Category Archives: How Tos

Structures on Blocks or Shipping Containers

Storage containers and over sized concrete blocks are the economical solution for needing to elevate structures to create more storage capacity.

One consideration is when the product being stored does not lend itself to stacking, such as salt, sand or soil, there is the added dimension of outward push on the wall. Not only does the pile push outwardly, but an operator scooping the product will create even greater push.

Storage containers and over sized concrete blocks are the economical solution for such a situation. The weight and the stability which both the containers and blocks give, eliminates the need to anchor into the ground.

Containers are often simply put on the ground.

When going more then two layers with the blocks, there should be a concrete pad or special preparation of the soil to provide stability.

When choosing this foundation method, it is important to consider how and where the shelter will shed water and snow.

The top of the wall or container must be sealed to the possibility of moisture going inside.

The other thing that must be given proper consideration is that the shelter is able to deal with the extra wind load created by elevating the shelter this much.

In most of these installations, the wind load on a building is at least double of what it would be if mounted on the ground.

sand storage on blocks Haystorage on blocksBrunelle Container pictures 001Brunelle Container pictures 012

Organic Greenhouses/Shelters-uses and benefits

There are many benefits to having a greenhouse structure for organic growing and housing.

They are often used a season extender for protecting crops from the elements, blight, and fungus. Since Organic growers and farmers do not use pesticides, this type of protection is often required for some of the more sensitive crops.smaller high profile

The structures are easy to move to allow the expansion of the growing area.These structures can easily help to give you the opportunity to grow more crops in a limited area. What many of our customers also do, particularly with Hanley Caterpillar structures, is start growing the early crops under the protection of the structure, and as the crop is stable enough, they move the structure to be able to start the next planting.

Knight Hanley Structure

Our structures are also used for organic livestock raising to ensure the animals have a healthy, safe and protected environment out of the elements. They are versatile structures, and only require the changing of clear to white plastic for the various uses. The environment allows the animals to have sunlight, but still get the shade they require.

Goats5

The combination of the double layer of plastic, roll up sides, and inflator fan, on both the greenhouse and livestock shelters, helps to reduce condensation and keep the structure ventilated.

We have different options to power the inflator fan or create the cushion of air required for the double layer poly benefits for those off grid customers or if the structure is out in the field away from electricity as we know many of our organic growers and farmers are in these situations.

Covering Ends – Plastic & Tarp

Please refer to the Ends page in the assembly guide as well

When you are covering the ends of the structure, there are some similarities and some fundamental differences when you are covering with plastic or with tarp.

The aluminum wirelock channel must be installed on the top side of the hoop before you start the cover. The framing must also be in place before you are putting on the cover.

Your cover will be a rectangle and you must double check if the two ends were supplied as one piece or not.

  • You start at the base of one side and go continuously over the peak so that there is not an edge at the peak.
  • The cover gets fastened, temporarily, at the base first on either side of the door and then pull out to the corners.

If there is ANY wind, do into the wind side first.

  • Please remember that whenever you have wrinkles or folds, you will pull 90 degrees to the wrinkle.

Excess on the end covers will only get trimmed off after the roof cover is on as well.

If you are covering the end with plastic

  • you would go with the extra of your rectangle and fasten it temporarily to the back side of your framing.
  • At the very most, at this stage you will put part of a wire insert on either side of the peak.
  • When the cover is sitting smooth, you can put some strapping on the vertical framing to hole the cover in place.

If you are covering the ends with tarp

  • you will need to remove the wirelock channel first.

This may seem like double work, but the channel is now curved to the building with the required screw holes.

  • The end tarp cover is sandwiched between the hoop and the bottom of the wirelock channel.
  • When you pull the tarp over the peak, you will reinstall the wirelock channel from the top and work down.
  • If you do the left, right or bottom first will be determined by where the wrinkles are (if any).

Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions at all and please watch the videos on our YouTube channel for more information

Building Ends

One of the beauties of a Multi Shelter is the flexibility of the ends. By building the ends according to your needs your new building can and will truly prove useful.

It is important to remember that you need to be very careful when you have one end closed and the other end open.

When one end is closed you could potentially create a “parachute effect” (trapping air, creating lift) and put a lot of added stress on your building and especially the cover. Call us to discuss ways of minimizing this if your circumstance really would require one end open and one end closed.

When planning ends, it is important to have sufficient vertical framing to support wind load, doors, fans, etc. The spacing between the vertical framing will be determined by the amount of opening space required for the doors, etc.

It is important to remember that where ever possible, framing needs to go from top to bottom. In the event of large openings, the related framing will need to be doubled or tripled.

It is also important to remember that when you are covering your end with tarp, the top end of the cover is sandwiched between the wirelock channel and the hoop.

When you are covering with plastic, you will be fastening the top end inside the channel with the roof cover even if your roof is a double layer.

Please see the two pages in the installation guide for more information as well as photos: Ends & Door Options

Installing Multiple Covers into One Wirelock Channel

This post covers another one of our most frequently asked questions,

HOW TO INSTALL MULTIPLE COVERS INTO ONE WIRELOCK CHANNEL!

We hope the description and video can help clarify this issue a bit more. Thanks for your feedback!

The beauty of wirelock is its ability to hold multiple layers of covers, even covers in different directions (i.e. roof and ends or 2 long lengths).

Before starting you must at least have the cover tacked at the opposite end. This will give you resistance for pulling the cover tight.

Our wirelock channel will hold up to 3 layers of 6 mil plastic securely.

Two layers of 12 mil tarp will not be held securely in the wirelock channel. This is why we recommend that the top of the end wall tarp be sandwiched between the channel and the hoop.

If you have never installed these covers before, it is recommended to use at least 3 people.

  • After the bottom of the end cover has been secured, pull the end cover over the hoop first.
  • Person “A” will hold it from the inside of the structure in such a way that there are no wrinkles.
  • The roof cover can now go over the channel as well.
  • Person “B” will pull on the roof cover while person “C” installs the stainless spring steel wire inserts.
  • “C” will start from the peak and work down.

It is critical to remember that “A” and “B”, who are pulling on the two respective covers, must always be pulling at least a foot ahead of “C” who is installing the wire insert. This will allow a little give in the covers so that there will not be damage.

With more experience “B” and “C” can be done by one person.

It is also important to remember the wrist technique for installing the wire insert. Do not slide the wire straight back and forth. This causes abrasions on the cover.

As you move back and forth, apply pressure with the thumb on the next parallel spot of the wire insert.
Use a needle nose pliers to get the last tip into the channel.
The next wire insert does not have to be overlapped.

For more details and to watch an illustration, please see our YouTube Video below

Wirelock & Sidewall Cover Fasteners

 Most buildings come with enough wirelock to be installed on top of the first and last hoop. Additional wirelock can be purchased to run along the sidewall, or to be used to attach the covering to the end framing or doors if desired.

The end wall tarp is sandwiched between channel and hoop, inserts hold the roof tarp in place. Please see videos on our covering FAQ page for more details

By installing the end channel and then removing it to install the end cover, your channel will be pre-bent and have the correct holes.

  •  Generally the channel is installed on the top of the end hoop with the open side UP
  • The plain channel does not have a front or a back, it is symmetrical.
  • Start at the bottom of the end hoop and work your way up, generally centered on the hoop
  • Secure with #12 x 3/4” speed screws at 12” centers, (small head screws give less wire interference)
  • Carefully line up the ends of consecutive pieces to eliminate edges which can tear the cover
  • Once you get to the top of the hoop, simply lean on the channel to bend it and then go down the other side
  • If you must cut at the top, wrap the ridge with duct tape to prevent cover tears
  • You will need to cut the last piece of channel to make it fit
  • If your structure is butted against a building it is easier to install the channel on the bottom of the hoop (please call for some additional instructions)

Side Wall Cover Fasteners (you have 3 choices)

Notes: Pipe Straps are supplied when a structure has roll-up side walls and/or anchor posts options. When base board (wood or steel) is fastened with pipe straps, the base board should be pushed in so that it butts into the last hoop

sidewall-fastenersPlease see our wirelock & sidewall cover fasteners page from the installation manual for more details and photos

Featured Add-On: Center Pivoting Gable Vent

We wanted to remind everyone of the center pivoting gable vent that we offer as a simple solution to the challenges of venting a building.

For venting to be effective, it has to be as high as possible. This is a cost effective alternative to costly roof vents.

Part of the window swings in and part of it goes out. Because of this

  • rain is never an issue
  • the window is easy to control even in extreme winds.
  • Incoming air is always deflected up to mix with the warmest air.
  • The tubular steel construction makes it both lightweight and resist twisting over time.

A continuous rope goes from the top of the window to a pulley at the ridge, down to ground level and back up to another pulley and then to the bottom of the window. By tying the rope off to an eye bolt on a gable post, this allows for very simple control from ground level.

Please don’t hesitate to call us for more details or with any questions you have about this option for your building!

vent3Vent4

Featured Add-On Roll Up Sides Q&A *Videos*

We made some tutorial videos regarding our roll up sides options. Please enjoy and let us know any comments you may have. You can also watch them all on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBUPJhbi2DLs0UYSo0FRwwi0pMo51PV80

As always, we are available for any questions that come up, so feel free to email multisheltersales@gmail.com or call our office 1-866-838-6729 Thanks!

You can also see more at our Roll Up Sidewall Considerations article (also below videos)

Ventilation can either be done passively through openings or mechanically with fans. Roll up sides are an economical way of getting lots of air movement since no electricity is required. Roll up sides become even more effective when used on longer buildings. Roll up sidewalls are often used in combination with a small exhaust fan for early and late season ventilation when opening the sides is not practical.

If a structure is very exposed, it is best not to open more then 3’ in height due to potential of wind damage. If a structure is extremely sheltered, it is best to go even up to 6’ to create maximum opening. Roll up sidewalls are most effective when used in combination with peak end wall vents to create a “chimney effect” to draw warm air out of the building, especially when it is very calm. These vents are effective for air movement when outside temperature does not allow opening of the sides.

When a structure has a low profile, you will need to be careful during rainy periods due to moisture getting into the structure area. High profile structures (with straighter walls) usually work better with roll up sidewalls. When preventing a floor draft is an issue, the roll up mechanism can be raised and then the structure is lined with a skirt for the bottom 2’-3’. When using this method of ventilation, it should always be done on both sides. An effective use of this method includes opening the “downwind side totally and the opposite side on marginally.

Photos & Video: Purlins, Windbraces & Crossties

IMPORTANT wind braces are the longer pipes, purlins are the shorter ones, Cross ties are optional, and they are the longest pipes you will get (pictured below, not here)

Installing Purlins

 

How to install windbraces video is on our YouTube Channel

Below are examples of structures with cross-ties, bars going across the peak for larger structures. These are optional to reinforce the structure. Please see the supplemental Cross-Ties page in the installation guide as well as additional notes below the photos

We’ve had a number of questions regarding cross ties being missing from orders. This isn’t the case, and is done on purpose because the last cross tie interferes with the end cover, so we ship the orders “short” on cross ties to compensate for this. We are sorry for any confusion this has caused and are happy to help you with any other installation questions you may have.

Cross ties, also known as collar ties, are a horizontal bar in a structure which ties the left and right side together. They are usually 3’ to 4’ down from the peak. The purpose of cross ties is to add load strength to the structure. Many people look at cross ties as a nuisance because of lost head space but they have a three fold benefit.

  • By forming the triangle at the peak you create benefit for the dead load which is usually snow load. The top can not come down when the sides can not spread.
  • By tying the left and right sides together, you create strength for the live load, commonly referred to as wind load. When the wind blows from the left, the right side holds it from pushing inward and vice versa.
  • Most importantly, it decreases the rocking motion which can stress a building over time.
  • The cross tie can also supply a very useful support area for things that need to be suspended.

It is important to remember that when you spread out the load you create strength.

Video: Installing Anchors into a Base Beam

The main function of anchors is to prevent uplift. Do not forget about the “foundation function” as well which is meant to prevent settling or lateral shifting.

Improperly anchoring a building from up lift, down force and lateral movement will all, equally, cause problems and expense.

There are many different ways of anchoring a building because there are so many circumstances which people are dealing with.

When anchors can be installed at opposing angles, they work against each other and therefore will multiply their  holding power.

  • Care must be taken to stay away from anchors that will bend (i.e. re-bar).
  • When the anchors are going straight into the ground, care must be taken to ensure proper holding power. This is most often done with plugs of concrete.
  • When anchors have been extended out of the ground, care must be exercised to eliminate the possibility of outward lean.
  • It is important to consider the total amount of square inches of contact area between anchors and soil. Many time fewer big anchors is less holding power.

One thing which simply can not be stressed enough is that there simply is no such thing as too many anchors. Anchors are generally very inexpensive, especially when you are looking with hind site at some damage.

For more details and to watch an illustration, please see our YouTube Video below