Our basic plan was to make the Hexayurt (using 12’*6’ panels) portable along with being eco-friendly and cost effective. Following are the ways in which we have tried to do so.
The material we used is OSB sheets because:
· It’ cost effective; 1 sheet of 4x8 ft. can be bought for about Rs. 200-300.
· It is eco-friendly; it’s made from wood shavings, which are chipped off while making wooden products, along with glue.
· It is sturdy; the wood is highly compressed, giving it strength.
Outdoor Varnish is applied to the OSB sheets to protect it from the sun and water.
Polyken 824 Shrink Wrap Tape (Polyethylene Film) is used because:
· It is UV protected for prolonged sun exposure
· It is water proof
Rain Water Harvesting:
· There are rubber gutters attached to the roof. The outer edges are held up by strings hooked to the roof. Thus the gutters can be folded along with the hexayurt.
· There is a rubber pipe that will take the water to a storage box for the water; which is connected to a pump.
· Foldable bed: There is one foldable metal framed single bed which may be put away when not in use
· Sofa cum bed: There is one sofa cum bed, where two people can sleep, and which can be used as seating when folded up.
· Along one wall there are two parallel shelves. The upper shelf is at table level (3 ft.) and the left end is meant to be a kitchen counter. The lower shelf is 5’6”long, and it ends before the right end so that the right end can be used as a table with leg space.
· These shelves are inserted into the hexayurt through slits in the wall. The outer edges of the shelves (outside the hexayurt) are thicker to support their weight. And there are triangular supports every two feet on the inside that can be screwed on.
· They are also made of OSB sheets, and while travelling can be completely detached from the hexayurt
· The cupboard has the framework of a portable bookshelf with two stands on the sides and detachable shelves. There are drawers with handles and locks which fit into these shelves; that can be used to keep clothes and personal/valuable items.
· While travelling, the drawers can be carried like suitcases while the frame is detached and carried.
· There is also an option of attaching wheels to the bottom and carrying it in one piece depending on the cupboard size.
· These are all concepts and may need improvements.
· Foldable chair: There is one foldable chair that can be placed near the table area of the shelf. Depending on the needs of the user more can be added.
· Chatai (Rug): There is a rug placed on which the owners can sit while dining.
· Sofa cum bed: Also the sofa cum bed can be used for lounging.
· We have used rubber pipes throughout the hexayurt due to its wide availability, versatility and cheapness.
· Drainage pipe: There is one drainage pipe that splits and collects water from the bathroom and from the sink. This pipe goes outside the house and may be connected to pre-existing drainage or be led to a garden/waste area/water body/open unused space as it only has domestic waste.
· Supplying pipe: There is also one supplying pipe which splits into two. One goes to the sink and one to the bathroom. The source of the pipe is open and it can be fixed to the rain water storage pump or a tank/pre-existing water source.
Water and Sanitation:
· Shower heads: The supply pipes can be attached to detachable hand shower heads. Inside the hexayurt, there are two metal loops in the bathroom and above the sink to hold the hand shower when it is attached, from where it can be pulled out to use.
· Shower trays: In the bathroom there is a 2’x2’ plastic tray on a 6” stand. The tray has a drainage hole leading to the drainage pipe. It is on a stand so that the drainage water flows out.
· Portable toilets: These are not very expensive, hygienic and convenient to use.
· Sink: The sink is a bowl that can be placed on the upper shelf. There is a hole in the shelf under the sink through which the drainage pipe can be connected.
· Drinking water: Solar water pasteurisation may be used for purification of water or means of rain water harvesting if required.
Appliances and Electricity:
· Lighting: Battery operated CCFL tubes and LED lamps are eco friendly, extremely durable and cheap.
· Portable Table fans/heaters and mini fridge also have changeable batteries as well as plugs in case of external electricity availability. The table fan is blade-less.
· Gas: For cooking, we have used a camping gas but there is also an option of using a wood gas.
· There are cavities placed in the walls in case there is a requirement of a plug point.
· We did not use solar energy because it is expensive, not very cost effective and dependent on climate.
Doors and Windows:
· The door and the frames of windows are of OSB sheets. Windows are made of glass.
· The windows and doors are pre-attached with hinges to the hexayurt.
We have tried to design the interior space in such a way, that the autistic spectrum has scope to live in an open and healthy environment. There is enough space in the house for two to three people to live and move around in. Where in, an autistic child can live with his parents and still have space for play. Therefore, the portable house is also homely.
The Hexayurt is completely portable, not very expensive and mostly eco friendly.