Design requirements for a lightweight shelter to protect archeological excavations for winter work:

Design solution:

A cable braced tube frame structure with a half octagon section. Electrical conduit was specified for the frame members with wooden battens added to provide a surface to staple the skin. A plywood triangular connector was designed to connect and align the tubes. The tubing, plywood connectors and battens were attached with u-bolts, flat angle brackets and hose clamps. Shingled lengths of 6 mil clear polyethylene sheeting stapled to the battens formed the skin. The structure ends could be left open or taped closed as needed for ventilation. The frame perimeter was staked with lengths of conduit to prevent lift in the wind. Cable cross bracing stiffened the side walls and roof.

Project deliverables consisted of sketches and illustrations of the design concept and construction, a bill of materials and written construction instructions.

Two structures were built by the G&P excavation crew and provided excellent service through the winter. They were moved about the site numerous times and survived several minor storms and one severe storm that uprooted local trees.

Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image.

Two of the shelters
on site.
Interior view of wall
and connectors.
Connector and
batten detail.
Stakes for wind loads.
Photos by Ruth Miller