Category Archives: Escape From The Grid
Is the prospect of global warming, war civil unrest, nuclear, biological and chemical terrorism, emerging diseases, famine, drought, and huge natural, technological and environmental disasters filling you with anxiety and fear about your future on our tiny planet? Are you troubled by the lack of solutions to these growing problems and, most importantly, how you will survive them? Well fear no more … the answers to all these questions and many others are only a click away…
No matter where you are or who you are, the I.P.N. believes that safe shelter is a human right for all who live on our planet. With the technological tools and techniques available to us today, there is no excuse for anyone, anywhere to be without a home.
In addition, it should be inexpensive, highly resistant to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and many other natural and technological disasters; and manufactured from recycled waste products or locally available material such as the Cal-Earth “Superadobe” home pictured below.
The I.P.N. Ikhaya Eco Human Shelter Initiative (formerly LIfe-O.N.E.) was created to provide the public with information about how to build the most innovative, inexpensive, “green” disaster resistant temporary, portable and permanent homes. Ikhaya-Eco will also introduce its own creations ranging from emergency shelters to portable mini-homes.
These structures can be used as emergency shelters after disasters strike, low cost urban and rural housing, shelter for the rapidly growing homeless population in the USA along with impoverished communities in developing nations across the globe. The Ikhaya-Eco program will place an emphasis on the use of locally available resources and materials to reduce the environmental impact of construction. This includes the use of waste material such as scrap metal, plastic, old tires, wood etc. reconfigured into disaster-resistant structures that can serve as temporary or in many cases permanent shelter. These homes, designed by I.P.N. Executive Director Aton Edwards (and other contributors to the initiative) are also created to serve as what Edwards deems as “ultra low cost homes.” (ULCH) His designs can be built with unskilled labor and range in price from $600 to 12,000 dollars. (plumbing, electric & furniture not included) Many can be disassembled and moved from location to location. Others can be towed by human power (walking, bicycle, handcart) or even carried in a backpack.
Edwards designed the devices to in his words “provide the world’s poorest with the means to protect themselves from the elements and live in dignity.” He adds – “given the volatile state of the American and global economy combined with several other factors, the problem of homelessness will continue to grow. In some cases exponentially. The solutions to this will be the development of practical, non traditional emergency and permanent shelters that are available to all who need them.”
“The need for methods of providing shelter for millions around the world who lack it must be fulfilled or this tragic situation will continue to grow.” The video below describes the Hexayurt, an emergency shelter invented by Vinay Gupta.
The Hexayurt is one of the Ikhaya Eco’s recommended emergency shelter designs.
Geodesic domes are another of the recommended emergency & permanent shelter designs. In terms of simplicity, cost, disaster resistance, construction time, they rank as one of the top, most practical, cost-effective and simple solutions to the emergency-housing crisis around the world.
- Geodesic domes are not only easy and inexpensive to construct, but they are also incredibly disaster resistant.
- Their geometric configuration transfers all loads (weight) equally across the entire shape giving them tremendous strength. Most available today can withstand the strongest hurricane, and even powerful earthquakes.
A number of companies manufacture kits that allow for the rapid construction of these domes. One of the best is Pacific Domes.
John Penley is a activist, homeless advocate Vietnam Veteran and photo journalist who also believes that safe shelter is a human right. For several years he has tirelessly campaigned to raise awareness about
This In September 2005, the respected Journal Science released the results of a comprehensive study about the effects of global warming on our weather, particularly tropical cyclones (hurricanes). The study suggests that meteorologists are beginning to identify links between the increasing power of tropical storms and greenhouse gas fueled ocean warming.
One section of the report highlights an atypical 80% increase worldwide in the profusion of severe Hurricanes over the past 35 years. The author of the first study, Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology states that “There’s a strong suggestion of a link” between the growing greenhouse and intensifying tropical cyclones. Another major related problem is that the rising temperatures are beginning to melt glaciers and polar ice sheets.
According to Gerald Meehl from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), by the year 2100, our climate will warm by one degree and the seas will rise 4 inches. Some studies state that the situation is much worse and that the global average temperature will rise 6.3 degrees and the sea level rising by more than a foot. Meehl says “Even if we stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, the climate will continue to warm, and, there will be proportionately even more sea level rise.”
These conditions will produce numerous weather related disasters in the Gulf state region for many decades to come. In order to avoid the enormous amounts of property damage and human suffering produced by Hurricane Katrina, and similar future events, a new generation of homes and other structures must be built in these areas that can withstand even the most severe storms, floods and tornadoes.
There are a number of manufacturers in the United States that produce structures of this type. They are relatively simple and much quicker to construct than traditional homes. In addition, they are:
Practically maintenance free,
Many times more energy efficient,
In most cases, much more cost effective.
Power outages and water treatment system failures are other critical casualties of large scale weather emergencies. The inability to produce potable water can have grave effects during and after disasters strike. Power outages can impair rescue & recovery efforts, disable critical health care & communications systems, along with a creating a number of other very serious problems.
There are new power generation and water purification technologies that render some of the old systems obsolete. They are self-contained, have few or no moving parts and, can be easily fortified to survive nearly all weather related disasters. The I.P.N. Ikhaya-Eco Human Shelter Initiative i Coast Mississippi area will utilize these technological wonders to help provide disaster resistant & energy independent structures for many of the residents that were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. It will also serve as a model for surrounding communities to “adopt” the very same program. If they do, when more large similar storms occur, this will dramatically reduce the amount of:
- Physical injuries
- Property damage
- Structural damage
- Property & homeowner insurance claims
- Small business losses
IPN Shelter From The Storm will help to provide Gulf coast communities with the methods and equipment they will need to keep their communities intact during even the worst meteorological conditions.
About Shelter From The Storm Program
The Shelter From The Storm project began two months after the Katrina Disaster when IPN Executive Director Aton Edwards and his friend (and IPN member) former Miss Mississippi Toni Seawright decided to develop a special program to provide disaster resistant housing for the Mississippi gulf coast storm survivors that lost their homes. As a Mississippi gulf coast native, Toni was particularly concerned about the residents of her home state and she felt that her organization IPN should do something to help the residents of her beloved state to recover.
The IPN Executive Director agreed. He called a meeting with his fellow IPN officer Ron Peterson and together, they quickly assembled the Shelter from the Storm program along with an emergency dome building foundation run by Toni Seawright called A Dome for Life. The formal mission of Shelter From The Storm is:
- The development of low income permanent disaster-resistant, environmentally friendly energy independent (zero energy) homes and businesses in Mississippi
- The development of an economic empowerment zone to encourage small (and large) businesses to invest in the re-development in the area.
- The creation of disaster-resistant headquarters for local Police, firefighters & other rescue personnel
Shelter From The Storm’s primary mission is to build disaster resistant homes; and there is no structure in the world that is more disaster resistant than the dome. Shelter From The Storm will utilize three different types of modern domes.
1. American Ingenuity Geodesic domes
2. Monolithic domes
3. Nest Egg Domes
It has been over 60 years since Bucky Fuller invented the Geodome to provide the world with inexpensive disaster resistant shelter. There is no other structure available that can provide homeowners with the same degree of protection. Geodomes use an arrangement of triangles fashioned roughly into the shape of a half-sphere. The structural elements equally divide the total load of the structure, and dynamic forces such as wind or even lateral motion produced by earthquakes giving the dome incredible strength and durability.
Geodomes also have more space than a traditional structure. This is because their semi-spherodial configuration has the highest ratio of enclosed area to external surface area of any shape The design is so efficient that Mother Nature herself chose to use it in the form of a Carbon atom cluster discovered by the scientists Harold Kroto, Richard Smalley and Robert Curl back in the early 1990′s. They decided to call it Buckyfullerene due to its structural similarity to his Geodomes.
Geodomes are more durable, use far less material and are much easier to construct than their old world counterparts. Best of all, they require half the energy required to heat or cool. The Geodomes that will be used by Outreach of Love cost less than half of a comparable sized traditional home. Much less, if the homeowners are willing to help with the construction.The Geodomes built in the Gulf Coast area will be prefabricated steel-reinforced concrete kits manufactured by the American Ingenuity company of Rockledge Florida. They are very easy to build, inexpensive, disaster-resistant, completely fireproof, and beautiful as you can see from the pictures shown on page 6. These homes range in size between 30′ – 48 ‘ in diameter. Some, called emergency eco-shelters are extremely inexpensive and small enough to be built in a day. These can be used as emergency shelters for trailer park residents, Police or small disaster resistant storage areas.
And the kit prices are from $12, 543- 46,357 The prices are a bargain when you consider what you get, a maintenance free disaster resistant fireproof home for half the price of a conventional home. These Geodomes can withstand a direct hit by a large hurricane and even most tornadoes. A termite would break his mandibles on it and there isn’t any need for roofing. They can also be “Earthbermed” for added protection from storms. The following pictures are a few examples of the AI domes that will be used
The next level of Dome is manufactured by Monolithic Domes, a company created by David B. South and his brothers-Barry and Randy South. Monolithic Domes specializes in creating steel reinforced thin shell concrete domes that are even more disaster resistant and durable than the American Ingenuity Geodomes.
Formworks NestEgg Earthhouse near Telluride, Colorado
Formworks NestEgg Home in Idaho
This is a 40 x 52 elongated dome built on flat ground with two grade level entries and a 32 foot wide South facing opening for enhanced view and solar gain. Self sufficiency and low heating/maintenance costs are the result, and no frozen pipes even with no additional heat. One of the advantages of an earth sheltered home is that the roof can be used as extra space on your property. You can plant a vegetable garden on it or shrubbery, or, you can allow for wild growth that will let your home blend perfectly into the environment. NestEgg homes can have a life of between 200 to 1000 years!
This saves an enormous amount of natural resource by eliminating the need to build new structures to replace the old. NestEgg homes are four inch thick concrete shells insulated by the earth. They require very little heating in the winter months – even in extremely cold environments or cooling in the summertime. This thermal effect reduces the need for heating oil or even electrical power to regulate the interior temperature by over 90%. The less fuel oil burned or electrical power used translates directly into reduced emissions.
The NestEgg domes can be constructed for Police, Firefighters and Small Medical clinics.
Geodesic Dome building specifics
The types of domes used in the Shelter From The Storm project will vary in accordance to individual needs, location and resources. Geodomes and earth – sheltered homes are designed to withstand winds that exceed 150 knots (level 5). Earthquakes also do little damage (under 7.2). The major threat to this type of home is flood. It is recommended that Geodomes are built on high ground, and away from rivers, lakes and oceans to avoid large-scale floods. American Ingenuity Geodesic domes can be built on pylons to avoid floods. Dome construction time also varies with the type of structure. The American Ingenuity Geodomes tend to take the least amount of time to build because of their modular prefabricated design. The construction time for the Monolithic and Nest Egg domes depend on the following:
- The experience level of the builders.
- The type of construction site
- Locally available resources (water for mixing concrete, stand-by electrical power, fuel etc.
- The amount of skilled workers.
- The drying time of the concrete.
- The type and size of the dome.
Typically, an American Ingenuity dome can be built in less than a month with experienced labor. A monolithic or NestEgg takes approx. twice as long (this does not include plumbing)
In the case of the American Ingenuity domes, contractors will not be necessary. They are designed to be built by non-skilled workers. “AI” domes come in kits that can be assembled with a minimum of tools and labor. When contractors are needed, they can be hired from nearby locations. The kits will be delivered by truck to the sites.
Only local workers and U.S. documented citizens from the local area will be hired at the Shelter From The Storm construction sites. American Ingenuity domes are the least expensive option for dome homebuilders. In terms of quick and easy construction, they are the fastest, least expensive and simple to build. The dome building kits contain all of the triangular and riser component panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway. Each component panel has 7″ R-28 foam insulation and a steel reinforced concrete exterior surface (22′) domes have 3½ insulation). All triangular and riser panels now include Georgia Pacific ¼ Dens-deck wallboard on the interior surface.
The domes come in the following sizes:
22′ (with 373 sq.ft living area) this small dome is primarily for a single person. Best suitable as a small cottage (studio).
Kit price: $8,360 standard -
27′ (780 sq. ft living area) This is a two level one bedroom dome best suited for childless couples.
Kit price: $11,533 standard -
30′ (1,089 sq.ft living area) this is a slightly larger variation on the 27′ dome.
Kit price: $14,211 standard
34′ (1,466 sq.ft living area) this is a two level dome best suited for couples with one child.
Kit price: $17,046 standard
40′ (2,176 sq.ft living area) this is a three bedroom 2 bathroom dome best suited for a family of four.
Kit price: $21,329 standard
45′ (1,466 sq.ft living area) this is a four bedroom 3 bathroom dome best suited for large families
Kit price: $25,696 standard
48′ (3,141 sq.ft living area) this model dome can have 3 large or four smaller bedrooms and two bathrooms Kit price: $29,665
60′ (5,180 sq.ft living area) this is a large model dome that can be split into three levels. This can be used as a large home, police station small medical clinic etc. Kit price: $43,346
The building options for each structure are determined by the users need. The dome entryways are available as standard, high profile and also garage. 22′ and 27′ domes can only have garage entryways. Entryway panels have 3½” EPS and are concreted on the interior side. Dormer panels have 3½ EPS wrapped in steel mesh. Both entryway and dormer panels require on-site stuccoing. 22′ and 30 domes can have window dormers only ion the 1st floor. Skylights do not open and are installed inside of triangular component panels. There is no cost for a standard link when two domes are purchased.
Many homeowners may choose to link their domes together. Clusters of domes can also be linked together in this way. Link panels utilize 7″ EPS and are not concreted or wrapped in steel mesh. For the complete American Ingenuity dome building details please refer to the American Ingenuity dome building packets section. The American Ingenuity domes will be used primarily as permanent residences for Katrina victims, day care centers, clinics and other light duty general shelters.