UPDATE: We are thrilled to share that we reached our initial goal of $4000. We are extremely grateful for your support.
With three additional days left in our campaign, we have set a stretch goal of $5000 by Tuesday, Nov. 26th, midnight EST. With the momentum seen in the last few days, we think this is within reach. Please see update #15.
The Home2o Team
Cultural trends have made bottled water a profitable $60 billion a year industry, but only 27% of the over 2 ½ million annual tons of PET containers are recycled in the US and the numbers are far lower elsewhere. The beverage industry's use of landfill-bound, plastic shipping pallets is also on the rise, given benefits in cost and durability. Unfortunately, discarded plastic debris is slow to degrade and often overflows our waste streams, polluting our lands, rivers, coasts, and oceans.
The effects of natural disasters are being felt all over the world and after last year's Hurricane Sandy, even right here at home for us in NYC. Thousands lose their homes each year and live in tarp tents or under corrugated metal roofs... there is a clear need of a more durable, climate-appropriate alternative.
The HOME₂O Roofs are designed for use in tropical climates, where they can passively cool the buildings they cover. The roofs overlap bottles enough to protect even from driving rain, but are perforated enough to let hot air escape across the entire roof membrane. At any place that people will receive emergency water, they will be in need of shelter too.
THE HOME₂O ROOF CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM
We take William McDonough's Cradle to Cradle philosophy to heart and offer a sustainable up-cycling strategy to divert two existing plastic products [bottles and pallets] from landfills while giving them a higher use value, than if re-used in other ways, individually.
Two things typically show up at relief sites:  Water bottles on  shipping pallets. The system takes allows post-consumer plastic bottles to become ventilated, day-lit, low-maintenance shelter using minimal tools and labor. The HOME₂O shipping pallet de-laminates into linear brackets that hold crushed, PET water bottles as roof tiles. The system arrays and interlocks layers of bottles to create a breathable, weather-resistant membrane. More details on this below.
WHO WE ARE AND WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
We are a team of Architecture Professors and students from the New York Institute of Technology. As you read this, dozens of inspired NYIT students are busy working in teams to submit their designs for a Bus Shelter for NYIT's Old Westbury campus that they hope to build this Spring!
Your support will supplement a limited grant that the team has already received from NYIT and raise supplemental funds for construction needed to ensure quality and meet design intent. While we've already built some smaller prototypes before, this full-scale prototype shelter will be subject to rigorous environmental and functional testing [uplift, rainwater drainage, temperature, humidity, light penetration] in various weather conditions. This will give us the proof of concept we need to partner with pallet manufacturers and use their methods of distribution at relief sites.
For more info on the Design Competition, click here. We will be updating you with images of these designs for the duration of this campaign so that YOU can pick a winner of the PUBLIC CHOICE AWARD. A distinguished jury of architects and designers will also offer their feedback and help choose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. All winners including the team that is chosen by public vote will be guaranteed a spot on the construction team.
Please show your support by sharing our story with your friends, liking us on facebook and posting about us on twitter. Consider making a pledge and help us get one step closer to to bringing this roof system to those in need globally. Thank you so much!!
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
You can download your very own construction manual here.
HOW WE WILL USE YOUR DONATION
CONSTRUCTION + TESTING Funds will supplement grant funding that has been received for material costs [lumber, steel connectors, formwork, concrete footings] and testing equipment [arduino board and temperature, light, and humidity sensors].
WHERE IT WILL BE BUILT AND WHERE IT WILL BE SEEN
The full scale HOME₂O shelter will be constructed initially in a publicly accessible, highly visible location at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)’s Old Westbury campus in Nassau County, Long Island. With modular construction and an ease of assembly and dis-assembly, the team also plans to exhibit the shelter in other NYC locations where it can be seen by thousands. The HOME₂O team will solicit museums, transit centers [including Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station], and other public venues for the right to exhibit the shelter.
Some funds will also be used towards making a short film and print publication to share and document the research, construction, and testing phases of the project. NYIT will also seek external media coverage for the project with local [and national] news outlets [and bloggers], issue news releases, and pitch the story to reporters who cover architecture, sustainability, etc. News releases tracking the project’s progress and updating the NYIT community will be posted on the NYIT website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts as well as the NYIT Alumni Magazine.
WHAT HAS KEPT US BUSY SO FAR
RESEARCH + DEVELOPMENT
For the last two years, the HOME₂O team has been busy developing the design of the roofing system and pallet and a viable business plan to mature the project into its next phases of real world deployment.
2013 NYS Business Plan Competition Finalist: People’s Choice Award
2012 USGBC Impact Award Finalist
2012 NYS Business Plan Competition: Judges’ Choice Award
DAILY DOSE OF ARCHITECTURE MENTION
NYIT FACULTY COLLABORATORS
Michele Bertomen, Associate Professor of Architecture, NYIT
Georg Fuerlinger, Adjunct Professor of Management, NYIT
Joanne Scillitoe, Assistant Professor of Management, NYIT
2013 NYS Business Plan Competition: William Yu, Dhruv Patel
2012 NYS Business Plan Competition: Brian Strydom, Ishaan Kumar, Danniew Li, Dawei Pang, RuiJun Saperstein, Givin Jiang
2012 Water Drainage Testing / Video Production: James Misita, Thomas Attianese, Brian Strydom
Other Student Researchers: Derrick Asante, Magdalena Balestra, Isabelle Bassalian, Brian Connor, Mubashar Dastgir, Chris Edwards, Christopher Konefal, Ishaan Kumar, Hyun Jong Lee, James Misita, Nadia Naim, Aayushya Patel, Michael Pryor, Carlos Quintero, Leisdania Reynoso, Michael Scalegnio, Ted Solages, Vidyanand Sooknanan, Ever Umana, Georgia Xerakia
WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO
Judith DiMaio, Dean of School of Architecture, NYIT
Rahmat Shoureshi, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, NYIT
Greg Banhazl, Director of Business Development + Special Projects, NYIT
Risks and challenges
As is the case with any design/build project, there are many challenges that may be facade in the construction phase. The project will be managed by NYIT full-time professors, including one who is licensed to practice architecture in New York State. The project aims to engage a New York State engineer to finalize the technical aspects of mass-producing the design. This initiative will be a Student Led Architecture Build [sLAB] project. NYIT's School of Architecture and Design has a long tradition of realizing design-build projects and has successfully engaged in several Solar Decathalon entries and other projects including a recycling center in Nosara, Costa Rica.
There are also several challenges to overcome in order to get this system to market. First, we find the shipping pallet design and manufacture industry a secretive one. In our research, our team has tried to get factory tours several times, only to be politely rebuffed by existing manufacturers.
In order to convince manufacturers to change the design of these pallets, we really have to show them what's possible. To change minds in this risk-averse, $15B industry, we want to tour a representative through the prototype shelter this project produces, AND show them that the roof was made completely without hand-tools. We also have to show them that the HOME₂O pallet preforms to all their industry specification -- lifting, durability, and wash-ability requirements that are quite strict.
This project is one step in a greater effort to change minds about how we consume resources. As with all such efforts clever steps and demonstration models do a lot more to convince minds than preaching. This is one such effort.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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