Whether you're safeguarding your home against tornados, winter weather or mold, the topic of household proofing is a perennially popular one here at MNN. But protecting your abode against marauding bands of the living dead? Well, it helps to be prepared for everything, right?


The 2011 Zombie Safe House Competition, a design contest sponsored by Architects Southwest in which "The Walking Dead"-obsessed architects and designers are invited to submit concepts for innovative — and even eco-friendly — homes that will keep inhabitants safe and secure during the imminent zombie apocalypse.


Design considerations include the number of non-infected people residing in the home and for how long; how energy, waste and potable water will be handled; and how residents will escape in the event of a zombie intrusion. And, of course, there's the matter of how zombies will be kept out of the home.


For this year's competition, more than 200 entries have been submitted from folks in more than 12 countries, all eyeing the top prize: The Golden Shovel Award. Naturally, in an era where home energy-efficiency is just as important a concern for homeowners as riding out zombie infestations, one of the top entries is a sustainable one. I mean really, just because your home is under attack by a roving gang of brain-eating crazies doesn't mean your green lifestyle habits have to suffer in the process.


Profiled over at Inhabitat is theZombie Ranch, a vertical farm/fortress powered by a most interesting renewable (hopefully not renewable for too long) energy source: the zombies themselves. Lured into a giant turbine by a dangling bait trips filled with bunnies, the zombies will (hopefully) get worked into a frenzy and lurch around the turbine in circles as they grasp for a bunny snack. As Inhabitat explains, "Zombies may be slow, but their strength provides enough power to yield electricity and water pressure."



Some more pertinent details:


On the surface, the humans can live safely in a cantilevered structure, centered around a spiral staircase that leads to each level. Living units are dispersed on lower levels, and the structure is capped off with a large penthouse. In the middle of the building will lie a vertical farm planting unit that grows edible crops for the humans to enjoy, as well as trees to sit and ponder under as the zombie apocalypse goes on outside. The plants will be irrigated via an underground water storage area, with the water being siphoned thanks to zombie power.


Should a zombie slave escape, each structure has a retractable bridge, preventing a slow-moving zombie from gaining access to the living compound. Each unit is also equipped with an escape route, which elevates the living areas with a track system when zombies are near. Grouped together, the structures make up a comfortable Zombie Ranch that uses the power of the undead for good.


Head on over to the Zombie Safe House Competition homepage to view this entry along with the others, including my favorite, a design that incorporates some serious conversion skills: the Statue of Liberty reimagined as a place of zombie refuge. And don't forget to vote for you favorite ... the public voting period ends tomorrow. And although not part of the competition, I think this home in the Polish countryside certainly fits the bill. Or maybe you'd prefer the Ozarks?


Also on MNN: 10 tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse


Via [Inhabitat]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Zombie proof house: Design contest seeks the best
One of the top contenders in this year's Zombie Safe House design Competition is Zombie Ranch, a housing concept that pairs self-sufficiency with living dead-pr