Metropolis Magazine Next Generation Entry

Title: Solar Waterpod Water Filter and Heating Unit With Inflatable Tent For Evacuees and Refugee Camps

Designers: Studio Formwork – Greg Taylor, Lauren Taylor White and Rachel Glabe

Project Description: The solar waterpod is an affordable emergency relief filtering system, floating tent system that can provide an easy way for families to escape in a flood or shelter themselves and filter, transport and heat water and food.

Diagram of WaterpodFloods and WaterStep By StepNew York Flooded With WaterpodsNew York Flood Floating Hospital
Katrina Evacuees Darfur Refugees

The waterpod is based on protecting people from water that can kill them, not only by drinking it, but also from flooding. It uses an inexpensive, but advanced four stage process including carbon microbial filtering. The inflatable skin turns into a floating tent and the waterpod can filter flood water.

This unit is important because (1)it provides a lightweight, affordable way for people to keep a disaster relief unit with them that can help them escape a flooding house. The pods can also be equip with location devices to ease rescue mission(2) It has an advanced, but inexpensive water filtering system that can completely remove all harmful materials. (3) The water filtering system can be use on flood waters while it is floating safely in your inflatable tent, which makes for increased safety in trying to access drinkable water. (4) It can harness the power of the sun to boil water and to cook food. (5)It can provide victims, such as Katrina victims, access to private shelters with their own filtering capabilities, which makes for a much more capable experience in relation to the exposed sleeping cots that they were given in the stadium. (6) It is important for individuals in developing nations for the access to a sheltering system and clean water (7) The inflatable pod technology is lightweight and inexpensive enough to create a floating hospital for natural disasters like floods, tsunamis or earthquakes. (8) It is important for people of refugee camps because the waterpod is easier to transport than carrying large awkward jugs (9) The storage capabilities allow for making less trips to water wells, which could keep the refugees safer from the rape and other types of attacks such as those seen on many of the women of Darfur who are attacked when they leave their village to get water. With the waterpod, they can trap rainwater in their parabolic solar petal reservoir. They can also filter and store up to 6 gallons of water at a time. There was a limit to the amount of water the women could carry. This makes them able to carry more. (10) It is important because global warming is making weather more extreme and we are all going to need to have a back up shelter and water filter system in case of emergency, just as many built bomb shelters back in the day. We will have global warming waterpods to ensure our preparedness and safety.

The renderings illustrate the concept because they present the problem of how Katrina victims were forced to live and how refugees live as well. These photos show what types of problems the waterpod can solve. The Katrina victums had only cots and no private shelter, people could have been save from drowning had they had a floating tent as part of their emergency kit. The people of Africa, many from Darfur in the pictures, are only sheltering themselves with sticks and tshirts strung from trees. The have to walk miles and carry heavy awkward jugs and when they come back, even that water may kill them. The waterpod is a step by step process that can save lives and help day to day living on many levels. The renderings aim to show that anyone can store the waterpod because it is only 3 feet tall and it is made of durable high density foam with air pod pockets that make for a skin that is soft against the back of someone who has to carry it or sleep on it. The renderings also show how the technology can be used on a large scale as an inflatable hospital and floating family pod that are connected flood victims in New York.
Business Plan:
The Solar Waterpod mission is to help provide assistance to families who would like protection in case of a flood, shelter and privacy in case they must evacuate to a stadium like structure and it comes with 3 gallons of fresh water and the ability to filter any dirty water such as flood water into potable water so it is an excellent disaster relief unit. It also has many purposes in poorer countries, where many live in self made structures of cloth, sticks and cardboard. The waterpod inflates into a tent that can be used as a shelter system or used an escape pod in case of emergency.
The cost for producing our first prototype of this waterpod model is 350 dollars. The skin of the egg and the tent are made of foam and inflatable plastic, which is inexpensive to produce at 75 dollars per unit. The stage 3 advanced water filter called the carbon microbial filter is what removes the last layer of any diseases or contaminates that the water contains and it costs $125. That is the only piece that we will be purchasing from a manufacturer. The other filters were designed with the least amount of cost in mind. The attachments like the wheels, pull handle, water nozzle, storage tanks, hoses and coils are inexpensive pieces running around 60 all together. The solar parabolic petals can be made of the same foam and air pods, but lined on the inside with mylar covered by a thin film coating. These will run about $80.
The target markets for the waterpod is first to sell it to governments to be distributed when a flood or natural disaster hits. This could be done in large quantities that could drive production cost down. We anticipate that with economies of scale we could get the cost to about $150 per pod. The second target market is to individual households as a disaster relief unit. The third target market is to large scale non profit and other humanitarian project funds that cater to places that are in real need such as Darfur.
As a team we are very interested in seeing this project get funding. This is not just a project for us. It is something that we would like to do with our lives. This would allow us to make our humanitarian mission of micro architectural solutions for climate refugees a reality. The prize would be allocated in the following ways. We would like to spend the first $350 on the prototype, then get additional pods produced to begin the business for $5000. The next $500 to build our fundraising marketing campaign. We would like to go government agencies with our concept. $3500 specifically to go to Darfur to distribute these pods. The money would be spend to get this as a business off the ground.

Description of Images

Diagram of Waterpod – This image show how the inside of the waterpod functions and what the exterior of the waterpod skin and inflatable tent are.

Waterpod Stages – This image shows how the waterpod is transported. The outer skin of the pod can be inflated to create a floating tent.

Floods and Water – Thise diagrams show our current situations. The one on the left of the map shows how many areas were flooded last year alone. This map, in contrast to 2006 was much worse. The other bar graph details the world’s access or lack thereof of potable drinking water.

New York Floods – This image shows how in the event of a flood people can expand the exterior skins of their waterpods to transform into a tent that can float and house up to 6 people. It shows how the waterpod filtering system gets nestled into the center of the floating tent and can provide the family with potable water directly from the flood water.

Floating Hospital – This image shows how you could use this high density durable foam with inflatable air pods to make larger scale floating structures as well such as hospitals.

Katrina Refugees – This image shows the basic needs of Katrina victums that were not being met that the waterpod aims to solve.

Darfur Refugees – This series of images is used to describe the current conditions of refugees and how they could benefit from a shelter system and an easily transportable waterpod.

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    Jul 26, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

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