Sorry for the typos on that first post. Also, I probably need to explain, in greater detail, why I believe tensegrity structures are worth consideration.
As a side note: I have a background as a commercial fisherman (winters on the Bering Sea long-lining) and thus I’ve lived on the ocean for extended periods of time…in extreme conditions. I, personally, would have no problem living aboard a tensegrity structure if it were properly designed, built and outfitted.
Design Considerations that Favor Tensegrity Structures:
1) Avoiding the need for large scale specially constructed jigs/forms/machining/yards/etc reduces the overall start-up and long-term cost.
2) The standardization of the principal structural components further reduces cost.
3) Breaking the design down to the smallest structural component allows for mass production/shipping/erection efficiencies.
4) If each basic structural component is given an ability to adjust it’s buoyancy, a high degree of buoyancy redundancy and adjustment can be achieved. Potentially, this type of buoyancy control can be used as a form of propulsion as the controlled shift in buoyancy/weight would cause a structure to rotate.
5) Designing the principal structural elements out of ‘off the shelf’ gear, to the greatest extent as possible, further reduces cost (no material/component R&D). I would recommend the use of 60″ dual walled HDPE culverts, as the main structural element, (which cost around $100 per linear ft.) and Spectra line as the tension element. A number of OTS gear can be engineered into this design.
6) Tensegritic structures can be deployed for a number of oceanic uses. Here is an example of a tensegrity tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_pZ-m6Ppyg which could be used as a transport tube between spheres/cubes/etc. or as a large scale fish pen.
7) Customized internal structures/enclosures can be attached to the tensergrity structure to fit individual needs/desires.
The flexibility and simplicity of the tensergrity concept does seem to provide a means to erect and deploy large scale oceanic structures for the lowest cost per foot/meter. If a community were to adopt this type of construction as it’s ‘standard’ means of construction, it would create a way to ‘valuate’ the basic cost of construction for large/small scale expansion, as well as build in a deep degree of structural resource redundancy.
I would like to find colaborators to help work up a design ‘package’ which would give an investor a clear view of the cost and potential profits. I have no experiance with developing a business plan or working up detailed engineering specs.