Portal:Health and safety

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The Health and safety Portal

The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487.
Those who have health have hope, and those who have hope have everything.
Arabian Proverb

With a sound understanding of principles it is often possible to have lasting impacts on the health and safety of people where the latest medicines and equipment may not be available. This portal suggests solutions in these situations in humane, economical, and ecological ways. Simple, cheap, effective means are possible for the restoration and maintenance of health in many chronic, non-traumatic situations.


The use of appropriate technologies is less common in healthcare than other fields such as construction or agriculture. In healthcare it is linked closely to public health field and the water and sanitation, where it has been in use for much longer. Appropriate technology is often used to develop mobility and rehabilitation equipment as well as tests used to diagnose diseases.

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There are four basic Hexayurt sizes which cover a variety of needs.
What is it? The Hexayurt is a refugee shelter system based on work done at the Rocky Mountain Institute. It uses an approach based on "autonomous building" to provide not just a shelter, but a comprehensive family support unit which includes drinking water purification, composting toilets, fuel-efficient stoves and solar electric lighting. Other systems can be added in a modular fashion.

Is this for real? Yes. Both the American Red Cross and the US Department of Defense have examined the Hexayurt system in detail and found that it has considerable merit and utility. I hope that we will see it in use by international agencies within two years. The best place to get started is to read the slides from the presentation Vinay Gupta gave at the Pentagon in December 2006: Pentagon Presentation (pdf) - 20 pages, not much text, and the best summary of the system we currently have online.

Projected Costs: Shelter: $200 - $500+ per single family unit depending on size, climate and use duration Infrastructure Package: around $100 per unit.

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Hexayurt Project

The Hexayurt is a refugee shelter system that uses an approach based on "autonomous building" to provide not just a shelter, but a comprehensive family support unit which includes drinking water purification, composting toilets, fuel-efficient stoves and solar electric lighting. 8/15/07 Update: Winner of the Treehugger Participate! contest for Burning Man.

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