After scouring through a ton of quality entries, we have chosen a winner for the Participate! contest. Vinay Gupta's Hexayurt caught our judges' imaginations by using common materials in a completely new way, yielding what Vinay terms a "microbuilding" capable of housing refugees in times of disaster without adding new infrastructure. Here's what Vinay had to say about it,
So here's the innovation - a building, big enough to house a family, that can be made from renewable resources, for as low as $100 each. For another $100 or so (in mass production) you can add electric light, a super-efficient wood gasification stove, a solar water pasteurizer and a sanitary toilet. The building design and some of the components are open source, and the rest is "off the shelf" systems like solar panels.
Interested in building your own hexayurt (maybe to sustain yourself at some crazy fun event such as Burning Man)? In only 3 hours, you can unload your materials and get your structure up and running. Check out the hexayurt wiki's Burning Man section for specifics on materials and instructions. And, for a video of Vinay and the Hexayurt Project at Burning Man in previous years, head on over to hexayurt.com. Keep on the lookout Thursday for a fantastic TH interview with the winner himself.
And now, the goods (other than our admiration). For giving us such a great open-source eco-idea, Vinay will get tickets to Burning Man, where he will be able to showcase his innovation alongside other awesome green technologies. While at Burning Man, Vinay and his crew will have a chance to be featured on Current TV's "TV Free Burning Man" coverage of the event. And, finally, he will receive a copy of the Burning Man commemoration, the Burning Book.
We would like to give a big TreeHugger thanks to everyone who sent in submissions. We had a great group of entries to chose from - and it made it difficult to choose only one winner. TreeHugger would also like to thank our partners at Current TV and Burning Man for making this contest so great. Once again, congrats to Vinay!