THE INSTITUTE WELCOMES YOU

IMPORTANT NEWS: PLEASE GO TO Hi-Tect.com AS WE HAVE AN EXCITING NEW BEGINNING AS A CALIFORNIA STATE NON-PROFIT WITH AN ASSOCIATED BAJA CALIFORNIA TESTING AND PROTOTYPING UNIT (BAJABEJAS). WE ARE TO FINALISE AND TEST 8-10 EXCITING PROTOTYPES OF OUR LIFE-SAVING UNITS THIS COMING YEAR.

 A heartily felt welcome to all who have reached this site. still being completed We are a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of sturdier and cheaper hurricane and tsunami shelters, refugee and general housing for disaster prone sites. We appreciate 'accidental tourists' to our site since they often bring us something unusual. We are indeed looking for people with ordinary faults and extraordinary qualities. If you are someone with extraordinary faults and ordinary qualities, please go somewhere else. Although we pay travel and expense, our members get no salary. It goes without saying that our recruitment effort is mostly aimed at recent retirees with time on their hand and a specific experience as outlined below.
We will be recruiting new members with skills and experience in natural disaster management, designers with special interest in forensics. We are also seeking people with knowledge of World Bank , Red Cross and other similar NGOs methods. We need structural analysts to investigate the properties of other Archimede or Catalan solid for building shelters. We need engineers for structural design evaluation and also to supervise testing at our lab. We need industrialists, purchasing agents and other specialists in logistics, customs, maritime transport etc...
Our first recruits will be those with skills in fund-raising! (Logical, no?) Actually, anyone with a strong desire to be part of this 12 year project should join us for a most rewarding experience. You can get more details by reading all the posts coming up at the WHY button above.
You can Skype or eMail us at the WEB button to the right. It is real pleasure to already have readers in over 50 countries! Help us grow by forwarding chosen pieces to your friends: you can do that by clicking on the little envelope below each post.
Many thanks for doing all of that...Now enjoy the site! You can comment on some posts and you also invite you to collaborate your own ideas into your own post; just write us directly at jacquesbpoirier@gmail.com


Jacques Bernard Poirier
Director

IN BRIEF...

In 1980 our director designed a manufactured house that could be erected on the Canadian permafrost zones, one that would be raised to better resist the fierce winds and to avoid the potentially disastrous melting of the soil below it. To that end he joined forces with Placide Poulin and his manufacturing group to create Archimede Systems Inc., setting up a plant in eastern Québec. There Jacques designed presses to inject panels with high-grade insulating rigid foams. He chose the rhomboid geometry for strength, but also for the convenient manufacturing feature that all panels are nearly identical except for the openings. Before a few were erected in the Nunavik, the model caught on in the lower latitudes, thanks partly because of the high insulation values and the low price. Two years and $12M produced later, the houses were being built with little changes in the tropics; several of them were later hit by hurricanes Hugo, Frederic, David and a host of minor storms, all with little or no damage. They are still today the story of legends. But Archimede Systems Inc. had advertised the house as 'hurricane-proof' after conducting tests at the Laval University Civil Engineering wind tunnel in
Quebec City. Yet the theory was there already, for the strength and for the low wind drag factors of these dodecahedron shapes. This was no fluke. Neither was the earthquake resistance that was factored in at the onset of the Archimede program. Rhombic dodecahedron construction is notoriously resistive to horizontal shear in any direction. When raised on pillars that absorb the shocks, the deal is closed.
However, there was a fluke: twenty five years later, after the Indonesian tsunami, Poirier met some scientists confirming that this Arctic building solutions would be perfect for tsunami resistance. Actually it was almost perfect. Something small had to be invented. But that's a story better covered in the 'Tsunami' keyword.

OUR PRODUCTS

LIGHTWEIGHT TEMPORARY SHELTERS

  • 'ABREF' -A fully-tested simple windproof refugee tent not requiring guy wires
  • Groupings of several 'ABREFS' to form varied clusters more suitable for refugee quality of life

REFUGES AND PROTECTIVE SHELTERS

  • 'TSUTSU' - A low-cost and quickly erected permanent tsunami shelter that can handle even the worse water rise while protecting over 200 people. Usable at other times as a community center, school or medical clinic.
  • 'OPERA' -A heli-portable operating room that is air-conditioned and fully aseptic, capable of being erected in one hour from its air cargo crate.
  • Groupings of several 'OPERAS' to form medical clusters for disaster areas.
  • 'LOGI' - Rigid modular shelter system for semi-permanent lodging and office space for NGO workers in disaster areas. Re-combinable in groupings called 'LOGIS' that are extremely flexible.
  • 'LOSO' - A low-cost social housing system for semi-permanent or permanent housing for areas subjected to occasional cyclonic force winds.
  • Groupings of 'LOSOS' for higher density needs without harming privacy.
  • 'TECO' - A technical shelter for equipment (microwave, diesel, generation, etc..)
'EXTREME' HOUSING

  • 'SAFO' - A low-cost tsunami-safe housing solution to be manufactured internationally under license .
  • 'RESO' -A medium cost resort housing solution for tsunami, hurricane and earthquake prone areas
  • Groupings of several 'RESOS' to form varied clusters that are safe, yet lively and attractive.
  • 'ARCTA' - a warm and windproof arctic house for permafrost areas
  • BAJA DOS' - an earthquake proof and hurricane proof housing for hillside construction.
  • BAJA TRES' - an earthquake, tsunami and hurricane proof housing for seaside construction

OTHER BUILDINGS (design only)

  • 'TOWO' - A low to medium cost hurricane, earthquake and tsunami-safe high-rise building suitable for office or hotel building program. The prefabrication techniques are to be licensed internationally.

PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT- Design and Fabrication, training etc.. (design only)

    • 'MUCHO' - A high output panel injection system that can be shipped anywhere for the production of large-scale reconstruction projects involving urethane filled panels.A high output panel injection system that can be shipped anywhere for the production of large-scale reconstruction projects involving urethane filled panels.

    OUR SERVICES

    RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS

    • ANALYSIS OF RECONSTRUCTION PROBLEMS AFTER NATURAL DISASTERS
    • Our specialty is analysing complicated problems on a tight schedule. We mostly redirect insurance forensic work to specialist firms, yet we always write the overall reports and recommendations ourselves.
    • We certainly include the human and financial problems factored into the problem-solving equations.
    • ANALYSIS OF CONSTRUCTION PRODUCT AND PROCESSES
    • We take pride in keeping up to date with all international techniques, their comparative costs and human factors. This is the baseline for comparing all our presented solutions.
    • We have had experience under most latitudes, as opposed to most architects who spend their entire life under a single environment.
    INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
    • DISASTER PROTECTIVE DESIGN
    • We have built several groups of houses that have gone through major disasters with no damage, protecting their occupants and saving lives. This web site will show some of these.
    • PROTOYPING AND TESTING
    • We are equiped to rapidly test the proposed solutions in housing*, both for structural performance and for manufacturing and erection time studies.

    LIMITED PRODUCTION RUNS AND TRAINING

    • TRIAL RUNS FOR NEW TECHNOLOGIES.
    • We intend to organize these trials runs of 2 to 12 houses to test out the equipment and the methods. The product is often use to 'seed' larger projects and further troubleshoot transport to site, local implementation and acceptance of proposed units.
    • TEACHING PRODUCTION RUNS
      We insist in training plant superintendents here while using similar equipment and facilities. The products are erected locally to train crew chiefs sent here by our client.

    TEACHING AND LICENSING OF TECHNOLOGY

    • THE FUTURE OF THE INSTITUTE.
      In 4-6 years, there should be enough maturity in our methods to allow us to teach them on a full-time basis.
    • LICENSING:
      As described earlier, our licensing program is essentially free to developing nations while royalty-based for more advanced nations. We hope to have in a few years mirror organizations capable of spreading concepts similar to ours.

    ARCHIMEDE NO-WASTE APPROACH

    From the start we chose the rhomboid geometry that is made up of identical parallelograms. Just like with squares and rectangles, parallelograms can be made up of rectangular sheathing without wasting any of it.
    Here is a demonstration: typically, our standard roof panels can be made up of two 4x8 sheets with no waste, one being cut diagonally , as shown in diagram below. This represent the roof of one 180 ft2 hexagonal module.



    This stronger 'vaulted' surface is made up of three planes, each one made up of of-the-shelf building materials. You need to love that since it also applies to walls and underside panels (in the case of stilt houses )

    'ARCTA' - THE PERFECT ARCTIC SHELTER

    Design with the help of Dr. Richard Chill, the late famous Canadian arctic construction specialist, these Arctic houses have been used by the Inuit nation for offices, residence and in one case, a caribou meat freezer-room! Selling a Frigidaire to Eskimos is not a lame joke anymore!

    They are exposed to high winds and need to be raised so as not to melt down into the permafrost. The three-legged solutions are easily ajustable, as with a tripod, and the shade provided under the house keeps the sun from playing havoc with the grounds. Interestingly, the cavity under the floor is put to good use: in one module, an oil tank, in the other fresh water, and in the third, a holding tank for refuse. Interconnected, these cavities form a plenum that is pressurized with warm air diffusing through the floor registers, but also through tiny holes placed near the outside wall to prevent condensation forming where air does not circulate well.  All Archimede houses have a fabulous shell to keep the occupants warm, sometimes associated with quadruple glazed windows that never show frost build-ups. But the sub-floor cavity in ALL OF THEM is a warm air distribution plenum (see article in Popular Science magazine) , a feature that is equally appreciated in our many ski resorts condos where simple plastic tubes are fitted into holes through the flooring, forming a natural dying setup for wet ski boots inverted over them. Much appreciated is the fact that the area under and around the house is mostly clear of snow buildups since the low drag underside accelerates the weakest winds. As for the super-resistance of these panelized shape of these modular structure, read this recent article by the inventor himself. The later can be reached at his email address

    'TOWO', A SMALL EARTHQUAKE AND HURRICANE RESISTANT TOWER


    Engineered and fully componentized  including stucture and envelope, this economical small building can withstand the most severe earthquakes without incuring habitual costly repairs or worse, rebuilding.

    INJECTION PRESSES : 1980, FIRST GENERATION

    First was a  vertical wedge action pair of presses designed by us in 1980.
    strong and efficient, these machines lacked the flexibity of the lighter and cheaper later models.

    RIGID INSULATION IS EMINENTLY SUSTAINABLE


    Rigid urethane insulation has been used in the building and construction industries since the 1950’s. Over the past 40 years, in excess of 500 million square metres of insulated panels have been manufactured by the continuous lamination process and have been successfully used in roof and wall cladding applications worldwide.

    The superior long term performance of metal faced insulated panels with rigid urethane cores is now widely recognised by building investors and designers when compared with site assembled, multi-part, built-up cladding systems. This has resulted in significant growth for this type of construction system.


    The main reasons for this growth are:

    • Increasingly stringent building regulations, which in many countries require the use of insulation to comply with energy efficiency and CO2 emission targets.
    • The rising cost of fuel and energy. Effective thermal insulation can reduce HVAC / heating costs by up to 40% wherever it is installed.
    • The environmental cost of energy production is also a factor which now needs to be considered. The burning of fossil fuels for energy production is estimated to contribute 80% of the world’s CO2emissions. These green-house gases contribute to the problem of global warming, and so the conservation of energy is the most direct and cheap way to reduce CO2 emissions and thus control global warming.
    • Industry experts estimate that worldwide insulation of buildings to optimum standards could reduce global energy requirements by more than 10%.
    • Rapid site assembly and early completion of a building project is demanded by investors and insulated sandwich panels provide ‘single fix’ fast on-site installation.




    • Investors require superior specification, low maintenance and long-term product performance.