Having worked in the manufacturing of engineered building components and as a consulting engineer in residential and light commercial construction, I see opportunity to conserve enormous amounts of material and continuous inputs such as fuel by taking radically different approaches to domestic building and lifestyle. The Eco Sphere project is a key step in moving towards these exciting goals.
I really believe that if you want to create a radically different ďproductĒ you need a radically different model of business and collaboration, and that Open Source? is a very appropriate way to organize to achieve goals such as the Eco Sphere development effort. Furthermore, I think Open Source? is the wave of the future for eco development and implementation because it can allow success of projects that havenít been taken up by the standard market economy.
In the past Iíve collaborated to develop lightweight modular tensile structures as working platforms for scientific work. As I lived in a log cabin my wife built ďoff the grid,Ē I became interested in tensile structure designs that would suit eco living. I was elated to find solaroof because the outer membrane and the insulation was always a stumbling block for me.
I sent Rick a tensile structure concept I had developed, and was planning to prototype in the form of a 20í high structure with a single center pole and cables at the perimeter supporting radial floor beams and creating the envelope. He came back with the dodecahedron form, which I admit I didnít initially understand as what may be the quintessential tensile structure form for a home. Itís been really exciting working with Rick to gel the concept, and I hope others will join us on this interesting and important project.
Iím setup at home with a metal fabrication shop and a large construction forklift with an extendable boom, perfect for structural experimentation and construction. Iíd like to build an ecosphere next to my home in Minnesota, which sits on 3 acres, and utilize it as an R&D and demonstration prototype.