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Pre-fabricated housing unit for emergency use, poverty stricken areas, or for minimalists.
  [vote for,

This idea is to have both a strong shelter and clean water together in one cheap and easily deliverable unit. Of course the size of the dome will vary depending on the situation but you get the idea. I’m thinking maybe fiberglass would work well.

The unit would be a molded, stackable dome shelter with a built-in rainwater filtration and collection system and a built in desalination still. The rain would run off the roof, through a filter, and into a large storage tank that encircles the entire dome. The tank is actually part of the dome and when full of water would be an excellent anchor in bad weather. It would also have a solar desalination system on the roof for when it is sunny.

I think this would be ideal for disaster areas where people need water and shelter immediately. I’m seeing a monster truck driving along and shooting these little prefab houses out the back of it – sort of like the D.O.T. does with traffic cones.

Even though the disaster relief would be the main selling point for this, I also think that these domes should be built tough enough to live in permanently if desired.

Thanks for reading. This is my first post but please don’t hold back just because I’m a half-baked virgin.

See link for a diagram:

Sincerely, Neal

bneal27, Apr 26 2005

(??) Water-retaining shelter http://www.walkupmu...ideas/dome2copy.jpg
[bneal27, Apr 26 2005]

futureshack http://www.architec...ity.org/futureshack
a whole host of people are already working on similar ideas. [neilp, Apr 27 2005]

(?) Water Vests also used modularly as shelter http://www.popsci.c...0967,734456,00.html
click on slideshow to see shelter airdropped & assembled. [Zimmy, Apr 27 2005]

(?) I keep visualizing this as a starting point http://www.improvem...&subdept%5Fid=15110
When stocked in stores, they do nest/stack nicely. [half, Apr 27 2005]

Small scale desalination still http://www.desware.net/desa1.aspx
[bneal27, May 01 2005]


       Welcome, Neal.   

       How big do you reckon this would be?
half, Apr 26 2005

       I think it would depend on the amount of rainfall you could expect in the area. If the desalination still was roughly the size of a bathtub, it would produce about 3 gallons of clean water on a sunny day.
bneal27, Apr 26 2005

       I'm looking for ultra-efficiency here. Maybe instead of adding parts, it could be designed so anyone(including a disabled person) could simply lower the empty still down into the dome and refill it with whatever kind water is available, be it dishwater, seawater, or yes pee-water.
bneal27, Apr 26 2005

       Very nice, [bneal27]. Welcome to the HB [+]
contracts, Apr 26 2005

       could you add a still feature to trap moisture from the air in desert areas?
elfling, Apr 26 2005

       Simple, sounds practical and... it stacks! [+]
st3f, Apr 26 2005

       I love the idea that the unit is very light but fills itself up with water from rain, condensation, etc... becomming more solid and stable.   

       The water mass would also provide thermal stability keeping the structure warm(er) at night and cool(er) in the sun.   

       Now for a silly add on idea: What if the structure had clear panels and acted as a greenhouse? Distributed with a seed mat inside, it could be air dropped in remote areas to provide food as well as shelter for hikers, refuges, or advanceing explorers.
James Newton, Apr 26 2005

       Or the real H2OME: igloos.   

       That's it! Emergency igloos that can be dropped by a plane to provide shelter and a water souce all in one!
Cedar Park, Apr 27 2005

       neat name.
po, Apr 27 2005

       Tupper-where? (+)   

       Welcome to the bakery. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Apr 27 2005

       Fasten two together as a sphere and roll them into place.
FarmerJohn, Apr 27 2005

       or fasten 2 together and have a new 'mobile' home.
elfling, Apr 27 2005

       The only problem I see with this idea is that it's MUCH too good for the halfbakery.   

       Just a few details: You'd need some good ventillation near the top, which could be done easily with a louvred vent.   

       Fiberglass or plastic would provide naturally diffuse lighting. Very nice.
sophocles, Apr 27 2005

       I wish in winter, or rainy seasons, those places that sell little house like sheds, or whatever the hell they call em, would lend them out to the homeless, or others in need, as the author suggests. They just sit there all year, empty, collecting dust. Outside storage units, I guess is what they're called. But they look like little metal playhouses. Loan em out! (rant over.) A big + for the idea.
blissmiss, Apr 27 2005

       Would you have to truck in the salt water to run your desalination still?
ldischler, Apr 27 2005

       [blissmiss] or let them rent an airconditioned storage unit. I wanted to do this many years ago instead of renting an apartment, but they won't allow it here.
Zimmy, Apr 27 2005

       [bliss], you mean "h2omeless".
FarmerJohn, Apr 27 2005

       FJ, no, not really, just that it could be available to any who needs it. I guess it would be HOOMEY.
blissmiss, Apr 28 2005

       Wow, I feel like the rookie who gets his first hit in the major leagues. Thanks everyone for the +'s and the additional ideas.   

       In response to the questions: You wouldn't have to truck in saltwater. You can use almost any type of water in the still. Please see the link I just added.   

       I originally envisioned a pyramid shape, but went with the dome instead because of it's ability to withstand heavy winds. I'd like these to be tough enough to be permanent housing for minimalists.   

       Some sort of recylcled material would be ideal. If plastic is the best choice, perhaps it could be painted with UV resistant paint.
bneal27, May 01 2005

       Good thinking.
Shz, May 02 2005

       Popular Science did a short blurb on a lightweight home technology last month. Start with some sort of insulating foam board, and spray on this hard concrete slurry. Let it dry, and it's an instant wall, about an order of magnitude cheaper than stick-built.
RayfordSteele, May 03 2005

       I read about that, too, [Rayford] but not in that magazine; maybe the NY Times. If I remember right, they could build a decent small home for around $6,000USD.   

       Seemed a smart way to go.
bristolz, May 03 2005


       How about this ?   

       Blah, blah, shipping container, blah blah.   

       In the shipping container is a blow-moulding machine, a generator, fuel supply, and plastic granules.   

       The blow-moulding machine spits out double-walled plastic containers. Imagine a 5-litre jerrycan with lugs all round for stacking.   

       Lay out the "cans" to form the outline of the structure. Then fill them with water.   

       Build up the next layer, offset as in normal bricklaying. Some clever design may be needed for corners.   

       Keep building until the structure is tall enough.   

       The water gives the structure weight. The air gap inside insulates.   

       Not sure how to do the roof yet.
8th of 7, Oct 14 2008

       I suspect an anchor of some sort would be needed. In many places the desperate need for water is due to a lack of rain. Rainwater is usually relatively pure and does not need to be treated in any way. good ventilation is a must as well as adjustable lighting re the greenhouse effect. Low mass high surface area structures are hard to heat and cool. I guess i am looking for benefits over the conventional refugee (literally) housing, tents (the ultimate collapsible) and seeing few. Stacking is nice but rectangles and other more conventional shapes stack just as well as domes do and are more useful and portable in addition to being just as easily used for rainwater collection. Frankly i suspect that displaced earth housing would be a superior solution. Drop a bulldozer and some prefab walls and build some earth berm dwellings (climate dependent). Temporary refugee camps are made to be inadequate so they are unpleasant and non seen as a permanent situation. Start putting up homes and facilities and it starts to look more like immigration and less like displacement.
WcW, Oct 14 2008

       umm... yeah... historically that attitude has never worked right. "We don't want them to be comfortable" isn't a goal it's a lack of goal. Set out what you *do* want to accomplish and what kind of resources you have, and take it from there.
FlyingToaster, Oct 14 2008


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