Flock House Skin for the Win
|Flock House - Engr215 Student Projects|
|EcoDermis - Skin for the Win - Poly Pod - Geared-Up From the Feet-Up - Biopod - Hyper Visible Power Meter - Handcar Generator - flockhouse.org|
Through Engineering 215 Intro to Design at Humboldt State University, taught by instructor Lonny Grafman, Team Skin for the Win worked on a design project for the Flock House founded by Mary Mattingly. She is a well known and respected artist in New York City and founder of many projects other than the Flock House Project including the Waterpod Project for which a previous Engineering 215 Intro to Design class were also participants. The objective of team Skin for the Win is to design a shell to supplement the already existing fiberglass frame of the Flock House to make it resistant to the common weather conditions of New York City. Our client wishes this shell to be composed of mainly repurposed materials, and it must be durable enough to last throughout the spring and summer months. To complete this objective, team Skin for the Win will use a design process involving the following steps:
- Project Formulation
- Problem Analysis and Literature Review
- Alternative Solutions
- Design Process
- Specification of Final Solution
Mary Mattingly is the visionary artist in charge of the Flock House project. It is an art initiative to create a structure the size of a small van that can house at least two individuals from the months of May through August of 2012. The structure will move through various parts of New York, with the intention of raising awareness of the homeless epidemic, spark new ideas regarding sustainable living, and challenge the traditional home to become less wasteful.
Mattingly described the theme of the Flock House project as community migration, which is visible through the frame Mattingly’s team created (see picture on left). It features cloud shaped rings that are made of fiberglass scavenged from old boats in the shape of the current migration patterns of humans.
The color tones of the shell are encouraged to be natural, and the shell must have some translucent aspects included to allow in natural light. The structure must also feature at least one window and a door, as well as be secure from intruders. Mattingly envisions a flexible outer shell that could be restructured if need be to accommodate various locations, however she does not want to discourage any different ideas that stray from this. With this being said, she is not opposed to the idea of a stiffer structure, so long as sunlight is the primary source of light. She emphasizes the importance of aesthetics and simplicity, and she would like to grow plants over the structure.
 Problem Analysis and Criteria
|Safety||10||Protects inhabitants from natural elements|
|Inspiration||9||Reuses commonly wasted materials|
|Cost||8||Less than $375|
|Durability||7||Should withstand New York weather conditions|
 Description of final project
Team Skin for the Win's final solution is named Aluminum Awareness. It is composed of shingles made out of aluminum cans and windows made out of 2-liter bottles, which are attached to a frame made out of pine that has been sheathed with plywood and roofing paper. The building process of Aluminum Awareness including how to make the aluminum can shingles can be found in our How to Build section. Aluminum Awareness satisfies all of the criteria for the project in the following ways:
- Safety- Aluminum Awareness is very weatherproof and structurally sound, so it will keep the inhabitants of the Flock House safe from the elements.
- Inspiration- The use of aluminum cans for shingles and 2-liter plastic bottles will catch the eye of onlookers and inspire people to think about waste management.
- Aesthetics- Aluminum Awareness is pleasing to the eye, and the reflective nature of the aluminum can shingles will catch the eye of by-passers and encourage them to ask about the Flock House.
- Cost- The total final cost to produce Aluminum Awareness was far under the allowed $375.
- Durability- Aluminum Awareness is very durable and will have no troubles withstanding the weather conditions of New York City for the three to four month period that the Flock house will be in use.
Furthermore, the inclusion of many 2-liter bottle windows provides the interior of the Flock House with natural light, which was a primary concern of Mary Mattingly. Also there are slight gaps in-between the overhanging roof of Aluminum Awareness and the windows which will provide the interior of the Flock House with a source of ventilation.
 Design Cost
Design cost is measured in hours. The total hours spent on the creation of the Aluminum Awareness are 428 with the total being broken into respective segments as shown in the figure below.
 Implementation Cost
|Item||Quantity||Cost ($)||Total Cost|
|18 gauge staples 1/4"||1 box||37.00||37.00|
|Tar Paper||1 roll||30.00||30.00|
|5/8" plywood 4'x8'||1 sheet||20.55||20.55|
|galvanized nail brad 18 gauge, 1-1/4"||1 box||25.00||25.00|
|staples (handheld)||1 box||20.00||20.00|
|1/8" wood 4'x8'||1 sheet||13.93||13.93|
|wood glue||1 bottle||6.00||6.00|
|8' of wood 2"x6"||1 piece||3.36||3.36|
 Testing Results
To test the durability of some selected materials, our group exposed them to the outside weather for three days, sprayed them with water at a high pressure for a minute, put them in the oven at a temperature of 110˚F for thirty minutes, and scratched them with a wire brush 100 times. The results of these tests helped to determine which materials were to be used as our primary building materials. Further testing was enacted upon the completion of the project, where the structure was lightly sprayed with a garden hose for 2 minutes to simulate rain. Upon completing this test there was a little seepage in two locations, but no dripping in any locations from our constructed outer shell.
 How to build
In order to reconstruct Aluminum Awareness one must have access to several woodworking power tools including a bandsaw, chop saw, and a jig saw. Although Aluminum Awareness can be built using simple hand woodworking tools, having these power tools will make the process much easier. Also needed are plywood, roofing paper, aluminum cans, 2-liter bottles, a staple gun, a nail gun, wood glue, and some type of wood to make the framing. On our scale model pine was used for the framing, however any other type of softwood such as fir or cedar would be equally sufficient. The dimensions of these woods and the amount of materials is dependent upon the scale at which Aluminum Awareness is desired to be reproduced. In order to construct the aluminum can shingle crimper, the materials needed are: enough hardwood to make two 4"x6"x2" boards as well as two 3/8"x6"x3/8" slats; two pin hinges; 1" wood screws; and a table saw with dado blades. Step by step instructions to reproduce Aluminum Awareness can be found here: Aluminum Awareness Instructions
 Discussion and next steps
The Aluminum Awareness scaled model is complete. We sent Mary Mattingly samples of crimped aluminum cans and one of our crimping blocks. We will be sending her instructions on how to frame in the structure to fit the two liter bottles, and how to frame in the roof and lay the shingles. With this done, the Flock House project will have enough information to incorporate all or any aspects of our design that they so desire.