Rain, Rain, Go Away! Come Back When I Can Harvest You!

Yesterday was the first day of Summer and as of this posting, the Roof and Rain Water Harvesting System have not yet been completed. Rain delays have plagued the project since we began in May. Friday my Father and I began assembling the roof rafters so at least it seems we are progressing, however slowly.

Jen brought to my attention that 6.5 inches of rain has fallen on our heads over the last four weeks! 2 inches more than the average for this time of year in this area of Pennsylvania. We wondered what that could have meant for the Arkhaus project had my system been capturing all of this water.

When I first began designing the catchment system I came across a very convenient formula:

Collectible Rainwater (Gallons) = 0.5 x Rainfall (Inches) x Area (Square Feet)

So here are the results of our little theoretical exercise:

0.5 x 6.58 x 192 Sq. Ft. = 631.68 Gallons!

That is an incredible amount of water!

Now to take that a step further, we can also figure out how much water we would be consuming in a month using this calculator. After plugging in all the data, high-balling the estimates to be safe, we came up with these figures:

Interior per capita gallons per day: 15 (or 456 a month and 5475 a year!)

There is no way that we will be using that much water every day! But even if we did, it seems evident that the months of May and June would have provided more than enough water to satisfy all the Ark's needs!

Of course I am positive that once we get this system up and running, Pennsylvania will slide into a deep drought sure to last months if not years! It should be noted that the longest the Pocono Mountains Climate Division of Pennsylvania has gone without water was for an incredible 22 months between July 1964 and April 1966! That seems like a very long time, I will have to ask some of the older members of my family about it to see if they recall such a severe drought...


Arkhaus Initiative Multimedia

UPDATE: 26 New Photos covering construction of the Ark160A prototype!

[Scroll over the image below to view our slide-show (descriptions for each image can be read when you place the cursor over the word "notes" on the right hand side of the slide-show bar). Or follow this link directly to our Flickr Photostream where you can post comments!]

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C-DAY 2 + 5

New Exterior Shots! + A Sneak Peak at the New Hardwood Flooring!

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It's Here!

They're Multiplying!

Despite exceptional rain fall we have managed to take delivery of the second 20' shipping container. The delivery itself ran into some trouble with the mud and slick road conditions but disaster was averted and all is safe and sound!

I hope tomorrow to be out with the camera and get some more shots since we moved her into position. Next step is to get the block underneath and level the structure. Jen has begun painting the exterior doors of this new addition to the Compound.

Meanwhile my Father and I finally finished framing the walls for the attic and roof on the other box.
But rain delays continue to slow us down, we need two more days to wrap things up as far as the Rain Water Harvesting System and roof superstructure are concerned. Then on to the interiors of both units where things are sure to get more exciting!

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Big News!

C-Day "Phase Two" in T-Minus-Three Days!

Arkhaus Initiative Crew Member Jen will be the proud owner of her own freshly painted 20' "Shell" which will officially kick off "Phase-Two" of operations here at the Arkhaus Compound. Slightly ahead of schedule and under budget? Sounds good to me!

This second phase will be the "Workshop/Studio" of the Arkhaus Compound and serve as an insulated, heated space to store and filter WVO year round. Designs and photos to follow along shortly!

We are very excited to be able to expand and see things taking shape! Stay tuned for updates this week!


This feeling, finally, that we may change things - this is at the centre of everything we are. Lose that... lose everything - Sir David Hare 1947


Trevor Seip

The Arkhaus Initiative Founder
& Chief Global Strategist

Trevor first heard of buildings made from shipping containers while he was living in Brooklyn in 2006 and attending the Institute of Audio Research in Manhattan. Inspired by the works of such notable architects in the field such as Adam Kalkin and Peter DeMaria he has set out on a journey to build a working prototype of his own design.

Although he is interested in helping other people build their own "Ark" and is willing to provide professional consulting. It is not about marketing a product, but about completely overhauling his own lifestyle. He feels strongly that the last 70 years of "Suburban Development" represents a failure of the imagination and a gross misallocation of resources. And that people will have to become more self-reliant or else be a victim of the rising cost of energy and food.

Trevor wants this project to be about finding ways of ensuring that the basics upon which an individual needs to survive are covered in one centralized and at least semi-autonomous modular and transportable habitation. This includes harvesting rainwater, composting organic waste, and generating wind and solar power. All within a robust independent system which can store the electricity in batteries, take advantage of passive solar gain, filter and purify captured rainwater, etc. The shipping container is by design the ideal candidate to be retrofitted for such a system.

With the support of his friends and family, Trevor is thrilled to see his designs coming to life. He considers himself lucky to have the advice and techincal expertise of his father, Craig on hand. And is especially grateful to his lovely girlfriend, Jennifer who designs and maintains the website and is a constant source of inspiration.

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Jennifer Sansosti

Founder, Webmaster
Creative Consultant

& WVO Benz Project Leader

Graduating with Honors from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Jennifer has a Bachelors in Illustration. She works as a freelance illustrator, web designer, painter, graphic designer as well as an outstanding Trompe-l'œil muralist.

Jennifer is funding the conversion of her 1982 Mercedes-Benz 240D Diesel to run on waste vegetable oil. A bold and challenging project that is running in tandem with the construction of the Ark Prototype as they both will be utilizing this alternative fuel source.

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Mr. Miles

Arkhaus Mascot
Head of Security

Mr. Miles is a tenacious three year old beagle we rescued from certain death when we found him on Interstate 80 near the PA/NJ border. He first provided loyal and consistent security to our home in Easton and now, his signature howl alerts us to anyone or thing that tries to approach the Ark!

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C-Day + 24

We fabricated the rear frame and sole plate. The rear wall will have a door for attic access and maintenance.

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