Tag Archives: shelter solutions

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

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

Cold Weather Poly Install

Many people in the fall are faced with the prospect of putting covers on in less than ideal weather. As long as the temperature is cold, everything stays quite taunt. As the temperature eventually starts to warm up, you will be faced with the inevitable wrinkles. You will need to tighten the cover to prevent premature wear due to flapping in the wind.

Tightening does not have to be done all at once. You can do half one day and half on another. It is important to remember that you are always pulling at 90 degrees to the wrinkles. Most of the tightening will need to be done lengthwise first.

If you have a loose cover and no time this week to tighten things, there is a temporary fix! Take a soft length of rope (do not use nylon!) and throw it over the building where the cover is particularly loose. Tie the rope off at the base as tight as you can.

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Installing Before Winter

There always seems to be so much pressure and panic at this time to get a building before winter. The only thing that is important to get done sooner then later is the foundation work. There will be lots of decent weather days between now and Christmas to get the job done.

If you think that it is too late to get it done and you will simply wait until next spring, please remember that you said the same thing last spring (or even a few months ago) and as usual the busyness of life got in the way. Give us a call today to see how you can get that foundation taken care of before freeze up.

For those of you who want to get the structure up now and cover it in the spring, I urge you to cover the building sooner then later for a couple of reasons. First is that there will be lots of other things vying for your time in the spring and secondly, the more snow you have on that spot which has to melt, the more moisture you will have in the building. The more moisture you have in the building the more condensation issues you will have. You want to give that ground the most time possible to dry up before you need to start using the building.

In my humble opinion, even though putting the cover on in late fall or early winter is more difficult and not pleasant, the benefits of having more time for the ground to dry, far outweigh the time spent to adjust the cover  in the spring

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

Structures on Blocks or Shipping Containers

There has often been the need to elevate structures to create more storage capacity. 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 storage requirement. 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

Livestock Shelter Benefits

Animals thrive in a greenhouse type environment benefiting from being dry, and being out of the wind and in the light, without being in the direct sun. The cushion of air created by the inflator fan will reduce the condensation. Roll up sides are added for easy natural ventilation. Usually customers attach a snow fence or netting to the inside of the arch if the structure is mounted to the ground, so the animals do not come in contact with the cover or run away when the sides are rolled up. A short wall is also an option to keep the animals away from the plastic while also increasing the sidewall height. A white tarp covering may be used instead of the double white poly, especially in situations where the animals are going in and out on their own accord when they require shelter.

Read more on our livestock page for more information

Greenhouses 101: Covering Options

We have previously covered the idea that while considering your structure choices you will have to weigh cost versus benefit or return. There is no area which this is more true then with cover choices. The wide range of cover choices include glass, polycarbonate, polyethylene and woven products. Within each of these products there is an equally great variety of choices. Along with each of these choices there is a huge variation in cost and function or performance.

At Multi Shelter Solutions we manufacture a wide range of shapes and sizes of predominantly plastic and tarp covered buildings. Because these buildings and shelters are narrower and have a reduced hoop spacing, we can use a lighter cover of the options available. The easiest way to get a comparative cost is to take the replacement cover cost divided by the years of expected life span to get an annual cover cost.

Our 6 mil plastic covers can be used as a single layer or double with air between for a 30% reduction in heat loss and to minimize condensation. These covers have a 4 year warranty against deterioration by the sun. Plastic is available in clear (greenhouses) and white (livestock shelters) and comes in various thicknesses. The average life span is 5 – 6 years for single layer and 6 – 8 years for double although 10 years is not uncommon.

Our 12mil white woven covers have a much greater tear resistance then plastic. This makes a good alternative when there will be some contact between product and cover. By providing shade, the white tarp is cooler in the summer. By still letting light in, it is warmer in the winter. Typical life span is 10 year. We offer a green tarp as well but due to the heat it absorbs, the life span is typically 3 years less then white.

You can see more info on these choices on our covering page or with the presentation video and the rest of the series Norm spoke on Greenhouses 101 here. Stay tuned for the end of  January 2016 when he presents Greenhouses 202! As always, we are happy to help you with any of your questions regarding planning or options as you are considering your structure purchase.

Roll Up Side Wall Considerations

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.

Download our Roll up Side Wall Installation information sheet for more information

27'wide with Roll Ups roll up sides

A Temporary Fix for a Loose Cover

**Originally Published May 5/15**
There are a number of instances where a cover will need to be installed in less than ideal conditions. This can be either be on a windy day or in the cold (-10C or worse) and the job simply can not wait. This will almost invariably lead to a situation where the cover will need to be re-tightened on a warmer and/or calmer day.

The lifespan of a cover can very quickly be reduced if it is repeatedly flapping in  the hard wind. A very effective, temporary fix to give you more time to do the job right, is to put ropes or straps over the building. A 1” or 2” wide seat belt type material is ideal but likely you will need to settle for a soft, marine grade rope instead. Using nylon rope is almost worse then using nothing because of the abrasion factor.

The idea is to put a strap or rope between pairs of hoops every 12’ to 16’ and pull as tight as you can. Use nails or eye bolts on your base as the spot for securing the ropes or straps. If your cover is especially loose, it is best to install each of the ropes or straps snugly first. Then go back and tighten them as tight as you can. This will prevent you from pulling too much in one spot.

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