Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ballast Home Design

Howdy, in this Challenge I have decided to use the features that allow SketchUp to work as a concept medium. So I have created a quick and simple model to demonstrate the potential of Spherical Homes located just off the coast of the Monterey Bay in California. These are Ballast Water Homes. Having owned a boat in Monterey Bay for several years, I learned to enjoy the many beautiful and magical qualities of the sea. It is an ever-changing environment rich with life.

Design considerations:

1. Under, on, and above the water are all-important areas to enjoy the sea. So I felt that the Homes should be able to function similar to a Submarine type vessel. These homes are equipped with a Ballast type system so that they can be positioned at many levels.

2. The sea off the Monterey can get very cold. So keeping a home structure below the surface for long periods of time could get very cold. With the floatation technology a system could be developed that raises and lowers the home to control heating. The transparent sphere design when above water level would be heated by solar radiation. The depth level could be used to maintain a constant and comfortable temperature inside the sphere.

3. The elevator shaft could also afford constant air circulation with the outside environment. This would provide quality air inside the home at all times. In case of system failure the Ballast would be released so the home would float to the surface.

4. The sea environment can get very rough and dangerous. During storms the home can easily be lowered below the surface to the calm of the ocean floor. This is common practice for submarine vessels.

5. Power for these units would be self-contained. A desalination system would be installed for fresh water supply.

6. Power could be supplied by wind power on the elevator shafts, solar, and heat exchangers.

7. Underwater gardens for plant as well as protein reproduction could be developed in this very rich environment. Truly self-contained.

8. The Homes could and probably also function as navigational aids. They could be placed next to known under water hazards and be well lighted as to protect shipping. They could also be arranged to locate the entrance to harbors. Could you imagination sitting next to your own ancient shipwreckBa in the evening while watching the sea life move in and out of the scene. It could be enhanced with special lighting.

9. Lighting of these homes would be an amazing aesthetic addition to the marine environment. The underwater glow form their night lighting would be magical. The homes above the water line would reflect the raising and setting sun. The reflections of the water on their surfaces would create constant moving verities of design.

10. The basic size and shape of these homes could be mass-produced to reduce the cost and availability to the average person.

Ballast Home Design

The above is the link to 3d Warehouse where this SketchUp file is loaded. If you have SketchUp you can download the file and resurch the image. I use to own a sail boat and spend a lot of time sailing. The concepts I was playing with here is to create a home that has many of the attributes of being on a boat.

I am definitely open for comments and additional ideas. Technical, engineering, aesthetic. etc.
Thanks for looking Don

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