Edward Ryan, Village Environment
circHouse is a prototype for a modular yurt structure that can be constructed using local plastic or wood paneling to produce a transitional shelter.
circHouse is a prototype for a modular yurt structure that can be constructed using local plastic or wood paneling to produce a transitional shelter. It aims to be durable, with rapid deployment to answer to a number of needs, either humanitarian or logistical. All roof and wall panels can be interchanged to fit the user’s requirements. It complies with the Shelter Center international guidelines.
Currently implemented in North America but Village Environment has goal to use project globally in refugee/post disaster contexts.Interview with designer
The base price for a circHouse transitional shelter is 5,000 USD + shipping (base price assumes minimum order of 10 units).
Victims of natural disasters in need of a temporary/transitional housing structure. The circHouse can also act as a village school, multi-functional clinic, food storage structure, and greenhouse.
circHouse Inc. does not manufacture any parts, but relies on national materials suppliers to provide material and fabrication of each circHouse in a given country. The structure is erected on-site using the materials, a drill, grinder, and tin strips.
Village Environment will use third party organizations working in disaster-affected areas to distribute the shelters. circHouses will be sold to distributors, and the distributors will determine how the end users will finance the home.Interview with representative
The circHouse packs on a 3 m x 1.2 m pallet with a height of 75 cm, weighing about 600 kg. Without pallets, an 8 m shipping container can accommodate approximately 10 units.
Several circHouses have been constructed in the USA, but none have been used in the context of a refugee camp or post-disaster situation. The product is still undergoing testing and preparation for distribution for humanitarian application. Interview with representative
Number of individuals. 1 family = 5 persons.
Number of hours from deployment to completion
Surface area of footprint
Main material used
Intended number of years of occupancy
As calculated by manufacturer
As calculated by manufacturer
Composite estimated R-value
List of suitable climates for use of this components
The design of circHouse include the following features:
- 6 m footprint diameter
- 26.5 m2 interior area and 2.2 m wall height with lockable pre-hung door
- Materials: Steel, plastic
- Can be wired for any electrical system
- Weight: ~600 kg based on configuration and material selection
Village Environment will repair or replace a material or workmanship defect as a result of installation for a period of ten years from the date of purchase (at their discretion). Interview with representative
Since most materials are sourced locally, any minor issues that occur can most likely be fixed by the homeowner or a trained general contractor.
According to Village Environment, parts are easily repaired and/or substituted using local materials.
Expected lifespan of 15 to 30 years depending on materials selected for construction, weather, and climate variations.
Village Environment, Inc. will repair or replace an material or workmanship defect as a result of installation for a period of ten years from the date of purchase (at their discretion). Within the first year, any necessary repair and/or replacements (at their discretion) will be completed at no expense to the customer. Any replacement parts will be provided at no cost, but the customer will be responsible for shipping and handling costs.Interview with representative
- Can be constructed in half a day by 3-4 people
- Versatile, Compact, Durable.
- Engineered to withstand extreme conditions: high wind, heavy rainfall, fire, humans.
- Easily installed on fields, parking lots or firm level surfaces.
- Environmental and needs based flexibility.
- Local material adaptability.
- Units can be connected to build a pod for schools, clinics, or village environments Secure, Lockable doors.
- Can be disassembled and ready to re-locate in 2 hours with zero environmental impact
- Withstands up to 175 km/h (108 mph) winds
- R values range from R-10 to R-20
The design has been tested for structural integrity and building code compliance in Colorado. circHouses built several years ago are assessed in the field. One of the first circHouses was constructed in Colorado ten years ago, experiences extreme weather, and is still functioning well.Interview with designer
circHouse Inc. and associated building code examiners and structural engineer.Interview with designer
The circHouse’s main goal is to protect the users from harsh outdoor conditions. The circHouse can be designed to provide adequate ventilation in hot climates and sufficient insulation in colder climates, based on the materials used during construction. The structure is designed to protect from high wind speeds (up to 48.6 m/s).
- Skylights and Windows
- Solar panels
- Insulation and/or ceiling fan/s
- Multiple beds
- Room dividers
- Unit connections
- High impact ballistic resistance
Since there are no existing building codes for transitional, post disaster or displaced persons shelter, the circHouse is designed to conform to most standard US building codes.
LGSEA standard light gauge steel framing components, EPDM floor passes ASTM water penetration testing as a roof membrane and provides a seal to the wall sections, ABS wall panel materials all exceed ASTM flame test criteria. The circHouse is fabricated from LGSEA standard light gauge steel framing components routinely used in United States commercial and residential construction. The steel frame is ASTM rated and Powder coated, and the ribs are composed of ABS plastic and fire rate, though the fire rating information has not been disclosed. Interview with representative
The circHouse has been field tested for 6 years, and has undergone stress tests. Interview with representative
The circHouse was initially designed for vacation/luxury outdoor housing, and has since pivoted their business structure to meet the needs of disaster refugees around the globe through Village Environment. The Village Environment website is currently down while they work on obtaining funding and partners for implementation of circHouse for humanitarian purposes.Interview with designer
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