Grain Silo Homes Like Bucky Fuller's Are Still Being Made

This story is part of Treehugger's news archive. Learn more about our news archiving process or read our latest news.
©. Sukup

After showing Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion Deployment Unit made from grain silo parts, a reader pointed out that in fact, you could still buy a home made like this, the Sukup Safe T Home.


© Sukup

Really, compare these to the shipping container houses that everyone loves so much. 14 of these can fit into one container. They are designed for proper ventilation, with a continuous ridge vent, a double roof and a cupola vent at the top. They collect rainwater around the edge of the eaves. The windows come with 16 gauge perforated mesh screens. Sukup, which makes the buildings in Sheffield, Indiana, donated seven of them to an orphanage in Haiti last year, which are shown in the photos here.


© Sukup

The roof of Sukup Safe T Homes was specifically- designed to allow ventilation and prevent overheating of the interior area. The cupola allows ventilation and is made of high- strength, perforated galvanized steel. The continuous eave vent keeps rainwater from entering the structure while allowing constant ventilation, regardless of wind direction.


© Sukup

The whole thing locks up tight for security, and even comes with decorative planters, that are in fact ballast boxes to add weight and help it withstand high winds. (As Bucky noted, the round shape helps it resist wind as well). At 18' diameter and 256 square feet, it can be subdivided and can accommodate a family. That's a lot of space, particularly since it is high enough that you could build a loft into it.

The manufacturer says that it is easy to build:

Each shipment comes complete with everything needed to erect a complete Safe T Home. Homes are shipped as one unit and assembled on-site with basic hand tools, which are provided. Inexperienced laborers can erect a home in less than two days. All sidewall and roof sheets have the bolt holes pre- punched and aligned. Every home is manufactured with advanced roll forming equipment to ensure close tolerances for a high quality shelter.
sukup houses

© Sukup

According to Mother Earth News, non-profits can buy them for $ 5,700 each. That is of course, just for the shell; A permanent structure an an environment cooler than Haiti's would need a floor and insulation, but it is a great start. More at Sukup.