Engineering/Concept > Shelter Redefined
Imagine a home that provides a level of comfort and ease of living beyond what’s known. Now imagine this home uses less energy while providing that superior standard of living.
In this century, wouldn’t we rather have a home that harvests energy quietly instead of using it? An enclosed space three average people with no special skills can assemble noise free, and with no special building tools in three weeks from start to finish. With over 10,000 variations for layout a home we can alter in a day without need of a contractor. A home that’s over 90% recyclable and stronger against the elements. A home we can afford to rent or own anywhere in the world. And when we move, this home can be packed up and shipped to us wherever we want leaving only improved soil behind. A home that works with and for the environment while providing an enhanced standard of living for us at the same time. Couldn’t we all use a home like that?
When disaster strikes and emergency shelters are needed, weight, cost, and ability to stand up in the elements are the three considerations when relief organizations look to find shelter solutions for people in need.
The New Home Project will address both these critical aspects and challenge the idea of shelter by offering a radical departure from traditional shelter construction. This is done by patterning after nature’s three billion years of successful technical engineering. Understanding any animal body as a form of shelter, when we reference nature, there’s a substantial lean towards exoskeleton as the choice of shelter. So Crickets to crabs, 75% of all animal life has an exoskeleton. With some cyclic shedding of the skin, exoskeletons have effectively frozen many species specialization simply for the fact that their skins work so well, there’s no need for improvement, in some cases for tens of millions of years.
Strangely enough we currently build houses, in the west at least, patterned after our own heritage, mammals. Core load barring, framed in muscle/drywall, and painted/skin. And when looking at a photo of a home like this they look beautiful in a photograph but the environment they’re in is anything but still. In fact looking at over 95% of traditional homes you see in effect four sheets to the wind, to mean, they are constructed walls build to directly face the wind no matter the direction which means stronger more expensive buttressing is necessary.
The original home within a dome concept for shelter was first proposed over 50 years ago by R. Buckminster Fuller. Termed the “Garden of Eden”, the idea redefined what we think of when we think of home or shelter. Encase your home, and your gardens all under a translucent geodesic dome, the most effective shape against the elements. However due to a lack of affordable proven materials for such a large dome, the Garden of Eden home idea never took off. Any of the materials used to build domes from then until now such as wood, concrete, glass, Plexiglas, aluminum, and most recently Tefzel (used in the Eden Project in England), are too expensive, or inflexible making a dome of the size needed for a Garden of Eden dome cost prohibitive, until now.
The two parts of the New Home Project are-
An inexpensive exoskeleton translucent geodesic dome of variable dimensions utilizing Tyvek (a proven building material), and cutting edge tension compression engineering for support. This shelter which will be the world’s lightest most affordable clear span structure to date will have multiple applications including emergency shelters, alternative home construction, and as yet undiscovered needs for commercial applications.
It will be the world’s lightest clear span solution with limitless sizes and shapes.
The second part is the dynamic dwelling within a large scale dome for long term housing, a detached home, gardens, a natural sewage system, all easily installed assembled, and transportable. With over 10,000 designs for families to toy with, the home and gardens within can be moved about at will.
Developing and selling the emergency shelters is the initial objective, so sales of the emergency shelters can sustain and fuel the funding needed for the second part, the development of the detached home and support systems within, which will challenge our very idea of what a sustainable home designed with nature in mind should look like.
No landfill, foundation, or leftover materials. Weighing less than a 1/10 of a traditional house, and 90% recyclable, these homes will considerably decrease the total footprint size (weight in regards to building, shipping, lifting, supporting, and when outdated addition to landfill).
There’s no better time than now for this project and all it offers. Environmental awareness has moved from a fringe interest to a primary global issue concerning everyone for obvious reasons. This project stands to save billions of dollars in precious un-renewable resources, countless millions of hours of unnecessary labor, and improve the quality of life within our homes, while decreasing the cost to experience this life style. Working with the environment instead of against it, the New Home Project also begins a era of intercooporation with our environment like never before.
This is not an environmental solution adapted to traditional housing design. This is learning and mimicking the highest form of technology available, nature, with her 3 billion year head start, thus creating a closed cycle home with a synergistic relationship with the immediate surrounding environment.