The Ekinoid Project: About
The Ekinoid Project is based near St. Austell, Cornwall, UK. We are committed to advancing this future-proof design to the point where it will be spontaneously adopted, as an obvious, cost-effective solution to many of the critical issues facing the housing of enormous numbers of people today, globally.
The extraordinarily large global population today is fast running out of time to make the changes necessary in order to survive with the current quality of life that many enjoy. For this quality of life to continue large-scale fundamental initiatives need to be pioneered. The Ekinoid Project offers a solution to a part of this: by making a step change in the types of house currently built in many parts of the world (which use large quantities of traditional [and usually heavy] materials, involve intensive labour, and significant personal financial obligations [a large mortgage]), we can make a fundamental move towards safeguarding our collective future.
Deliver Physical Benefits
Making this project open source is part of that commitment: we think it urgently relevant that companies stop thinking about ring fencing their designs with patents and licensing restrictions - and think first about making the world a better place (for all of us to live / thrive in); make your profits by producing something tangible (rather than restricting something, such as Intellectual Property Rights): deliver better goods and services than anyone else.
Your World Needs You: join our team
We welcome enquiries from anyone - universities, funding bodies, architects, structural engineers, materials scientists etc., who are sympathetic to our aims and might help us to take this project forward. Please us in the first instance.
The Ekinoid House is spherical because a sphere is an inherently strong and stable shape, with an excellent strength-to weight-ratio. When you add in an extremely strong horizontal main floor, with a perpendicular column of the same diameter running through its centre, and then attach this to eight vertical ribs you have constructed an incredibly strong yet-light-structure. This means an Ekinoid home should weigh around 20 tonnes in total as opposed to around 152 tonnes (PDF file; page 8: 269kb in size). Think about how strong a conventional home would be if it only weighed 20 tonnes ...
What about the bad press that geodesic domes got in the Seventies?
Ekinoid houses are not geodesic in nature. The only similarity with geodesic domes is that they are both spherical (although geodesic domes tend to be hemispheres or partial spheres). One of the major problems with the geodesic domes of the Seventies was that they often leaked (because they were composed of hundreds of triangles, which meant they had a very large number of edges/seams; and these triangles were often made using wood). Ekinoid homes will be built on completely different principles.
What Materials might be used/avoided?
The Ekinoid House will, in as far as it is practical, use locally produced, sustainable, recyclable materials with a low embedded energy (the total cost of energy used in production and transportation). We will also endeavour to avoid cement and concrete, and all petroleum-based materials. So while we might automatically think of steel, we would also take a close look at Glulam (laminated wood that is two-thirds the weight of steel, provides equal performance and uses one-sixth the embodied energy) as an alternative structural material. Hemp insulation is a possibility, as well as compressed hemp floor panels; silk/canvas/hemp are possible materials for interior/exterior coverings. Even some of the most recently invented materials - ultralight metallic microlattices and aerogels, for instance, might also be suitable ... however, we anticipate a great deal of research in order to find the optimum materials - but are confident that the right materials are available.
Copyright 2009 - 12: Ekinoid.