Background and Concept
Within 70 years global population will increase by about 50%, 7.7 billion to 11 billion, before levelling out. One answer is to continuing building inwards and upwards – more cities, more high rises, megacities, concentrating population.
Another way is to move outwards: roll out thousands of small discrete communities across large areas of little used land: brown land, grassland, shrubland, prairie, tundra, moorland, heathland, bush etc.
Astonishingly, all of our artificially-created environments (all buildings, roads, railways, airports etc.,) only account for 0.37% of global land. Forest makes up 30%, grassland, shrubland and cropland all roughly 12% each – so there is actually plenty of land available to expand outwards; particularly if there is not a requirement for massive supporting infrastructure (e.g., utilities).
Off the Grid – Off the Ground
We propose a completely spherical family house that stands approximately 2 metres clear of the ground. A 20-tonne supported shell (approx. 11 metres diameter) – a robust, long-lasting, very spacious house (2 floors for living, 2 floors for storage) that is off-the-grid, not only suitable for many environments but one that actively regenerates the land underneath each home (composting toilets, gardening, hydroponics etc. These are modular and so very flexible in connecting to others and, with production scaled up, would be widely affordable).
To date we have built a scale model and a structural prototype – and we now think research and consultancy via grants initiatives are the next step, before looking at funding for full scale trials.