be installed on the roof to provide hot water during the day.

The insulation in the walls will be anything from Shredded clothes, packing foam, newspaper, even recovered cotton dropped off a cotton truck during the harvest season (if your area permits.) [Anything that helps keep the hot out in the summer and the cold out in the winter.]

If an organic insulator is used it must be treated with boric acid before installation in order to fireproof the shelter and prevent pests.

To heat the unit in the winter a waste oil burner could be incorporated and hot air pumped through the shelter. The waste oil burner could also be used to provide hot water at night when solar hot water isn’t usable. Waste oil can be collected from restaurants, auto shops, schools, etc and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

To cool the unit in the summer an evaporative cooling unit could be installed using the filtered grey water collected from the house. This would provide a green and useful option to dispose of the grey water while cooling the house in the process. In the winter the grey water could be sprayed on the roof for added insulation.

Diesel generators can be converted to run on waste oil to create eco friendly power using otherwise waste materials.

Gasoline generators can be converted to run on Bio gas generated from organic waste creating usable energy as well as a powerful organic fertilizer.

Residents living in a Model 48, 96 or 128 are ready to incorporate into society because their shelters have all the amenities of a home including an indoor bathroom]. These Units can be parked at any mobile home or RV park and hooked up to utilities. Since the plumbing Would not withstand city water pressure a hose hookup to the gravity tank would need to be installed along with a float valve found in toilet systems, this way the gravity tank would always be full and the unit would have running water. Waste removal is already covered with incinerating toilets and the greywater filter, and electricity could be supplied using a 12v battery charger [to charge the battery bank] or inverter[to directly feed the house] if the electrical system is DC, or an RV plug if the system is AC.

Residents in models smaller than Model 48 (or without an indoor bathroom) could park at a campground or an rv park with its own bathrooms.

Since these shelters can be built using only second hand, scrap, or donated materials, I have had some people ask me “Why not just give the shelters to the homeless?”

I have found in my years volunteering that handouts don’t do anybody any good. “If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish, he will eat for life.” I believe that helping people help themselves is a better alternative. The plans will be offered for free if you can prove your financial situation. The built homes will be leased or “rent to own” to anyone who can prove they need them. The money from the rental of these units will pay for the labor involved in getting the materials and constructing these shelters. After that has been payed off, The money will be used to purchase materials that can’t be found easily and to help pay for supplies for “cooking on a budget” classes.

For anyone else who wants to build one of these Units, the plans will be available for $15 each or all of the plans for $30. The money will be used to purchase materials that can’t be found easily, and to help pay for supplies for “cooking on a budget” classes.

The cooking on a budget videos would be published online so that they could be watched anywhere at any time by anyone as many times as they want for free. This could not only benefit the homeless but also single mothers, college students, low income families, or anybody looking to save some extra money!

For anyone else that wants to buy a ready built unit, and there is no demand for one by someone who needs it, the units will be sold for their approximate value, then the money will be used to provide needed items to the lessees, food, cooking appliances, solar panels, etc. These items would be given out depending on effort, hard work, and a review from their employers. Harder working, more responsible, people would be rewarded more than a people who were making no effort to find a job and were still begging for money. This conditioning would make people want to work harder and get back on their feet faster, propelling the program forward.

If you are interested in helping or you are interested in purchasing plans, you can email projectupcycle@gmail.com

If you are interested in the cooking on a budget videos, the channel is here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/itscollegemealtime

 

 

 

EDIT: I have had a few people ask me what I used to draw up the designs in the slideshow,  Its a free program called Sweet Home 3d. You can find it on download.com