On my trip to Burning Man this year, I noticed quite a few camps utilizing the Hexayurt. A model of this affordable “refugee” shelter was also on display along with the art on the playa, and I was suprised how cool it was in the boiling heat, and how sturdy it was against the notorious Black Rock Desert winds. The inside had room for a full-size futon, some chairs and a table, as well as a few bookshelves.
The Hexayurt, created by Vinay Gupta, is made from Thermax HD from Dow for permanent use and and with laminated hexacomb cardboard from Pregis for temporary use. The reflective material on the outside keeps out the heat. These units take a team of three people around an hour to assemble. They are assembled using a 6 inch wide, 600+ lb bidirectional filament tape, and anchored to the ground like a tent. No heavy lifting, ladders or scaffolding are required.
A Hexayurt is primarily an emergency structure which is self-contained and easily packed for transportation. They cost around $200 to $500 plus another $100 to add a utility package for water decontamination, heating and cooking, communal composting toilets and solar power.
There are three sizes available:
* 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.
A Hexayurt can also be used for a temporary structure to live in while building a more permanent dwelling.
Based on work done at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Hexayurt village is intended to replace all the infrastructure which might be damaged after a major disaster such as an earthquake or flood — in other words, it is an autonomous building suitable for a family. Both the American Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Defense are planning on using the Hexayurt for refugees and military use.
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