How to Build a Building

Introduction: How to Build a Building

It's fairly simple and easy to do! Here's a link to our group's website to check out what the actual building would look like.

Homeless Servers

Step 1: Materials

When building a building it sounds a bit strange at first, but every building is customized in their own way. For our building we had a set goal for the real life thing; which was a homeless shelter and we designed it in our prototype. We wanted our building to account for many things; for example, if it were to be built it's location would be in Los Angeles California, which means it would have to be sturdy enough to withstand winds, extreme sun, and humid temperatures. It would also have to be water resistant, for the little rainfall that L.A. receives each year. This building would also have to be spacious, but made with the cheapest materials, because ultimately it would serve as a shelter for the homeless. With these things in mind, we began our journey on our prototype. First we began by selecting what materials to use for the outside and inside. I will explain how we came to the materials we used but, in the end our main materials used were cheap efficient, effective, and durable. Here is a list of the materials we used:

  • Water repellent: RUST-OLEUM painter's touch 2x ultra cover Matte clear
  • Five 15x15” cedar wood squares
  • Two 14x15” cardboard pieces as well as extra cardboard used as support for the bottom of the building
  • 1 ½” nails
  • Brown Spray paint

Step 2: Design

For the design of our shelter we wanted it to be spacious, cheap, and one giant facility where anyone could come in and get the help they need. It's very plain and simple, because ultimately it would serve as a place to sleep and provide protection or shelter. This means it doesn't need anything intricate, making the design process fairly easy. The actual life size building would hold around 350 people making it around a 50 x 50 foot building. It would be five stories high and the first floor would be the kitchen and lunch area. The rest of the floors would be rooms where the people could sleep. So for our protype we shrunk the dimensions down to a 15x15" box with only two levels to show the basic layout.

Step 3: Testing

After figuring the design we determined the materials for the shelter by testing water resistance, and whether the materials we used would be affected by U.V rays. We started off by using a very thin piece of veneer to see if it would hold up to our requirements, and after coating it with two kinds of outdoor water repellent treatments; which were RUST-OLEUM Never-wet and RUST-OLEUM painter's touch 2x ultra cover Matte clear and sticking it out in the rain and under a U.V. light it began to bend and and get almost soggy, so we then determined it was too weak and too thin to withstand. One thing that did come out of testing the veneer was which water repellent to use; RUST-OLEUM painter's touch 2x ultra cover Matte clear, because it showed to withstand the water. Then, As a group we began to think of wood that would be strong enough, but not too thick and we came across a block of cedar wood. We took the block, sprayed it with the water repellent and soaked it in a bucket of water for a good thirty minutes, after soaking we cut it in half to see if it soaked through and neither of the sides of wood were affected so we immediately ordered half inch planks of cedar that could be cut into 15x15" squares. For the inside we were going to use wood as well, but we couldn't get the exact measurements and it was too thick, so we resulted in using cardboard instead.

Step 4: Building

The building of our shelter can be accomplished in seven easy steps explained below:

Step 1: Measure cardboard for the extra support piece at the bottom of the shelter, and then cut a about a 15x19" rectangular piece out.

Step 2: Begin to cut the five 15x15" cedar wood squares that will be the base/floor of the shelter and sides and glue the cardboard to the wood matching it up to fit the entire base square on one side of the cardboard.

Step 3: Then take three of the wood squares and gather the 1 1/2" nails. Proceed to match up the wood to the bottom of the base/floor and nail in all three sides to the base and one another until you have a sturdy three sided structure. (The reason why we leave one side open is so the viewers are able to see how the inside will look.)

Step 4: Now here comes the fun part! Spray paint the structure inside and out with brown spray paint.

Step 5: After the paint is dry measure the inside of the box so you can cut the cardboard pieces that act as the other floors of the building.

Step 6: Then measure how far apart each floor is, it should be about 5 inches and take two of the 1 1/2" nails and nail them in to each side of the building for the first level and two for the second level on top. The nails go underneath each piece of cardboard and help the cardboard stay put as well as support them.

7. Finally you take the last piece of cedar wood and nail into the top of the three sides and you have your prototype for the shelter!

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