Just in case Night of the Living Dead becomes a reality, zombie enthusiasts across the globe are gearing up to plan for the potential zombie apocalypse. The folks at Architects Southwest have devised a fun contest for designers and architects to create a Zombie Safe House. One horrific entry is a self-sustaining vertical farm that uses a zombie-powered energy system, and also keeps its human inhabitants safely out of reach of the brains-hungry power source.

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Lured by hanging bait traps with delicious warm-blooded rabbits inside, the zombies will flood into a giant turbine in a frenzy, ravenous for tiny rabbit brains. As they attempt to grasp the tasty snacks, they’ll run around and around, turning the turbine and powering the housing system above. Zombies may be slow, but their strength provides enough power to yield electricity and water pressure.

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 beneath 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 which would prevent 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.

The Zombie Ranch was one of many great contenders to win the first prize Golden Shovel Award in the 2012 Zombie Safe House contest. 

 + Architects Southwest

+ Zombie Safe House