Type of Construction, Materials, Mechanical Systems and Other Pertinent Technical Information

Richard Foster

May, 1968

Concrete base
Steel frame with wood joists, sheathing and shingles
The steel frame rests on a 14′ wide ball bearing ring which in turn carries the entire superstructure of 500,000 lbs. The steel structure is an intricate network of members, umbrella shaped, with a circle of columned supports and a space frame roof. The extreme ends of the floor beams are supported by hangers from the roof. The complexity of the framing and need for very strong connections pointed to steel as the only economical solution.

Plumbing: Unique treatment of the waste lines allowed the fixtures to be located in the moving portion. (See sectional diagram)

Heating: Forced hot water system, oil fueled, with fin-tube radiation located in the floor underneath windows.

Electric: Power is supplied by means of a feed-rail bus system. A “trolley” section carries current to the building via the bus.

Water: 360° valve, commercially produced.

Telephone: Radar commutator is used to transfer telephone signals from stationary to moving section.

Cost Data: Approximately $60 per square foot

Structural Engineers: Zoldos & Meagher, Emerson, New Jersey Mechanical Engineers: Meyer, Strong & Jones, New York, N.Y.

Heating system is a forced hot water system with fin-tube radiation located in the floor underneath the windows; the boiler and oil tank are located on the main floor of the house. Ventilation systems have been provided for the toilet rooms and bath rooms and for the kitchen.

The plumbing system is unique in that the plumbing fixtures are located in the rotating section of the house. Because of this, it was necessary to design an enclosed trough made up of two interlocking sections, one fixed (lower section) and one movable (upper section). The soil and waste piping from the fixtures is connected to the movable section of the trough which in itself is fastened to the rotating portion of the house, thus permitting conventional piping to be used from the trough to the plumbing fixtures. From the fixed section of the trough pipe connections are made which carries the drainage into a house drain which connects to the sewer. The interlock between the movable and stationary portion of the trough is filled with a liquid which acts as a seal, thus preventing sewer gases from the trough from entering the building.

Water is supplied from a well and the main cold water supply rises in the exact center of the core which is the fixed section. The top of this riser is provided with a ball joint which permits a 360° rotation of the branch that runs from this point to the movable section. All equipment is then located in the rotating section and is fed in a conventional manner.

Power is supplied to the building by means of a feed-rail bus system. The feedrail bus is attached to the moving section of the building and is formed to the required radius. The “trolley” section is on the fixed.

pedestal and remains in a relatively stationary position, carrying current to the building via the bus. The bus is of 3-wire construction, providing 240/120 volts single phase current to a house panel board. From this panel-board electric wiring is distributed within the house.
Telephone service is provided in a similar manner using a 2-wire feedrail.