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Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/22/2017 3:14 PM

Suppose you wish to build a dwelling that can be rotated by 360 degrees for several reasons:

  1. You want high solar input in winter, and do not want low angle roof overhang to block high angle view (in winter). The old Greek way used the angle of the sun to allow light in during winter months, and keep sun out during summer months.
  2. You want low, low solar input during summer.
  3. You want to have varying views depending on the season and time of day, for enhanced entertaining, or your own personal choices.
  4. You do not want to over complicate the wiring, lighting, or plumbing issues as the dwelling rotates, thus, there must a hub room that is free of the ground floor.
  5. Your choice of flotation and rotation, based upon reliability, safety, duration, and cost may include air floating, water lift, or may just be based on metal track and rollers. Please justify your choice and its rank based on the criteria outlined above (i.e. reliability, safety, duration, and also cost.)
  6. The outer perimeter of the dwelling is expected to be in a round, or roundish shape consistent with rotation, without breaking trees, shrubs, etc.
  7. The dwelling may be partially set into a hillside (on a south-facing gentle slope).

I think it will be interesting to see who designs what, or describes clearly their design, and if we could MaggieMac the Mod to judge the challenge, that would be even better. If not, maybe we could lure Lyn out of "retirement".

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#1

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/22/2017 4:11 PM

I would KEEP IT SIMPLE!

I personally would look at using an existing building design and just create two living areas on opposite sides (for example). In winter you use the second living area while the first living area becomes (I don't know, storage or work den or something).

Liberal use of building insulation, double glazing, outdoor shades, dimmable smart glass, heat pumps, etc helps to better regulate the building and living area heat.

Want a nice changing view too, I would use either large monitors, projectors or smart glass to project images from cameras mounted to the outside of the house not in the direct line of site, so no need to rotate the view and has the add advantage of being able to show any view around the world or in space.

This solution is much simpler, and although all the options above sound like they may be a bit expensive to implement correctly it would still be more cost-effective and low maintenance than trying to design both a circular house and matching living area, sticking it on bearings and slowly rotating it while keeping water and electrical services correctly lined up (for example).

What do you think?

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/22/2017 4:54 PM

It was a flatulence of the melon, old chap!

Just throwing up a trial balloon to see how it would take to be shot to shreds. Nice job, mate.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/22/2017 5:07 PM

I it were posted by an anonymous new poster I would have thought perhaps an architectural company was after some free architectural consultancy advice.

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#2

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/22/2017 4:16 PM

Turns on a dime....

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#4
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Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/22/2017 4:55 PM

Probably a little nicer than the hillbilly hideout I was envisioning. Too nice for me, unless I play and win the lottery.

Then I would call in rich, and have to start a new account at home (actually have but almost never use), just to poke peeve at my fellow eng bloggers.

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#6

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/22/2017 5:21 PM

I'd run the sewer right down the center of the pivot point. Everything else can be fed through a common commercial umbilical cord feed system.

Put overlapping travel limit stop so that it can only rotate so far in either direction from the primary alignment axis point. +- 270 Degrees rotation off center should be easily achievable.

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#17
In reply to #6

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 10:26 AM

A swivel joint on a sewer line sounds like just so much fun, but I was thinking about the same thing. Dog help anyone that builds something like this, and then backs up the sewer, though.

Limiting travel is also what I expected, since the main idea is to allow light in during the winter, and not so much during the summer. Maybe a retractable awning in segments, (if the home is still built on a circular floor plan), then leave the building stationary is another possibility.

Like a shell half dome that rotates up out of the ground - I can't imagine how many ways that could go wrong, corrode, get full of dirt and not operate, etc.

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#31
In reply to #17

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/24/2017 11:40 PM

I don't see the problem being there are commercial inline swivel pipe joints that can handle thousands of PSI.

When I was in the oil field they were used everywhere simply for easy they made lining up high pressure solid piping to mobile equipment. The most common ones I was a round came in 2" - 6" sizes with pressure ratings to 10,000 - 15,000 PSI working pressure.

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/25/2017 6:46 AM

Will the home owner also need to have a preventive maintenance program in place.

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#34
In reply to #17

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/26/2017 6:58 AM

No need for retractable awning. In the winter when the sun is low, the sun shines in. In the summer when the sun is high it is shaded. They work perfectly with no movement.

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#37
In reply to #34

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/26/2017 9:32 AM

One still needs a projecting eave that is sufficient to take the heat off the southward facing portion of any structure, while also affording maximum protection from heat loss by cold north winds in the winter months.

Thanks for response.

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#7

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/22/2017 7:00 PM
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#18
In reply to #7

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 10:34 AM

I see there are four such rotating restaurants in Texas. None of which is a road-side road kill, or BBQ place with beer in an ice chest. That is what Texas needs. A Dairy Queen that is not a DQ at all, more like BBQ goat, beef (if you're lucky), rattlesnake, or armadillo (pre-checked to be clean of leprosy), and lots of Lone Star in an ice chest.

They could be called "The Spinning Armadillo", since the BBQ joint would be (1) rotating, (2) only using Hoover Hog meat that was not directly road kill, but was found spinning on his back, (3) I expect a drunk Armadillo would experience the world in a spinning fashion, and (4) since it is a road-house business model, the after picture would probably involve drunk Texans ejected (they didn't put on their seat belt) lying beside an overturned older model Pick-'em-up truck with the "wheel that kept spinning 'round", as C&W singer Jerry Jeff Walker so aptly put it.

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#26
In reply to #7

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 3:07 PM

The platters for many of these rotating restaurants were made in a small round building next to Danbury Airport in CT.

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#8

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/22/2017 10:47 PM

Steal the design from any helicopter that has to send electricity and hydraulics up to the rotor head. A hollow mast with rotating fittings for the liquids and slip rings for the electrical part. Since with a house where you're not dealing with hundreds of rpm's like a helicopter reliability and maintainability should not be much of an issue.

Everything else is just construction that has been done dozens, if not hundreds, of times.

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#20
In reply to #8

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 10:38 AM

You might have to draw me a picture, as I am a bit dense this morning, and I kept imagining the fitting spinning around until the hoses tangle up, sorry. Is it more like a stationary ring and rotating sealed disk arrangement?

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#23
In reply to #20

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 11:14 AM

Yes, liquid fitting has a stationary side and a rotating side.

For liquid swivel joints, look HERE. These are not necessarily the right version for a "house" application but I'm too lazy to look further.

For electrical slip rings, look HERE.

I hope this helps. The longer I'm retired the lazier I get. Plus I'm off to check out a travel trailer I might purchase.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 11:20 AM

Good luck on that hunt! Stay cool!

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#25
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Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 11:38 AM

Thanks. I'm hoping to winter in Texas. I'm tired of the cold. Maybe even change my residence there to take advantage of tax and other advantages.

And summer up north to avoid that "dry" heat that I learned about at Ft Hood.

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#9

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 3:31 AM

<walks away, whistling quietly...>

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#10

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 5:34 AM

<...de dum de deee....>

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#15
In reply to #10

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 9:40 AM

boy is that butt ugly!

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#19
In reply to #10

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 10:36 AM

You have to go all the way up that thing to get the mail? How quaint, old chap!

LOL - good job.

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#11

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 6:39 AM

A train on a circular track?

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 6:44 AM

A fairground ride, then?

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#21
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Re: Rotating dwelling with utility hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 10:40 AM

Yes, but the idea is to be in the shade, with low solar input in summer, with a more open design to the sky during winter. Maybe it would in fact, be way easier to intall a half dome (quarter sphere), and rotate that around a stationary dwelling (with the dome above ground at all times, could even use it for a wind scoop for a small wind turbine system (that operates at much higher rpm's that typical turbine on a tower).

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#13

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 8:10 AM

By having it Rotating, the interface of entering and leaving as well as normal living space will need some thought so this doesn't happen... also you probably need this on your front door.

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#22
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Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 10:42 AM

DO NOT USE THIS LINK that Phoenis911 put up - it is virus infected.

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#14

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 9:39 AM

A simple choice would be to just have energy efficient (thick wall type) shutter that covers windows (say 6" thick) on the outside of the dwelling. This shutter can then open to varying degrees to accommodate the angle of the sun, and can totally close some windows during certain times of the year and open others. can all be tied to the rotation of the earth and continuously open/ close a minute value each day depending on the date.

if you have to have rotating something, then just rotate the outer wall, leave the floor plan stationary, after all, the outer wall IS the only thing that needs to follow the sun.

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#16

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 9:43 AM

I would just copy what the neighbour built. It's literally just up the road. http://rotatinghouse.com.au/about/ google "Manning Valley Rotating House".

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#27

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/23/2017 3:18 PM

I had a design concept in my mind many years ago for a different approach to this situation. A "U" shaped ranch. The open end of the courtyard would have large glass doors with screens. The roof would be two sided going up from the "front" of the house then down to the back/courtyard side. One side of the roof would be solar electric panels with solar hot water panels on the other. The courtyard would have an in ground pool heated in the winter with water from some of the roof panels. Ground floor and basement level of the house would be essentially two fully furnished houses. Upper level for spring and fall living shifting to the basement level for summer and winter when heating & cooling expenses are higher.

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#28

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/24/2017 10:01 AM

Just let the important part rotate:

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#35
In reply to #28

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/26/2017 9:25 AM

True that. Interesting response!

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#29

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/24/2017 12:44 PM

The simplest solution is to have a central, non-rotating part which would have all the parts of the house requiring plumbing (water, gas, sewer), i.e., kitchen and bathroom. The rest of the house containing living areas and bedrooms can rotate on the outside, supported by circular tracks. Electricity can be supplied to the rotating part through slip rings or, better yet, a rotary transformer.

Cross-section diagram of a simple rotary transformer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_transformer

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#30

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/24/2017 7:00 PM

In my experience, any type of design that requires the owner or occupant to do something for energy conservation on a repetitive schedule is unlikely to be used for long. This certainly applies to movable shutters and similar things. the best design is one which inherently provides the desired level of energy conservation along with the aesthetics. Although a rotationg building may be attractive in an engineer's perspective, I doubt that it would be a long-term sell-able approach to the residents. --JMM

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#36
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Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/26/2017 9:29 AM

Thank you for your opinion, and I expect I am compelled by the argument to agree.

The Old Greeks were masters of passive engineering to manage the interior comfort of their structures. That apparently is where we all need to go for lesson #1.

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#33

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/25/2017 3:16 PM

Why the complexity of a rotating house? Why not a temperature and ambient light controlled retractable overhang? With manual override...

Or permanent overhang with the glass which can flip between clear and opaque? That way you can still sit out under cover during winter.

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#38
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Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/26/2017 9:34 AM

I like the switchable glass concept. Switching between high reflectivity and low reflectivity (with a resulting high transparency), would be ideal, I agree. Please be reminded that opaque to visible light does not mean opaque to infrared (heat).

I like the idea of turning it up and down, not just on/off, perhaps.

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#39

Re: Rotating Dwelling With Utility Hub Challenge of the Month

06/26/2017 9:46 AM

Main structure is already designed. Just needs a few modifications. Like a full circular platform to build the house on. A servo motor to apply the motion. Controls, sensors and an app or programing to rotated it.

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