[ Tampa, 12/14/04 ] I
live in Tampa, where homes have an above average chance of blowing
away and/or flooding during the hurricane season. I lived in Miami
during Hurricane Andrew, saw total destruction, & lost most
of the belongings of my childhood..
(I still mourn my lost photos, baseball cards, G.I. Joe with the
Kung Fu grip, Kiss army card & autographed Kiss
in the pic with my Kiss cake on my 11th B-day. This is 1 of the
few pictures that survived Andrew.. Probably because Kiss
In order to avoid such
catastrophic loss of personal crap in the future, I have begun
design on the home I plan to build here in Tampa.
This project has a higher purpose
than protecting my autographed Stanley Cup Winning Tampa Bay Lightning
hockey stick, however.
I have dubbed this project the "East
Star Earthship Project" because my hope is that this home
will be so different from anything existing on the East coast
that it will inspire others to begin building with green architecture,
sustainable construction, renewable power systems & biotechture
methods. Above all else, this home must accomplish the mission
of being at least partly energy self sufficient, hurricane resistant
& technologically advanced with respect to creature comforts
I consider it a crime that the so called
"Sunshine State" lags far behind in the area of solar
powered homes ( or solar powered anything, for that matter). My
hope is that a few well designed environmentally conscious eco-homes
will begin the Green construction trend that to this point is
almost absent on the East Coast of this great nation. Until I
can pull off financing this home, I'm working on THIS
- resistant home idea I had before now, was to buy an old cold
war missile silo, cap it with a geodesic dome & ride out my
days there. Problem with that was that most of those cold-war
silos are in places where it's, well, cold. Plus, the idea is
to do this home on the east coast where ecologically conscious
homes are a rarity & "Earthships" are nonexistent.
My design differs from any design I have
come across. Here's the image that I've been carrying around in
of next column
'East Star Earthship' will enclose the living space with a geodesic
framework. If you've ever been to Epcot center, you know what
a geodesic structure is.. (It's
the giant dome overshadowing the park.- see pic, below).
The geodesic dome structure (background
& Me -n- pain in the butt ex-girlfriend- foreground.
earthship would utilize the top one-third of a geodesic dome structure
to enclose it's living space.
of the outer part of the circle, where the structure meets the ground
would be anchored by poured concrete. Picture a concrete 'donut'
or ring around the bottom circumference of the segmented dome. This
serves the dual purpose of firmly anchoring the structure &
keeping any floodwaters out.
flood protection may come from digging a mote-type channel into
the earth around the buildings circumference to channel ground seepage
around the home. The only way that I can figure the structure flooding,
would be directly through the floor, if the surrounding earth were
to be completely saturated with water. This could happen in a catastrophic
flood situation, which would probably equate with the entire home
actually being underwater. That is a possibility here in the Tampa
Bay area, so the best policy for flood protection, as always, is
to capture the high ground & build there. This is why my earthship
will be built in Tampa Heights.
Tampa Heights is a historical district
however, so my home would have to at least 'look' old. Looking historical
& being green-hi-tech is less of a problem these days.
The Geodesic structure has natural
hurricane protection, in that it is spherical & would let wind
flow over it. There is nothing to 'catch' or confront wind head-on.
Wind would be channeled right over it.
structure also affords interesting possibilities for solar energy
production. Panels can be placed at the multitude of angels provided
by Bucky Fuller's ingenious design. The multitude of angles would
allow for different panels to be pointed directly toward the sun
at different times of the day.
I'm in patent
research with an architect friend of mine on several other aspects
of my plan, so be sure to sign up for the C2
E-mail group to stay up to date on this & other stories
featured on the site.
Being a musician, I would also experiment with using some of this
enclosed space as a recording studio. The acoustic qualities of
the geodesic structure, it seems , would be ideal (i.e. no flat
surfaces facing each other).
main purpose of this project, is to serve as an east coast example
of high-tech sustainable energy & Viridian Green living. I would
hope to inspire others, including contractors, to build this way
to help take stress off the home insurance industry as well as the
energy grid & it's resulting Co2
emissions upon the biosphere. I've dubbed this action - method of
inspiring others through example; "exampling". More comfortable,
technologically superior high-tech living which doesn't preach to
others but seduces them into conscious environmental change, I've
dubbed "synerduction" (synergy - seduction).
E-mail me w/ your thoughts.