$500 home
by ELENA on APRIL 9, 2007 - 2 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, PEOPLE
The hexayurt
well, maybe $600

With all the stories about celebrities building multi-million pound off-grid mansions, its easy to think off-grid living is expensive and out of reach – but that’s just not so! Using off the shelf materials and an open source design guide, the hexayurt – pictured – is an affordable off-grid shelter system using an approach based on “autonomous building,” to provide not just a shelter, but a comprehensive family support unit which includes drinking water purification, composting toilets, fuel-efficient stoves and solar electric lighting.

The projected costs of the system range from $200 for the laminated cardboard version to $500 US dollars for a single family unit depending on size, climate, and use duration.
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The infrastructure to accompany the house costs around $100, and complete open source plans can be found here. Depending on how long the unit is expected to last, several different materials can be chosen for the construction. The outer materials have been chosen to be easily available, durable, easy to work with, able to moderate the indoor climate, and be aesthetically pleasing.

Materials

* Permanent use: Thermax HD (Dow)
* Temporary use: laminated hexacomb cardboard (Pregis)
* On site fabrication: Tuff R (Dow, widely used)

There are three shelter sizes, of which the middle size is shown in the picture.

* Stretch Around $100 per unit, 6′ high, 72 sq ft
* 8 foot Around $200 per unit, 8′ high, 166 sq ft.
* 12 foot Around $300 per unit, 12′ high, 166 sq ft. Resembles a space age cabin, full standing height throughout.

Assembly

Units take a team of three people around an hour to assemble. They are assembled using a 6″ wide, 600+lb bidirectional filament tape, and anchored to the ground like tents. No heavy lifting, ladders or scaffolding are required.

Manufacture

Any wood shop or packaging factory can be taught to manufacture units in an afternoon. In emergencies, basic units can be manufactured on site with hand tools in half an hour each (only six cuts are required for each unit.)

Infrastructure Package

* 1 Wood Gasification Stove (burns wood for cooking, 3x more efficient than clay stoves)
* 2 Cold Cathode / LED Flashlights (energy efficient area lighting)
* 1 Composting Toilet (model depends on location)
* 1 Water Purifier (type depends on location)
* Rechargeable AA batteries (for stove, lights, radios etc), for use in solar charging stations.

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2 comments

1 On What Is, And What Is Not » Click here to ask the designer of the hexayurt questions { 04.09.07 at 3:10 am }

[...] t questions

April 09th, 2007 | Category: Hexayurt

Off-grid.net likes hexayuts. A lot. hexayurt@gmail.com is my address, and I’m hopi [...]

2 M S Fitsgarrett { 04.20.07 at 8:14 pm }

I have lived around mongo celeb gold, on the impoverished outskirts. Though it’s always cool to see what has been done with a fortune, none of it compares to the awesome beauty of affordable housing.

The social and environmental benifits from peace and calm in a society where housing is easily available are worth imagining because it will encourage dreamers like those who have created this inexpensive little home. Our world needs more who dream of housing as a right made possible by low cost.

Dare to dream, then work to make it real; this little house is cooler than cool,

MSF

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