Hexayurt sa.jpg
FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Project data
Authors Vinay Gupta
Cost USD 500
Links http://hexayurt.com/
OKH Manifest Download

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. Here is a one page summary (pdf). Vinay Gupta invented the basic shape for classic hexayurts and a number of variations, and placed it in the Public Domain. This allows others to develop the original idea further. This wiki page, and associated pages, are the repository for hexayurt do-it-yourself building data, and primarily reference building techniques

Is this for real?[edit | edit source]

  • 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.
  • See the Hexayurt in the Press
  • The Hexayurt Project won the Participate! Treehugger > Current.TV > Burning Man prize for eco-nifty Burning Man stuff. Never let it be said that weirdos can't get things done!

Can I have one?[edit | edit source]

Yes, the hexayurt is designed to be accessible to anyone. You can make your own, many people do for camping events. The do-it-yourself knowledge repository is at hexayurt playa because of the hexayurt's overwhelming popularity at the Burning Man Arts Festival.

Before Starting[edit | edit source]

Read this Safety information.

Projected Costs[edit | edit source]

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

Units[edit | edit source]

Here are a variety of designs so you can pick the best for your needs. See the Master List here for more stats. See the Design Principles page to see how different designs came to be and to learn more about the design family of Geoyurts.

Name Sheets People Sqft Volume (cuft) Waste Walls (in) Center (in)
Pup Hexayurt 1 0.5 10.40 2.67 No 24 36
Hexayurt H2 2 1 32.00 5.33 No slope 41
Hexayurt H4 4 1 41.50 8.67 No 24 48
De La Wolfie 8 2 90.00 20.67 Yes 77 77.7
5.5 Yurt 13 2 138.00 32.00 Yes 48 127
Hexayurt H13 13 4 166.28 34.67 No 48 96
Hexayurt H17 plus 17 4 166.28 45.33 No 96 144
Hexayurt H8 8 2 64.00 21.33 No 48 131.14
Semifolding Pentayurt 10 3 110.11 26.67 No 48 118.34
Hexayurt Classic H12 12 4 166.28 32.00 No 48 96
OctoYurt 12 4 174.85 868 No slope 89.34
Octayurt 6 2 77.25 16.00 No 24 124.54
10' Hexayurt 15 4 166.28 40.00 No 72 120

There are three shelter sizes, of which the middle size is shown. See the Gallery for photos.

  • Stretch Around $100 per unit, 6' high, 72 sq ft
  • 8 foot Around $200 per unit, 8' high, 166 sq ft.
  • 12 foot Around $300 per unit, 12' high, 166 sq ft. Resembles a space age cabin, full standing height throughout.
  • Hexayurt Frame, made from metal conduit

Materials[edit | edit source]

See Construction resources or Materials for more detailed breakdown of materials.

Hexayurt plywood shows research on more permanent material choices.

Assembly[edit | edit source]

Units take a team of three people around an hour to assemble. They are assembled using a 6" wide, 600+lb bidirectional filament tape, and anchored to the ground like tents. No heavy lifting, ladders or scaffolding are required. Follow this link Assembly for more detailed information. Camp danger Hexayurt hinge technique has a wealth of information for the joints. Schematics shows some pictures of different designs.

Manufacture[edit | edit source]

Any wood shop or packaging factory can be taught to manufacture units in an afternoon. In emergencies, basic units can be manufactured on site with hand tools in half an hour each (only six cuts are required for each unit.) Rapid deployment covers how you could quickly make units on site as well as some shipping information and details.

Infrastructure Package[edit | edit source]

Read more about the Spectrum of infrastructure to familiarize yourself with the various layers of infrastructure. On this Infrastructure page you can find details of hexayurt specific developments.

  • 1 Wood Gasification Stove (burns wood for cooking, 3x more efficient than clay stoves)
  • 2 Cold Cathode / LED Flashlights (energy efficient area lighting)
  • 1 Composting Toilet (model depends on location and we are still researching options)
  • 1 Water Purifier (type depends on location)
  • Rechargeable AA batteries (for stove, lights, radios etc), for use in solar charging stations.

Modifications[edit | edit source]

Once you've made a Hexayurt, here are additions to make.

Door: BFD mod

Cooling: SleepBreeze personal cooler

Hexayurts are very popular at Burning Man, the Hexayurt playa and Hexayurt playa checklist pages contain all the information the burners have gathered over the years testing hexayurts.

Future research[edit | edit source]

Hexayurts in the Military

Hexayurts for Mass evacuation. An organized page summarizing the use of hexayurts in disaster situations. It covers both situations, whether people need to be housed on location or hosted at a new location.

Permanent Hexayurt construction resources

15 Main questions that need answering in the Research agenda

Blue sky idea mill and To do List

Adding Basic Education to the Hexayurt panels

Plywood TUE Research Outline

Informatics strategy is how to make the yurts store, convey, and gather more data to learn more about the deployments and how they are used.

Builders' discussion page to share ideas

Funding proposal to move the Hexayurt project forwards

Global Impact[edit | edit source]

More than a billion people do not really have good housing. It's not that they do not want a good place to live but they often simply cannot find one they can afford. They do not have access to modern building materials, and local materials are often really unsuited for building. Europeans used to thatch their roofs and now we mostly use tiles and shingles because we prefer the results. We are probably not alone in this preference.

Everybody needs to be warm, dry and well-fed. If you go to Burning Man and the Hexayurt is a good shelter for you, consider helping us develop and test the Hexayurt until it is polished and ready to be made available globally. It's a free / open source project, and with your help perhaps it can become the Linux of housing.

Vinay Gupta

Availability[edit | edit source]

All intellectual property associated with this project is public domain. Contact Us if you want to get more involved in the project, or to find Events near you.

The ball is a satellite dish from http://www.gatr.com

constructed from Appropedia articles with the "Hexayurt" term removed.

Subpages[edit | edit source]

This is a list of the pages that are part of the project. Some editing and maintenance is needed. Contact User:Apepitone for more information.

FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Keywords shelter, housing, emergency management, emergency shelter, appropriate technology, the open toolbox
SDG SDG10 Reduced inequalities, SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
Authors Xyver
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Translations Finnish, Turkish, German, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Finnish, Turkish, Japanese, Finnish
Related 125 subpages, 115 pages link here
Aliases Hexayurt Project, Hexayurt
Impact 4,962 page views
Created July 29, 2007 by Lonny Grafman
Modified June 9, 2024 by Anthony Lang
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