Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of materials are used for a SpirInCo building?
Any material that can be used for a traditional building can be used on ours - except for shingles. Our roofs will consist of pre-fabricated panels for quick disassembly & reassembly when the time comes for a building expansion. Other than that, SpirInCo buildings won't require special materials. The choice will be up to the SpirInCo customer. When the choice is ours, we'll use the most environmentally friendly materials.
What is the cost per square foot when constructing a new SpirInCo building?
Until we have manufacturing facilities for prefabricating building components, the cost per square foot of a square or rectangular SpirInCo starter building (first revolution*) will be about the same as a comparable square foot traditional building with the same shape. But, since our preferred building shapes are non-rectangular, less linear footage of exterior walls is required for a given amount of desired floor space. Therefore materials costs and labor costs will be less. The next Q & A elaborates on this. When we do have manu-facturing facilities for prefabrication, construction cost will be dramatically less.
Why does the shape of a building affect the efficiency?
Because the shape determines how much exposure a building has to the elements.

First of all, buildings with vaulted or cathedral ceilings don't 'operate' as efficiently as buildings with lower, level ceilings because they have more cubic feet of space to heat and cool. They are nice, but inefficient. At SpirInCo efficiency comes first! To have the SpirInCo built-in expandability, level ceilings are a must.

All buildings with level ceilings and vertical walls have a 1 to 1 ratio of overhead exposure to square footage of floor space. (Overhead exposure of a living area is the ceiling area - not the roof area; so roof 'pitch' is irrelevant.) The opportunity for reducing heating and cooling costs is in reducing the exterior wall exposure.

Suppose we need a 2400 square foot building. Watch how the wall exposure shrinks as the shape of a building becomes more 'round'.

Less exposure = lower heating/cooling costs.

Here's another perspective for comparison based upon same linear footage of exterior walls. See how much more building we get for the same amount of exterior wall footage as buildings become more 'round'.

Less wall footage = greater EFFICIENCY and greater SUSTAINABILITY!

** Circular buildings are 'the max' for operating efficiency when it comes to wall exposure per square foot; but the cost of construction skyrockets because of the cost of curved materials; and that makes circular buildings impractical.
What is the cost per square foot of a SpirInCo addition?
When we have manufacturing facilities, the cost per square foot of an addition to a SpirInCo building will be about half the cost of a typical addition to a traditional building. The main reasons for the cost difference are the facts that there will be factory prefabrication of components and no demolition is required; so, there are almost no discarded materials with an expansion. Instead of demolition, there will be some disassembly and then some reassembly with several additional components. SpirInCo additions will require just a few days of labor versus many weeks & often months of labor. Walls will be pre-wired, insulated, and (in some cases) pre-plumbed.
Why are SpirInCo buildings more efficient to heat and cool?
In addition to the fact that the shapes of most of our buildings reduce exposure to weather for heating and cooling purposes, the shapes also reduce the amount of ductwork and piping required. The core section of our buildings will house water heaters, HVAC units, circuit breaker boxes, etc.; so ductwork, pipes, and wiring go up the core* like the trunk of a tree and then branch out to the spiraling sections. The average distance of rooms in a SpirInCo building from heating and cooling sources will be less than the average distance in comparably sized traditional buildings. (Point of use, tank-less water heaters will, of course, be optional.)
Please explain the slogan "Start Green, Grow Greener"?
The answers to questions 3 and 5 explain what we mean by "Start Green". When a spiraling SpirInCo expansion takes place, there is no additional overhead exposure to the 'elements' - only some additional wall exposure. A growing SpirInCo building becomes more & more efficient in that respect. Sprawling expansions to ordinary buildings do add overhead exposure to the elements in addition to more wall exposure. They become less efficient as they spread outward. PLEASE NOTE: an expanded SpirInCo building does not cost [overall] less to heat & cool - it costs less per square foot to heat & cool. You can view the detailed expansion efficiency drawing in the VIP Tour section of our website.
In what way are SpirInCo buildings 'safer' than most traditional buildings?
For the same reason that most of our buildings have less exposure to hot or cold air, they have less exposure to fast moving air, AKA 'wind'. The 'honey-comb' configurations of many of our buildings make them stronger than most buildings. Stronger buildings that feel less force from winds (because they are more streamlined) are 'safer'. All of our buildings, including the less desirable square and rectangular ones, will have excellent 'safe rooms' in the lower levels of the core* section. In 'Tornado Alley' or on mountain sides, the first floor core section could easily be made with concrete walls & steel or concrete ceilings. In flood prone areas, the first and second floors of the core could be concrete & steel.
Can the first revolution* be all one level?
The first revolution can have the same floor level; but in order to have the built-in expansion capabilities of a spiraling SpirInCo building, the ceilings will need to be progressively higher from section to section in order to accommodate future, upward spiraling expansions. This is a question that folks with restricted-mobility family members often ask. Commercial and/or public buildings will have 'barrier-free' design - ramps, wheel chair lifts, and elevators.
In what ways are SpirInCo buildings 'SUSTAINABLE'?
The strength & durability that the SpirInCo design offers not only lends itself to longevity of a building 'as-is'; it also 'invites' enlargement when needs for space increase - WITHOUT DEMOLITION! Spiraling growth results in more efficient structures whereas typical sprawling growth results in less efficient ones.
How receptive to renewable energy are SpirInCo buildings?
There are no limiting factors that would prevent a SpirInCo building from taking full advantage of new technology with respect to renewable energy as it unfolds. In fact, it’s much to the contrary!

When it comes to solar energy, our centralized core cap at the apex of our buildings will be less likely to be shaded than most roof sections [particularly in a residential setting]; and the core cap will be very receptive to ‘tracking’ panels that slowly turn so that they directly face the sun all day.

The strength of the core section, with its rigid stabilization from all the radial walls, will provide more than enough strength to support small wind turbines. A SpirInCo R&D affiliate is currently working on a design that would be appropriate for residential and small commercial applications. Just as the high, central location of the core cap facilitates ‘shadeless’ solar exposure, it will also provide optimal exposure to the wind.

The ground-level of the core section will also be an ideal location for geothermal systems.

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