I seem to have a thing for offbeat housing options in recent years. There have been the tree forts, pods, Funky Bunkys and most recently, the dome home. Today, it’s the rotating house. Seriously, I think I’m getting cabin fever down in my basement office. Anyway, back to the subject at hand, the rotating house. I just read an article in the National Post about a couple building a rotating home on Prince Edward Island that will offer water views from every room in the house. It’s a very cool idea.
I really like PEI — my wife and I have thrown around the idea of moving there on more than one occasion, after a visit a few years ago (written up on GeekDad, of course), but it’s the mechanics of the whole project that really caught my attention.
Apparently this home is the first of its kind in Canada, but the design has been proven in Australia. A circular home is built on a rotating platform with 24 wheels, powered by a pair of 700 watt motors that rotate the entire home a full 360 degrees every hour. The need to be able to handle the extra load of snow in this climate (allowance was made for 55 tons of the white stuff) meant design modifications to boost the strength of the Canadian version, which translated to bigger wheels, stronger steel and more of it. Utilities are routed through the center of the home and once it completes a rotation, it turns in the opposite direction to avoid twisting the power cables and plumbing. According to the builder, the power requirement to have a house that’s perpetually in motion is equivalent to just over half what a typical air conditioner would use. So it does cost money to operate, but not that much — although the price tag for this one is $1.3 million, so it’s not exactly a starter home (for the record, the average price for a PEI house in 2012 is $146,000). Presumably, the view would be worth it.
And, because this is 2012, the house is not only controlled by a manual switch (yes, you can turn it on and off), there’s also an iOS app to do it. Hopefully the homeowners aren’t running Android…
Here’s a video from the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet that shows one of the Australian originals.