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Housing - Shelter - Buildings

A house is a structure that provides privacy and protection from danger or bad weather. A place where people are cared for. A dwelling that serves as living quarters for one or more families. Relating to or being where one lives or where one's roots are. Structures collectively in which people are housed. A social unit living together. Place where something began and flourished.

Housing Failures - Foreclosures

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Housing is ensuring that members of society have a home in which to live, whether this is a house, or some other kind of dwelling, lodging, or shelter.

Phenomenology is an aspect of philosophy researching into the experience of built space, and as shorthand for architectural phenomenology, a historical architectural movement.

Sustainable Building
Sustainable Habitat

Smart Homes
Prefab Homes
Brick Houses (Building Blocks)

Emergency Shelters
Social Services
Tiny Small Homes
Development (land-city)

Building a Home - DIY

Renovation is the process of improving a broken, damaged, or outdated structure. Renovations are typically either commercial or residential. Additionally, renovation can refer to making something new, or bringing something back to life and can apply in social contexts. For example, a community can be renovated if it is strengthened and revived.
Restore - Repurpose (reuse)
Restoration upgrading of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and other code-required work to make properties functional is appropriate within a restoration project. Culture
Home Improvement is upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC). Upgrading rooms with luxuries, such as adding gourmet features to a kitchen or a hot tub spa to a bathroom. Increasing the capacity of plumbing and electrical systems. Waterproofing basements. Soundproofing rooms, especially bedrooms and baths. Maintenance projects can include: Roof tear-off and replacement. Concrete and masonry repairs to the foundation and chimney. Repainting rooms, walls or fences. Repairing plumbing and electrical systems. Additional living space may be added by: Turning marginal areas into livable spaces such as turning basements into rec-rooms, home theaters, or home offices – or attics into spare bedrooms. Extending one's house with rooms added to the side of one's home or, sometimes, extra levels to the original roof. Saving energy and reduce utility costs with: Energy-efficient thermal insulation, replacement windows, and lighting. Renewable energy with biomass pellet stoves, wood-burning stoves, solar panels, wind turbines, programmable thermostats, and geothermal exchange heat pumps (see autonomous building). Emergency preparedness safety measures such as: Home fire and burglar alarm systems. Fire sprinkler systems to protect homes from fires. Security doors, windows, and shutters. Storm cellars as protection from tornadoes and hurricanes. Backup generators for providing power during power outages.
Home Repair involves the diagnosis and resolution of problems in a home, and is related to home maintenance to avoid such problems.
Repair is to restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken. The act of putting something in working order again.

Home Advisor (find contractors)
DIY resources
Home Inspection
Analyzing Building Performance
Location (where to build)
Orientation (maximize free energy)

Domicile Law is the status or attribution of being a lawful permanent resident in a particular jurisdiction. A person can remain domiciled in a jurisdiction even after he has left it, if he has maintained sufficient links with that jurisdiction or has not displayed an intention to leave permanently (i.e. if that person has moved to a different state but has not yet formed an intention to remain there indefinitely).Traditionally many common law jurisdictions considered a person's domicile to be a determinative factor in the conflict of laws and would, for example, only recognize a divorce conducted in another jurisdiction if at least one of the parties were domiciled there at the time it was conducted.

Property is something owned; any tangible or intangible possession that is owned by someone. A construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished.

500,000 are homeless and live on the streets on any given night in America. There are only three non-gentrifying neighborhoods in New York City. Around 270,000 homes are Torn Down Annually in the U.S.. Nearly 128 million residential housing units existed in the U.S. in 2007. Approximately 7.188 million new housing units were built between 2005 and 2009.

Affordable Housing is housing which is deemed affordable to those with a median household income.
Affordable Housing Alliance
Affordable Housing
Housing Affordability Gap
Wealth Barriers - Gentrification
Elderly Housing Assistance Programs (PDF)
Affordable Housing (PDF)
Affordable Housing (PDF)
Low-Income Housing (PDF)
Affordable Housing and Senior Housing is not the same thing
Information for Senior Citizens
Fair Housing Act
Federal Programs for Addressing Low-Income Housing Needs 
Affordable Housing is undefined, we should have Intelligent Housing, housing not based on income, but output.

Residential Cluster Development is the grouping of residential properties on a development site in order to use the extra land as open space, recreation or agriculture. It is increasingly becoming popular in subdivision development because it allows the developer to spend much less on land and obtain much the same price per unit as for detached houses. The shared garden areas can be a source of conflict however. Claimed advantages include more green/public space, closer community, and an optimal storm water management. Cluster development often encounters planning objections.
Smart Cities

Factory Built Homes
Energy Efficient Homes
Specialized Housing: La Casa Permanent Supportive Housing

Cooperative Housing is a legal entity, usually a cooperative or a corporation, which owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings; it is one type of housing tenure. Why Condo's Suck?
Commune a large gathering of people sharing a common life; An intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, often having common values and beliefs, as well as shared property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work and income and assets. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become important core principles for many communes.
Co-operative Living Arrangements occur when three or more biologically unrelated people choose to live together and share a common residential structure. Typically, in these co-ops, several people occupy a single dwelling unit, such as a large house, with each person (or couple) having a private area, including a bedroom and, often, a bathroom. In addition, the common areas of the dwelling usually include a shared kitchen, dining room and living room plus, at times, recreation or outdoor spaces.
Cohousing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Each attached or single family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically feature a common house, which may include a large kitchen and dining area, laundry, and recreational spaces. Shared outdoor space may include parking, walkways, open space, and gardens. Neighbors also share resources like tools and lawnmowers.
Communal Apartment is when all the residents of the entire apartment shared the use of the hallways, kitchen (commonly known as the "communal kitchen"), bathroom and telephone (if any). The communal apartment became the predominant form of housing in the USSR for generations, and examples still exist in "the most fashionable central districts of large Russian cities".
Public Housing is to provide affordable housing.
Supportive Housing is a combination of housing and services intended as a cost-effective way to help people live more stable, productive lives, and is an active "community services and funding" stream across the United States.
Boarding House is a house (frequently a family home) in which lodgers rent one or more rooms for one or more nights, and sometimes for extended periods of weeks, months, and years. The common parts of the house are maintained, and some services, such as laundry and cleaning, may be supplied. They normally provide "room and board," that is, at least some meals as well as accommodation. A "lodging house," also known in the United States as a "rooming house," may or may not offer meals. Lodgers legally only obtain a license to use their rooms, and not exclusive possession, so the landlord retains the right of access.
Room and Board describes a situation where, in exchange for money, labor or other considerations, a person is provided with a place to live as well as meals on a comprehensive basis.
Sharing Economy
Dormitory is a building primarily providing sleeping and residential quarters for large numbers of people, often boarding school, college or university students.
Intentional Community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, coliving, ecovillages, monasteries, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community's existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).
List of Intentional Communities (wiki)
Ecovillage are traditional or intentional communities whose goal is to become more socially, culturally, economically and ecologically sustainable. Ecovillages are consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes to regenerate and restore their social and natural environments.

Department of Housing and Community Development (HUD)

Moshe Safdie: How to Reinvent the Apartment Building (video)
Sustainable and Affordable: New Options in Factory-Built Housing (video)
Theaster Gates: How to Revive a Neighborhood with imagination Beauty and Art (video) 

Rental Housing Crisis
Rent to Own Homes


Resident Ownership Network
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Big 5 Needs
U.S. Department of Housing (HUD)

Splitting the Rent Accurately
Splid Dit
Sperner's Lemma
Eliminating Social Barriers
Food Co-Ops

Emergency Shelters

51.2 million people around the world live as refugees and are living under forced displacement. "internally displaced"

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Homeless Info
Social Issues

I love the Young Shelter Box idea, especially if you also put a Laptop in the box. I would call it the Shelter Box with Hope, with Hope standing for ' Home Organized Personal Education '. You have to give people the necessary information and knowledge that is needed to recover and rebuild after a Natural Disaster, or from any man made disaster, like War.  

Emergency Preparedness

Shelter Box
Exo Shelter
Eco Pods
Solar Powered Flat Pack Refugee Shelters, Easily Deployable Emergency Housing

Shigeru Ban: Emergency Shelters Made From Paper (youtube)
Shigeru Ban Architects
Engineering Knowledge and Tools

Port A Bach
Mod Space
QuiteLite Shelters 
Cardboard Origami
Syrian Refugee Wearable Dwelling

Tent is a temporary shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over, attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs. First used as portable homes by nomadic peoples, tents are now more often used for recreational camping and temporary shelters.

Severe Weather Pods for Underground Emergency Shelter and Food Storage
Relief Shelters
Shelter Systems

Floors for Shelters to help people stay off ground that is prone to getting wet
Building Blocks


Micro- Home Solutions
mHS City Lab - 100 SHELTERS Tent (youtube)
Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board

Indo-Global Social Service Society

Emergency Shelters
Emergency Shelter Types
Building an Emergency Shelter with  Whatever You Have
Survivor Shelter

Refugees - Immigration

How To Build An A-Frame Shelter (youtube) 
How to Build an Emergency Shelter (youtube)

Terra Vivos High End Advanced Underground Shelters
Atlas Survival Shelters

Bunker is a defensive fortification designed to protect people or valued materials from falling bombs or other attacks. Bunkers are mostly underground, compared to blockhouses which are mostly above ground. Bunkers can also be used as protection from tornadoes, or used as command and control centers, or storage facilities.

Primitive Technology
Survival Tips - Information for Emergencies
De-Markies Expandable Camper

Building a Tiled Roof Hut (youtube)

Learn how to transition from a temporary Tent City or Refugee Camp to a sustainable Settlement

City Management

Shipping Containers

The average Container is 8 x 8 x 40 ft., weighs around 8,600 lbs. and Holds 3 to 10 people. (17 Million Worldwide)  
High Cube shipping containers are 9ft 6in tall on the exterior. They are 1ft taller than standard height containers. They are also 8ft 6in wide, making them 6in wider than standard containers as well. Earthquake Safety
An average Container Ship or Cargo Ship can deliver 10,000 Twenty-foot Containers.
Made with Weathering Steel or COR-TEN steel and sometimes written without the hyphen as corten steel, is a group of steel alloys which were developed to eliminate the need for painting, and form a stable rust-like appearance if exposed to the weather for several years.
We can also use the same Shelter Box idea using Shipping Containers.
Shipping Containers filled with food, water and Water Filters, medicine, educational material, How to Books, Laptop Computers, Solar and Wind generators, Efficient Cooking Stoves, seeds, tools, supplies, tents and building material. And then the same Shipping Containers can be used as a home or put together to build classrooms and Doctors offices.
The Roof could also be a Garden.   
Shipping Container can also be used for Indoor Hydroponic Farming.
Private Sleeping Quarters

Here are some people who have ideas on how Shipping Container Homes can look.

Shipping Container Homes
Shipping Container Homes
Containers 2 Clinics
Container Schools
Reaction Housing System Exo Shelter   

Mobile home - EBS block-expandable building system block (youtube)
3-IN-1 Foldable Shelter Deployment (youtube)

Tempo Housing
In Habitat
Hybrid Arc
Cargo Tecture
Micro Compact Home

N Architects
Seabox Containerized Shelters
Shipping Container Cabin
Sustainable Architecture Builders 

Refugee First Response Center  (RFRC)

Shipping Container Homes Beautiful Luxury constructed entirely from 6 recycled shipping containers, the two-story, 2,192-square-foot structure includes three bedrooms, an open-plan living/kitchen/dining area, office with built-in desk, plus a steel spiral staircase that leads to a rooftop deck with panoramic views   Location: Denver, Colorado Price: $749,000

Everyone should have Mobile Storage Pods, just incase you need to move in a hurry.

Mobile Cities
Being able to move homes can get people closer to jobs, especially seasonal jobs. Mobile homes can also move people during emergencies and catastrophes. We could have self-driving truck fleets that will automatically move homes and people from harms way like during floods.

Small Houses - Tiny Homes

Singles, Couples, Small Family

Tiny House Sample 8 Small House Movement is a description for the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes.

American Tiny House Association
Tiny Home Builders
Tiny House Build
The Tiny Home Company
How to Build a Small House (youtube)
Tiny House Blog
Housing Development
Le Pod
Boxed Haus
Four Lights Houses
Tiny Heirloom
Tiny Homes with a Big Impact
Mobile Loaves & Fishe
Occupy Madison
Quick Cheap Cube House (youtube)
Worlds First Tiny House Hotel
Cabin Spacey - Home Anywhere! Smart Urban Pioneers
Tiny House Design
Alpha Tiny Homes
The Alpha Tiny House Has It All (youtube)

My Favorite Tiny House on a Trailer - 344 sq/ft. (35' including hitch) x 8.5'W x 13'5"H. - 11,000-13,000 lbs.
Traveler XL Tiny House, maybe add a Fold Out Extension Room with glass sides, or a fold down deck.

Tiny House on Trailer - Traveler XL

Second Choice the Vintage XL 35L' x 8.5'W x 13'6"H, up to 355 Sq.ft. Introductory Price: $73,400
Beautiful Tiny House With 1st Floor Bedroom + Full Kitchen (youtube)
or something like The Fontana (8’x24′) by Cornerstone Tiny Homes. Or some combination of all three using Smart-Home technology and Sustainable Products. Maybe add a Sliding Wall and a Murphy Bed Folding Wall Bed Designs
How Airplanes Are Designed To Feel Bigger On The Inside (youtube)
The Monocle Is A Lucky Couple's Dream Tiny House (youtube)
Open Concept Modern Tiny House with Elevator Bed (youtube)

Tiny House Listings
Cabin Super Center
Tiny House Direct
Tiny Home Supercenter
Titan Tiny Homes (Illinois Chicago - $55,000)
Factory Built
Build your Own


Benefits of Living in a Smaller Home
Less maintenance, Less energy, Less furniture to purchase, Less opportunity to accumulate stuff that you don't need,
Less clutter, Easier to organize, Less cleaning time, Less indoor pollution, Less environmental impact, Less financial risk,
Easier to Move and Relocate. Tiny Houses Benefits Info-Graphic (Image)

Minimizing - Simplicity

Reducing Waste
Water Saving Technologies
Green Building

It's not really Downsizing, it's more about Realizing, realizing that you had too much unneeded space.

Inside Photos a Small Apartment around 360 Square Feet of Space (Image)

We The Tiny House People (Documentary): Small Homes, Tiny Flats & Wee Shelters (youtube)
What Not To Do On A Tiny House Build (the good and bad of a small home on wheels) (youtube)
Community and Access to Tools on Sustainable Culture 
Fair Companies Videos with Great Ideas for Small Homes and Apartments
Tiny home packs storage stairs, 2 lofts, tub in 136 sq ft (youtube)
Couple Builds Own Tiny House on Wheels in 4 Months for $22,744.06- "hOMe" (youtube)
MiniHome Walk-Through with David Suzuki (youtube) 
Graham Hill Living with Less Stuff (video) 
The Caravan Tube House (youtube)
A Spaghetti Western on Lean Urbanism 1:56:07 Documentary featuring Paolo Soleri (Arcosanti), Brad “Darby” Kittel (Tiny Texas Houses), Patrick Kennedy (CITYSPACES microapartments, Panoramic Interests), John Wells (Field Lab), Luke Iseman
(Boxouse), Tom Duke (EarthshipsBiotecture), Stephanie Schull (shelter program, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture), Ben Berto (principal planner, Marin County), Johnny Sanphillippo (granolashotgun.com, mortgage-free home), Begin Tollas family (Arcosanti), Rawaf al Rawaf (Arcosanti), Mimi Webb Miller (Terlingua Ghost Town)

Sustainable Knowledge

Tiny House Hot Water Heaters- options, pros and cons w/Joe Coover (youtube) 
Homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, Tankless Water Heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy-efficient than storage tank heaters.
On Demand Hot Water
Atmor Heaters 120v Electric Point of Use Tankless Water Heater
Marey Water Heaters
Precision Temp Propane Water Heater

Vented Propane Fireplace
Wood Stoves

Tiny Homes Competition Winner Announced!
Chicago Tiny Home Summit

Eight Rooms from 350 Square Feet Apartment (vimeo)
Utilizing Small Spaces (youtube)
Gary Chang
Multifunctional Spaces
Kent Larson: Brilliant Designs to Fit more People in every City (youtube)

Electric Vehicles
City Planning  

Can also use the same idea on Prefab Modular Homes made from recycled material Ambiente
How to Build a 12 x 20 Cabin
Zeta Communities
Plastic Soda Bottles become Light Source (youtube) 

Architecture for Humanity has great ideas using a global network of building professionals.

Factor e Farm
Tiny House Sample 1
Wind Storm OSB
Open Architecture Network
World Changing

Ideas - Funding

Bungalow in a Box
Sustainable Landscapes


Homeless Info
Mobile Shelters

Eco-Friendly Mobile Homes for Trailer Parks
Green Homes for Trailer Parks
Trailer Park (wiki)

Factory-Built Housing

Prefab Homes are specialist dwelling types of prefabricated building, which are manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled. Some current prefab home designs include architectural details inspired by postmodernism or futurist architecture.
Popup House delivers pre-cut materials on site.
Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site, and transporting complete assemblies or sub-assemblies to the construction site where the structure is to be located.

Factory Built Home
Manufactured Housing
Pre Built Tiny House on Trailer
Advanced Prefabricated Architecture
Heijmans One

Vipp Shelter Tiny Prefab as Precise Industrial-era Appliance prefab tiny home by Morten Bo Jensen. Modules are transported by truck to the site.

Kasita Pre-Built micro home design 300 square-feet with 10.5-foot ceilings, giant floor-to-ceiling windows, and optimized storage make the home feels twice as big.
Prefabricated Panels

Lindal Total Area: 470 sq. ft.  Size: 44'x17'
How 16 containers became 8 market-rate Phoenix Apartments (youtube)
Small Homes can be Prebuilt and Delivered

China can build a 18 story building in around 2 weeks by using premade materials. Creating apartments for 1,100 people.

Home Building

We need Houses that can be Assembled and Disassembled
This way homes can be easily transported, and people can move when needed. Just think, a City of Modular Homes that is Fully Mobile. "Earthling Survival Pods or Yurt" Nomads
Great for places that have major Flooding, Storms, Drought and Fires. Because now you can move away from danger and then return when the area is safe again. And of course RV's can be used to help mobilize people when needed.
Insulation Types

Tiny House Plans for Families
Shelter Kit designs and produces homes, cabins, barns and garages that are specifically designed for assembly by amateur owner-builders. We will work with you to turn your ideas into a building that meets your specific requirements. A team of two people can assemble one of our cabins in about four days.
Artisan Tiny House Plans with Step by Step Process that Makes Building Your Project Easy, Fast and Affordable.
Jamaica Cottage Shop highly customizable post and beam timber frame storage sheds, garden sheds, storage-shed kitsand prefab cottages.
Amish Cabin Company log cabin kits feature open floor plans and do not include interior walls, insulation, kitchen, bathroom, electric and dormers. Most of these items are available for purchase with your kit as options, please contact us for a quote.
Tiny House Family
How to Build a Shelter

Brick Houses - Building Blocks
Natural Building Material
Metal Working
Wood Working

Amphibian Houses for Rising Water
Water Studio
Engineering - Building Tools
Sketch Up 3D Drawing Software 

Pronto House Disassembly (youtube)
Assemble and Disassemble Container House
Nomad Micro Home easily Assembled under 30k
Wiki House Open Source Home Building Kit

Building Guidelines

First: Use the most advanced building design knowledge available that would make the home energy efficient, healthy, easy to maintain, comfortable, functional and suited for the environment. Some house designs are inefficient in a particular area.
Second: Use the best building materials that are available that are sustainable, state-of-the art, healthy and long lasting. The building should also be easy to repurpose, be customizable, be reusable and easy to recycle.
Third: Add Artistic Value and style that would beautify the inside and out without wasting materials, or without adding any instability to the structure, or make any of the buildings functions less practical.
Form Follows Function

Patterns are only one approach to providing guidance in design. Properties of good design (The Nature of Order) are supportive of life and growth.

Building CodesTiny House Sample 2
Structure Follows Strategy
Architectural Model Building Kits
Green Building Ideas

Fifteen Properties:
1. Levels of scale.
2. Strong centers.
3. Boundaries.
4. Alternating repetition.
5. Positive space.
6. Good shape.
7. Local symmetries.
8. Deep interlock and ambiguity.
9. Contrast.
10. Gradients.
11. Roughness.
12. Echoes.
13. The Void.
14. Simplicity and Inner Calm.
15. Not-separateness.

More Requirements

Futuristic Building Designs (images)
Thinking Outside the Box
Advanced Architecture Designers


Triple Pane Window Parts Passive House: Triple vs Double Pane Windows (youtube)
Efficient Windows
The National Fenestration Rating Council

Energy Efficient Windows
Photochromism (wiki)

Low-Temp Production Could Mean Cheaper, Flexible Smart Windows will have the ability to control both heat and light from the sun.

Measures how well a product prevents heat from escaping. The lower the U-factor, the better a product is at keeping heat inside the building. The rate at which a window, door, or skylight conducts non-solar heat flow. It's usually expressed in units of Btu/hr-ft2-oF. For windows, skylights, and glass doors, a U-factor may refer to just the glass or glazing alone. R-value measures the resistance to heat loss. R-value is a measure of conductance and resistance. NFRC U-factor ratings, however, represent the entire window performance, including frame and spacer material. The lower the U-factor, the more energy-efficient the window, door, or skylight.

Double Pane Window Parts Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
Measures how much heat from the sun is blocked. The fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window, door, or skylight -- either transmitted directly and/or absorbed, and subsequently released as heat inside a home. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat it transmits and the greater its shading ability. A product with a high SHGC rating is more effective at collecting solar heat during the winter. A product with a low SHGC rating is more effective at reducing cooling loads during the summer by blocking heat gain from the sun. Your home’s climate, orientation, and external shading will determine the optimal SHGC for a particular window, door, or skylight. For more information about SHGC and windows, see passive solar window design.

Air Leakage
Measures how much outside air comes into a home or building through a product. The rate of air movement around a window, door, or skylight in the presence of a specific pressure difference across it. It's expressed in units of cubic feet per minute per square foot of frame area (cfm/ft2). A product with a low air leakage rating is tighter than one with a high air leakage rating.

Water infiltration
Measures the amount of water and pressure that a window can resist to keep the water from leaking through it. The higher the water infiltration rating, the better the window is at resisting water leakage

Condensation Resistance
Measures how well a product resists the formation of condensation. Condensation resistance is expressed as a number between 1 and 100. The higher the number, the better a product is able to resist condensation.

Sunlight Transmittance
The ability of glazing in a window, door, or skylight to transmit sunlight into a home can be measured and rated according to the following energy performance characteristics:

Visible Transmittance (VT)
The fraction of the visible spectrum of sunlight (380 to 720 nanometers), weighted by the sensitivity of the human eye, that is transmitted through the glazing of a window, door, or skylight. A product with a higher VT transmits more visible light. VT is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The VT you need for a window, door, or skylight should be determined by your home's day lighting requirements and/or whether you need to reduce interior glare in a space.

Light-to-Solar Gain (LSG)
The ratio between the SHGC and VT. It provides a gauge of the relative efficiency of different glass or glazing types in transmitting daylight while blocking heat gains. The higher the number, the more light transmitted without adding excessive amounts of heat. This energy performance rating isn't always provided.

Low-E4 Glass Windows
This advanced glass design features an innovative exterior coating that, when activated by sunlight, reduces water spots by up to 99 percent. It comes standard on Andersen 400 Series products. Depending on the home's location, Low-E4 glass can reduce energy bills by up to 25 percent when compared to ordinary dual-pane glass.
Not all Low-E coatings are created equal, nor is the Low-E coating on glass units manufactured today the same as it was as recently as two or three years ago. Advances in glass coatings technology and stronger regional energy code requirements have helped to create a new generation and more sophisticated array of Low-E glass options.
Solar Heat Gain can also be controlled by the use of Low-E coatings combined with the use of tints, and can even be influenced by which glass surface the Low-E coating is placed upon. Additionally, since less than ½ of the total solar energy spectrum is visible to the human eye, solar performance of glass can be visually deceptive.
Low emissivity (low e or low thermal emissivity) refers to a surface condition that emits low levels of radiant thermal (heat) energy. All materials absorb, reflect and emit radiant energy, but here, the primary concern is a special wavelength interval of radiant energy, namely thermal radiation of materials with temperatures approximately between 40 to 60 degrees Celsius.

UV Protection that blocks 95 percent of ultraviolet rays that can damage furniture, carpets, and wall coverings.

Types of Windows for Houses Structural Performance Rating
Measures the amount of air pressure (wind load) a window can resist before failing. The amount of structural pressure ratings required for windows in your area is often determined by local code requirements. The higher the structural performance ratings, the more wind load a window can resist.

Acoustical Performance Rating
Measures the amount of sound transmission through a window. The higher the sound transmission rating, the better the product is at blocking noise from coming through the window.

Security Performance Rating
Measures the ability of a window to resist different types of forces. For example, there are burglar-resistant windows, fire-resistant windows, bullet-resistant windows, wind-borne debris-resistant windows, and many others. Many of these products have special uses for different building types and may be covered by local building code requirements.

What are the other options to consider when shopping for windows?
In addition to the NFRC Label, ratings comparisons, and ENERGY STAR, buyers may consider a number of other factors when choosing windows. These include: air infiltration, water infiltration, structural performance, acoustical performance, security performance, product cost, and warranty. Product cost and warranties are issues to be considered when making any major purchase, and this information is available from the window distributor or manufacturer

Window Inserts
Indow Windows
Acoustical Window Inserts

Transparent wood Windows are Cooler than Glass
Scientists create TRANSPARENT wood (youtube)


Location, Location, Location

You have to carefully plan where you should build a home because the location of a house is extremely important. Knowing your options and your choices can make all the difference. Mobility

Things to consider when choosing land to build a Home or a City... 
Rivers, Lakes and Water Sheds: What is upstream and down stream.
Is your home close to clean water?
How much rain fall in a year?

Flood is an overflow of water that submerges land which is usually dry. A covering by water of land not normally covered by water. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Flooding may occur as an overflow of water from water bodies, such as a river, lake, or ocean, in which the water overtops or breaks levees, resulting in some of that water escaping its usual boundaries, or it may occur due to an accumulation of rainwater on saturated ground in an areal flood. While the size of a lake or other body of water will vary with seasonal changes in precipitation and snow melt, these changes in size are unlikely to be considered significant unless they flood property or drown domestic animals. Floods can also occur in rivers when the flow rate exceeds the capacity of the river channel, particularly at bends or meanders in the waterway. Floods often cause damage to homes and businesses if they are in the natural flood plains of rivers. While riverine flood damage can be eliminated by moving away from rivers and other bodies of water, people have traditionally lived and worked by rivers because the land is usually flat and fertile and because rivers provide easy travel and access to commerce and industry. Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Additionally, floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins.
Inundation is the rising of a body of water and its overflowing onto normally dry land.
Flood Zone is a Flood Hazard Area that is lower than the Base Flood Elevation. V zones are the most hazardous of the Special Flood Hazard Areas.
Flood Maps (fema)
Flood Maps
Flood Smart
Flood Protection
River Partners
River Protection and Preservation

What types of storms happen?
Expected weather? 
Climate change predictions?
Wind Patterns?
Growing Season
What crops can be grown?
The Quality of the Land for Growing Food

Climate Classification
Eco System, Plants, Animals, Insects
City Development
Environmental Impact Assessment
What is upwind and downwind?
Interstate Air Pollution Transport
Large trees that could fall on your house?

History of the Land: 
Mudslides, Landslide, Earthquakes, Wildfires, Geologic Hazards, Landfills, Gas Pipelines, Oil Pipelines, Factories, Superfund Clean Up Sites, Large Pesticide Use, Nuclear Power Plants, Coal Power Plants, Gas Power Plants, Mining, Pharmaceutical Companies,  Draughts, Natural Disasters, National Laboratories or Companies that Polluted the Area?  Fracking
No Heavy Jet Plane Traffic.
Radio Waves.
Local Laws and Regulations.
Are Sinkholes possible?
Do you live next to an asshole?
This is Kiruna: How to Move a City (youtube)
Hidden, Abandoned, Dangerous: Old Gas And Oil Wells In Neighborhoods

Water Testing
Soil Testing
Air Testing
Invasive Species

(Local Arial Topo Maps - 500 Mile Radius Arial Map)
Aerial Photos showing how the Land Changes over time.

Other Factors to Consider when looking for a home to settle down:
Services, Infrastructure, Schools, Roads, Airports, Culture, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Recreational Opportunities.
How many people can the land sustain without help from other states or countries? 
Predictions for population growth? 
What resources are available that are renewable?
Where will your energy come from?

Owner Finance a Home (wikihow)
Title Company - No Liens - Verified Owner - Title Insurance
1 acre of land - flat usable area
Land Use Rules - Zoning Regulations
Zoning describes how a section of land can be used within a set of rules that helps protect the land, and also protects other people living nearby from land being misused. Fracking
Land Use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as settlements and semi-natural habitats such as arable fields, pastures, and managed woods. It also has been defined as "the total of arrangements, activities, and inputs that people undertake in a certain land cover type.
Land-Use Planning regulates land use in an efficient and ethical way, thus preventing land-use conflicts.

Everyone should have the right to live in a home that is free from Disturbances and Hazards.
Design Guides

Choosing Land
Building Lot
Buying Land
City Planning
Farm Land

Home Orientation


The relative physical position or direction of your Home.

Southern Exposure
Solar Gain
Design your house for the whole year.
Building Orientation for Optimum Energy from the Sun
Designing Your Home for Maximum Natural Lighting (PDF)

Passive Solar Building Design is when windows, walls, and floors are made to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. This is called passive solar design because, unlike active solar heating systems, it does not involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices. The key to design a passive solar building is to best take advantage of the local climate performing an accurate site analysis. Elements to be considered include window placement and size, and glazing type, thermal insulation, thermal mass, and shading. Passive solar design techniques can be applied most easily to new buildings, but existing buildings can be adapted or "retrofitted".

Home Inspection

1. Roof inspection
You'll need to call in a roof specialist if your inspector isn't qualified to inspect the roof. Also, keep in mind that the roof may be difficult to access and examine if it's covered with snow. In this case, it may be possible to include a special provision that allows you to extend the inspection contingency specifically to accommodate the roof, in the hope that the weather improves.
Building Codes

2. Chimney inspection
If you or your home inspector suspect instability or hints of structural damage, it's important to hire a chimney specialist. The specialist will be able to use a "chimney cam" (a small video camera used to inspect the chimney from the inside) to uncover hidden damage.

3. Geological inspection
A property on a cliff or hillside, or one that is located in a flood zone, can benefit from a geological inspection. The inspector could unearth a severe drainage or ground-shifting problem -- and save you thousands in repair costs down the line. Location

4. Sewer inspection
Your inspector may be able to tell whether things are, um, "flowing," but a sewer expert can get a better sense of the integrity of your sewer line with a sewer camera to discover cracks or breaks from the house to the street. A sewer inspection is critical for properties that are heavily landscaped, where root growth can crack and clog the pipeline. Don't overestimate the importance of this inspection; a sewer line replacement can be an enormous expense.

5. Termite inspection
The seller commonly pays for this inspection, because many mortgage companies and banks will need one before approving a loan on the house. Regardless of who pays, make sure you review the finished report and that all the recommended work has been completed.

6. Moisture, mold, and toxin inspection
It's important to check for moisture in any crawlspace, basement, or below-ground-level areas. Moisture indicates a potential mold problem -- if there isn't one already. Be sure your house has a clean bill of mold health, especially in wet areas close to oceans or lakes.

7. Asbestos inspection
If the house was built prior to 1975, you will need an asbestos inspection. Asbestos can be present on insulation around ducting, water heaters, and pipes. If it is accessible and can be removed by an asbestos specialist, consider asking the seller to foot the bill.

8. Nonconforming-use inspection
The issue of nonconforming use does not require a specific additional inspector. It is usually a joint effort between your inspector and your real estate agent to determine if all additions and major changes have been properly permitted. Converted garages, sun porches, or add-on bedrooms can increase square footage, but when completed improperly, they can add headaches when it's time to make them legal.

Energy Assessment
Home Inspection (wiki)
Building Performance (wiki)

Engineering Methods for Detecting Sinkholes

Soil borings or other direct testing - Borings can be reduced by reconnaissance scanning's using the following methods:
Electromagnetics (EM) and DC Resistivity: detect variations in subsurface electrical properties related to anomalously thick or wet soils (electrical conductivity highs similar to our use of moisture meters in homes), or voids in the electrically conductive clay soil mantle (electrical conductivity lows)
Sinkholes (wiki)
Spontaneous Potential (SP): detects naturally-occurring minute electrical currents or potentials commonly associated with concentrated vertical water infiltration (Streaming potentials)
Micro-gravity: detects minute variation in gravity (subsurface voids create missing mass and lower gravity)
Seismic Refraction: profiles the top-of-rock which may display conical depressions of a type associated with subsidence sinks or deep gouges or cutters which represent sinkhole-prone lineaments.
Ground-Penetrating Radar
Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery (InSAR)
Uninhabited Airborne Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR)

Buildings - Large Multi Use Structures

Building Types (PDF)
Building Codes - Engineering
Honest Buildings
Sustainable Building
High-Performance Buildings Caucus
Green Building
No Shadow Tower (video)
"Building using old outdated materials and methods is wasteful, negligent and criminal."
Problem Transference
Design Guides
Facility is a building or place that provides a particular service or is used for a particular industry. Something designed and created to serve a particular function and to afford a particular convenience or service. A service that an organization or a piece of equipment offers you. Skillful performance or ability without difficulty. A natural effortlessness.
Building is a structure that has a roof and walls made by combining materials and parts.

The Government estimates there may be 77,000 Empty or Underutilized Buildings across the country. Taxpayers own them and are costing taxpayers billions a year to maintain. Approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are Homeless, many of them veterans, and there are 18.5 Million Vacant Homes in the country. 85% of all empty homes are privately owned. There are 635,127 empty homes in England in 2013. Philadelphia has an estimated 40,000 vacant, derelict or underused buildings and lots, both publicly and privately owned. 
Philly Land Bank
Absentee Business Owner is one who does not personally manage the business he owns, or who does not live in the community in which the business operates.
Absentee Landlord is an economic term for a person who owns and rents out a profit-earning property, but does not live within the property's local economic region.
Why are we allowing ignorant criminals to over develop precious valuable land? 
Home Deconstruction
Deconstruction of Buildings is the selective dismantlement of building components, specifically for re-use, repurposing, recycling, and waste management. It differs from demolition where a site is cleared of its building by the most expedient means. Deconstruction has also been defined as “construction in reverse”. The process of dismantling structures is an ancient activity that has been revived by the growing field of sustainable, green method of building. Buildings, like everything, have a life-cycle. Deconstruction focuses on giving the materials within a building a new life once the building as a whole can no longer continue.
Rescue Archaeology is state-sanctioned, for-profit archaeological survey and excavation carried out in advance of construction or other land development. These conditions could include, but are not limited to, highway projects, major construction, the flood plain of a proposed dam, or even before the onset of war. Unlike traditional survey and excavation, rescue archaeology must be undertaken at speed. Rescue archaeology is included in the broader categories that are cultural resource management (CRM) and cultural heritage management (CHM).
Recycle - Reuse - Repurpose

Nearly 44,000 Commercial Buildings are Demolished (1995)  implosion
Nearly 4.9 million office buildings existed in 2003 in the U.S. 
Every year, approximately 170,000 commercial buildings are constructed. 

Tiny Home Community Farm Sample

The Thinker Man