Ekinoid: future homes.

*Inverse Infrastructures

Inverse Infrastructures : Coordination in self-organizing Systems(120kb downloadable PDF, Delft University of Terchnology, The Netherlands; Authors T.M. Egyedi, J.L.M. Vrancken and J. Ubacht )

"The paper argues that a new category of infrastructures is emerging - user driven, self organizing and with decentralized control: Inverse Infrastructures (IIs). IIs are not well understood. Moreover, they represent a paradigm shift in infrastructure development."

See an inverse infrastructure at work, and also get an extraordinary insight into what two illiterate 40-year-old women in a remote African village achieved.

Company Links


Seed Funding

We're ready to begin creating a full-size working prototype, so if you'd like to get personally involved in making this happen, and have the wherewithal to invest - then please contact us.

The Ekinoid Project: Transforming Homes

How the project came about

The Story: Transforming homes, transforming people.

Latest News: Looking at PV Options with BRE Solar

We're awaiting the results of a consultation with BRE Solar (looking at the cost-options for PV (Photovoltaics) for Ekinoid homes. We'll put these up on the website when they arrive.

Update (14.1.2015): The PDF report is in - and it looks like there are a number of good, cost-effective options for off-the-grid solar.

Self-assembly, round homes for off-the-grid towns, anywhere.

To hope to address the emerging, gigantic challenges of the 21st century we need innovative, scaleable, practical solutions. As things stand, population will plateau at 10 / 11 billion people by 2100 - and committing (now) to creating scaleable, diverse, distributed population centres will be a crucial part of sustainably transitioning to a global society that supports these numbers.

Imagine self-assembling enough round houses in one place to build a functioning, sustainable, off-the-grid town for 10,000 people - in only 6-12 months. And then repeating these round-house clusters in 10,000 other places - potentially on what is (currently) designated as marginal land (i.e., land that may be only be 'marginal' because it is outside our traditional bricks-and-mortar perception of what constitutes usable building land).

"Sphere Towns": All-Terrain-Friendly

A hollow sphere can be light yet exceptionally strong (think of a what a ping-pong ball endures), and the round Ekinoid homes will, in the same way, be exceptionally strong yet very significantly reduce raw-material requirements (down from around 150 tonnes [roughly the weight of a standard 2-bedroom house in the UK] to around 20 tonnes - reference: SEI 2007 PDF: page 10; also see specific material composition). At the same time they will increase the space available inside from around 80 sq.m (again, roughly the size of a standard 2-bedroom house in the UK) to around 240 sq.m - and this does not take into account all the land underneath.

Ekinoid round homes will also allow occupants to fulfil their own power needs using solar (see here for the best Solar PV Research Cell Efficiencies) or wind power - or biogas gasification (NB: This is a 2.4Mb PDF file to download) - and meet their requirements for potable water by using cheap and effective treatments to rainwater runoff, using, for instance, Berkey Water Filters, or maybe a variation on the LifeSaver. The Ekinoid home will also properly address grey water management - and use in-house sewage treatment and composting; UD (urine dirversion) toilets also make a lot of sense to use. It will also provide the means to cleanly and efficiently supply most of the occupants' food needs (via a hydroponic crop system around the glass/ETFE stairwell [ETFE is recyclable]).

The Ekinoid Project focuses on the idea that a spherical structure can deliver a simple, practical, affordable housing solution, suitable for many more environments than traditional buildings are capable of. And it is a structure whose parts will be both mass produced (locally, wherever practicable) and fabricated on-site - using *inverse infrastructures (downloadable PDF file: 120kb), and unskilled hands (using detailed written and video instruction, as well as personal support from a previous Ekinoid-home-fabricator). Ekinoid homes will be designed to suit the local climate and terrain.

The Ekinoid Project: Goals

  • 1. Designing the Ekinoid home - a completely round house - in such a (bolt-together, colour-coded) way that it can be built onsite by cooperating individuals (unskilled in traditional building construction): You build your own home; you can help others build theirs.
  • 2. That an Ekinoid home can be fully constructed within one week.

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The Ekinoid Project: Issues

  • Ekinoid homes, having a round (steel or possibly Glulam) frame, will be extremely strong, robust and light (a sphere has the maximum-volume-to-minimum-surface-area ratio of any shape in nature [25% more than a cube]). This will make them ideal for any environment - the spherical shape retains its strength in any conditions.

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We are based near St Austell in Cornwall, UK. However, we are very happy to work remotely with any sympathetic bodies worldwide. We don't care where you are, so long as you can share our vision. This is a global project - we are looking for global partnerships, global solutions.