SurviveLA reader jbjhill, responding to our rant about designing for a world dominated by 4 x 8 building materials, sent a link to this unique yurt-shaped emergency shelter which can be built out of 4 x 8 sheets of nearly anything (the globe shaped thing on the right is an inflatable satellite dish). Designed by software engineer Vinay Gupta, who is working on this project full time, the “Hexayurt” costs somewhere between $200 and $500 to build, and requires only six cuts for each unit. The Hexayurt stacks flat for easy deployment in emergencies.

Gupta has a suggested “Infrastructure Package” which includes heat, lights, water purification, and a composting toilet bringing the cost up somewhat, but still much less than FEMA’s $30,000 trailers.

While not the most thrilling video (at least as compared to this), thanks to the wonders of youtube you can watch Gupta assemble an 8 foot Hexayurt:

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  1. Hi, Vinay here. Glad you liked the shelter.

    For the record, I’m now doing this full time – a mix of a few custom units and some work from the Govt. They’re quite interested in better solutions to refugee issues.


    is a much more entertaining video that we made. Lots of really good bits in the last ten minutes, so if you find the overview slow, just skip forward!

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