The eHome was designed with simplicity in mind, yet to also be flexible and durable as well. Wall systems are interchangeable and sleeping and eating surfaces transform into a variety of configurations to suit the users needs. A single eHome shelter can be assembled by two people in less than 45 minutes. Inspired by Swedish, low-tech ready-to-assemble furniture, each structure can be self-assembled using an L-style allen wrench (hex key). The dwellings can also be easily dismantled for relocation, expansion or recycling.
Given the realities of affordable shelters, namely that temporary dwellings are often pressed into service as permanent housing in settings where the resources to replace them are limited, the following set of goals were established for the eHome design: 1) efficiency, 2) lightness, 3) packability, 4) low-tech constructability, 5) adaptability, 6) re-usability, 7) recyclability and 8) durability.
The structures are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is primarily derived from post-consumer bottle waste, such as milk and detergent bottles or other post-industrial material. These are also materials that can be found in most communities throughout the world. Before it can be used to form the panels of the structure, the polyethylene is cleaned by a decontamination process, which removes contaminants such as food residue, paper, and adhesives. It is then compounded into a rigid board stock material; with the resulting finished product containing almost 100% recycled material. The rigid material can then be molded to form the panels. Mass-production will keep the units cheap and affordable.
The eHome panel systems are designed to be durable, yet lightweight. The wall and roof panels have a hollow-core chamber inside which allows them to be insulated using blown-in cellulose fiber on site. A removable fill cap on each panel allows for easy access. Cellulose blown-in insulation is cost effective and made of post-consumer, recycled paper, most often newspapers. The R-value is 3.70 per inch, which is very good. The R-value and insulation compacting density will be determined by the availability of materials, site and climate conditions. In addition to providing excellent thermal insulation, cellulose blow-in insulation will also provide very good sound proofing between shelter dwellings when attached to one another. As standard procedure, the cellulose insulation can be treated with non-toxic boric compounds to protect from mold. This treatment will also provide fire and insect resistance.
Bamboo is botanically classified as a grass and may be the most sustainable, maintaining ecological balance, natural resource available. Because of this, doors, panels and interior bedding/table components for the shelter are crafted from natural green Mao Bamboo. This eco-friendly material is very stable even under extreme climate variations.
The eHome panels and all associated components are designed to be formed, fabricated and assembled locally. However, shelters can also be flat-shipped to their destination in molded fiber shipping containers made from 100% recycled paper. This cost effective and environmentally friendly solution reduce labor and save space while providing superior protection at every stage of a shelter�s travel and fabrication cycle. Traditionally known as the egg carton process, molded fiber has become the foremost cost-effective, durable and environmentally friendly packaging solution on the market.