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New York Times
August 28, 2006
By JOHN MARKOFF
(this article included an image of the hexayurt, and a printable version is linked below)
...Also on display was a novel low-cost refugee shelter designed by Vinay Gupta, a software engineer in Chicago. Called Hexayurts, the buildings are fabricated from four-by-eight sheets of foam or hexacomb cardboard and duct tape and can be built for about $1,000 apiece. Mr. Gupta set up several of the buildings in a plaza and showed how they could be equipped with a high-efficiency wood stove for cooking, a composting toilet and a small fluorescent light.
Although there has been no mass production of the buildings, which are large enough to shelter a family, Mr. Gupta has put design instructions on the Internet and placed them in the public domain. He thinks they are sure to find users.
“A FEMA trailer costs $30,000,” he said. “I’m waiting for the next hurricane season.”
Treehugger / Burning Man / Current TV Participate! Contest Winner
Strong Angel 3 Final Report
a. A surprisingly interesting temporary shelter, a Hexayurt, that costs about US $300 appeared on the site as a part of a comprehensive family support unit that included gasification stoves, uniquely small composting toilets, and other items involving low-impact and sustainable support to displaced populations. The Hexayurts, brainchild of Vinay Gupta of Scotland and featured in the Architecture for Humanity publication Design Like You Give A Damn, are created from conventional laminated insulation and built on site with scissors and duct tape. Initially ignored on the SA-III site, participants gradually drifted in to one of them and stayed because it was a bit cooler. Eventually an Afghan NGO built one itself next door on the Strong Angel Plaza and used that as their base of operations, decorating the doorway with photographic examples of where such a shelter could work. Hexayurts weigh very little and can be lifted by a single individual, can be anchored firmly to the ground, and can last for 5 years. Several were built on the site in an afternoon. Florida Emergency Services is evaluating them for disaster response, and that effort should be tracked.
Design Like You Give A Damn
On the other end of the Burning Man spectrum lies Vinay Gupta, who tested his small, low-cost refugee shelter, the Hexayurt, at the festival in 2003. The Hexayurt is designed to create as little waste as possible in its production. Gupta got the idea while hanging around the Rocky Mountain Institute, where he heard about Strong Angel, a project instigated by the US military to test emergency shelter and communication systems (see below). The design can be built using any four-by- eight-foot (1.2-by-2.4-m) sheet material. Construction requires only six straight cuts across the diagonals of the sheets, to make the roof triangles.
Gupta added to an improvised swamp cooler, in this instance, a 12-volt computer case fan pulling air through a plastic tub filled with four inches (10 cm) of water. This helped drop the internal temperature even further. In addition to being affordable, the Hexayurt is designed to be lightweight and portable. One adult can carry the hut without difficulty.
http://files.howtolivewiki.com/hexayurt_design_like_you_give_a_damn.pdf (9M) - Full text plus pictures.