Thursday, 14 January 2010

Earthquake Dome House





In today's NYTimes OP-ED there is an interesting article on not just the helping of Haiti, but also the responsibility of rebuilding the country...properly. We could do this. We really could. We could all work together, politics aside, to assist the Haitians with self-sufficiency and safe, affordable pre-fab housing. Now is the time to make things right there. And I believe the people of Haiti want our help. Japanese car-maker Toyota is into much more than just cars. In fact, Toyota has been in the home-building business for more than 20 years. These fabulous prefab designs (bottom photo) employ auto-manufacturing technologies that build totally modern and earth-quake resistant homes. These homes are not what I would call 'affordable' (they start at $200,000.00 - good for California?), but there must be a company out there who could create a much cheaper alternative. That way, we could build many quickly and economically. They don't have to be big homes! Another new design are the 'Dome' homes of Japan. (Check out more photos HERE) Dubbed the “habitat for the 21st century,” the Dome House is an igloo-shaped structure built from snap-together wall sections made of 100% expanded polystyrene foam (styrofoam). It might seem like an odd choice of material for a house, but the company lists a number of advantages that styrofoam has over traditional materials. Unlike wood and metal structures, for example, the styrofoam (non-crushing...if trapped, light-weight to push off oneself.) Dome House does not rust, rot or attract termites. It is also highly resistant to earthquakes and typhoons. In addition, the walls, which are treated with a flame retardant, emit no toxic fumes in a fire. The Dome house is ultra-low-cost (about $40,000 U.S.D.), environmental, gale/hurricane resistant and durable. This Dome Home excites me! I'd live in one!!! Perfect for Haiti - they only weigh 80kg each...easy to ship over to them and younger citizens could help construct them. (Here's an American Dome House company. More great info on Treehugger too!) Got 22 seconds? WATCH this! (even we bloggers could build one of these dome houses - perfect for Haitians! And we could paint them all pretty Caribbean colours.)

4 comments:

the Inveterate Optimist said...

Great post! tIO x

splendid market said...

What great ideas. Thank you for leading us to the next step during this time of ultra-devestation.

Maya said...

Great post! I could never understand why people rebuild the same after a hurricane, or earthquake for that matter. Oh, yes, it's too expensive! But not long term! I'm inspired now to put a post together about smart homes by the sea.

Maya said...

Oh, and I'm adding you to my blogroll too. Thanks so much!!