Chelsea, Michigan - Computer store owner Matt Minard has a dream. He wants to rebuild a futuristic house made of polyurethane foam that was originilly constructed near Kissimmee in Florida in 1983. The young computer expert visited this project-called 'Xanadu, home of the future'-as a child and it made a deep impression on him.
Sadly, the original Xanadu was torn down in 2005 to make way for a housing development and Minard yearns to rebuild the energy saving construction, which he described in an interview in the Grasslake Times in 2006 as looking "like a cluster of giant mushrooms." Part of his interest, as a bit of a computer geek, is that the original house contained a lot of novel electronic gadgets.
When he realised the house had been pulled down, "I made it my life's goal to rebuild that exact house and live in it," Minard said in a email to Urethanes Technology International.
"I also want to give free tours of it to the public to show that a home can look good and be built out of insulation which in turn saves them a fortune in the long run.' Minard added.
"Building houses out of polyurethane foam was a good idea then, and I think it is an even better idea now. The price of energy right now is making way for any type of construction that will save the consumer money on their utility bill each month," Minard explained.
Cost of the development will be about $700 000, and Minard has been looking hard for sponsors for quite a while. His latest fundraising attempt is auctioning sponsorship of the project on Ebay this week.
Asked about foam suppliers, Minard said, "I don't as yet have any suppliers lined up. I would like to find one that would be willing to donate product for this project in exchange for exposure."
"A 6000 sq.ft home of foam is going to draw quite a bit of attention." Minard commented. The design is based almost totally on rigid foam, "with a little wire mesh thrown in here and there for shaping the building."
PIC: Minard in front of a view of the original Xanadu house. "