Richard Nelson 20041210

Richard Nelson 20041210 Your Name? here to Reply - or use "Edit Page" to comment anywhere in the text or at the bottom.

This first entry is just a quick test of pasting an email message into the edit window. I am not taking any time right now to improve the format.

 Thanks Ed for your quick reply. See my comments below:

Ed Fasula wrote:

> Hi Rick, > > > > I think that the most efficient way to proceed would be to settle in on a size and detail it out. Hopefully, that would be the one that gets built,

Building one is very important and that is why we should chose a practical but smallish scale with a ground, middle (main floor) and loft.

> but if not then at least weíve worked through the concept to the end, cleared the hurdles necessary, and started to get a feel for member sizes and such at a scale thatís close to the actual project. Iíd think that a floor area of approximately 140 to 240 ft^2(13 to 22 m^2) would be reasonable in that itís in the range of a minimal size that a few people could weekend in. > > > > Solidworks has some very powerful features that would allow me to generate a base model and scale it per project. Thatís rather involved to setup though, so I would be better to hammer out a few first to identify what to include in the base model. Iím pretty sure the ďstretchedĒ models would need their own separate base model, but thatís not a big deal.

Great! this all sounds like the right approach. I would like to add, before sending this message that it would be great to set up an Album for Eco Sphere at the Sola Roof Wiki? Gallery and post some images of various views and degrees of rotation so that Jeff and Marcin will be able to follow our discussion about the physical layout of the Eco Sphere floor levels - its size - etc. I will set up a Wiki Group? called Eco Sphere with a link from the Sola Roof Projects page (navigation sidebar link).

> > > Iím not clear on your comments about the pilot size having a main floor and overhead net. The distance between the main and upper is critical so should it go to where I thought upper level was supposed to go?

Yes, the floor that you had shown as the upper level would be the loft floor level and the key thing is that it is a "transparent" floor construction. Such a floor is made from a light wire mesh with about a 2" mesh. We can walk on this stressed floor - it is not a rigid floor but the deflection would be very small and since it is a steel (galvanized) it

> The distance between the main and that point is .81*edge. So, for 8í (2.44m) headroom, the edge needs to be 9.9 ft(3m) and the beam span and overall height would be 2.62*9.9=25.9ft (7.9m). The floor area would be edge(2.62*edge)=256ft^2 (23.8m^2). > > > > Looking at those numbers, it seems like an awful lot of outer structure for a small floor space. If we extended the main floor to the enclosure, we would get 1.81 times the floor space or 464 ft^2 (43m^2). We could also truncate the structure below the main floor (at the lower level height?) if we donít need all of that water storageÖ

Ed, I am not saying that we do this kind of structure for most practical purposes. This structure is more art object and to awaken the spirit to the beauty of a transparent envelope and a Living Space?. It is a place for research and creative work like a painter's loft or a studio/research workshop. So we should not apply any practical thinking but simply look to WOW anyone who enters - or even see this structure from a distance. It is important not to bisect the space by taking any floor to the "wall" - that would not be beautiful and also we want the Eco Sphere to retain the wholeness of perception of a spherical space when inside. It is more than a Dome - it is a complete object; a complete sphere. This is a powerful statement that is not often done and rarely done on a human and personal scale so I think that it will have an enormous impact. We need all that volume below the floor for the thermal mass. The water level will not reach as high as the floor. There will therefore be less volume of water (and liquid).

> > > I understand and greatly appreciate your commitment to Open Source?. My comments about it in reference to the proposal you sent me are motivated by my belief that this effort will require some education and support. The ďaverageĒ person has been indoctrinated to believe that they canít do anything on their own. Many of the mechanically skilled people, even, think developing things on their own is a waste of time. Which it basically is, in the market economy for you as an inventor realize Iím sure. I think the SC UC is an example of a great place to support people in realizing opportunity in networking in an Open Source? model.

Yup, that the drift of my thinking also. In fact I would like to open a line of communication with a couple of very capable people who have exchanged some email with me in the past. One is Bob Gillis ( and the other is Andrew Bangsberg, Director of Development for Pacific Domes ( who both have much to contribute to the Eco Sphere development - at least I would like to inform them of our ambitious project. More possible collaborators will come to mind as we go along.

Also, I have some engineering/technical people here in London and Philip Yiin, owner of in Malaysia (who would ultimately be a source of the envelope). The thing is though that many times in the past the most productive way to approach such innovations was simply to build an example. This is called fast prototyping and is typical of a low budget "skunk works" approach. You mentioned that you have enough land and have a stack of metal. So perhaps building a first phase prototype of the dimension that we find practical is not out of the question. Meantime some nice computer renderings and presentation material would be great. We can make a presentation to a number of possible sponsors that might go for a full scale project - some high profile situations like the SCUC or the Journey of Light. In fact many Eco Tourism? developments could build such structures to create a landmark.

> > > As I write that, Iím realizing that if we took this collaboration online at solaroof or omidyar, it would be one example of the development of a creative project. As you know, such things are a major component to my interest. I wouldnít be opposed to keeping it private at this point, but it something to keep in mindÖ > >

I would like to do that at least to some degree at our Sustainable Living group and as a way of bringing more people into a network of interest, collaboration and support. Perhaps we could create some workspace pages that will document our progress. I would certainly like to have a Project Website at the Sola Roof Wiki?. and there would be no limits to our use of the Wiki to build a team, collaborate and share our experience with the Sola Roof Community.

> The raft system is intriguing, and Iíll be going to Orlando. Do you have a contact?

Unfortunately I do not have any contact for the project other than the information at the hydronov website. This company is very protective of its "proprietary" knowhow so they may not be that cooperative. On the other hand they are interested in new business and if you visit as a prospective customer they will most likely give you a tour and sales literature. There is nothing in their production methods that is patented or actually proprietary.

> > > Iím really interested in meeting any and all of your collogues. Let me know what to do and Iíll do it (or go there). Where is Marcin these days? Weíre covering a lot of ground on this trip, maybe I can meet him in personÖ

I am really pressed for time and I own Marcin a reply to an earlier message so I am going to copy him on this and that will serve as an introduction and give him a bit of an idea about the project that we are developing. It would also be good to keep Jeff posted on our progress. This is why the Wiki is such a good way to collaborate. Rather than exchange these private email messages we could create a project Log and we can build a team.

It is an example of "working openly". Many people may join in to help in various ways. It is also okay if others pursue similar work in parallel - we are not trying to produce a unique project but rather a breakthrough idea; a design or "pattern" that can be duplicated by many groups. What I think is most exciting is to be working towards these goals of sustainable living - to try to do it and to spread the word about it.

> > > Thanks > > > > Ed > > > > > > -----Original Message----- > From: Richard Nelson [] > Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 2004 6:53 PM > To: Ed Fasula > Subject: Re: Solidworks Viewer > > > > Hi Ed, > > The dimensions are very interesting. For a practical size pilot project I was not planning to exploit all the possible (logical) floor levels that connect with the vertices. The smaller scale would have just the main floor and a net support overhead for the plant canopy. The next size larger would have a crawl space under the low bridge which would be a floor area then the main floor and above the high bridge would be a loft. That's three floor levels. > > The five level (top level is a plant support net) would be the most impressive natural scale although I suppose that the diameter could be greater and more floor levels could be added in. Also, I believe that it could also be "stretched" on the vertical axis to create an oval tower shape. > > I think that the Eco Sphere could go over well in California and would become a tourist attraction. This is a good thing because the more awareness we can create the more people will see that they have options. Also the greenhouse project could happen at other locations. There is a group in Missouri that what to build a solaroof greenhouse. If your father's friend is interested then we could explore that . You might be able to visit one of the floating raft grown system greenhouses that is located in Florida. Here is the reference: where you can see that there is project in Orlando, Florida. > > I don't know about the wankel engine - probably the best bet is a diesel that can run on Bio Fuel?. As far as commercial ventures I would always continue to work with a many projects as possible in an Open Source? community and there would never be any exclusivity of any kind. > > Again, thanks so much for this collaboration. We can get more people involved as we go. I would like to introduce you to Marcin, who is planning a greenhouse project. > > Later, Rick > -- Richard Nelson Together we can BUILD a sustainable future