i am very interested in construction technologies applied in humanitarian architecture and I want to use the blog for, on the one hand, telling you about some of the technologies currently being developed and, on the other hand, finding out what else is being done out there (send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org)
i want to start by presenting my friends’ project, CONCRETE CANVAS. these young British engineers have developed CONCRETE CLOTH, a concrete-based construction material. CC consists of a 3-dimensional fibre matrix containing a specially formulated dry concrete mix. a PVC backing on one surface of the cloth ensures the material is completely waterproof; while hydrophilic fibres on the opposite surface aid hydration by drawing the water into the cement. you shape the cloth, add water…. and it’s ready! the concrete hardens leaving a set structure.
this cloth has many useful applications (water tanks, flat roofs, building cladding…) but the idea originated from the construction of dome-shaped emergency shelters.
CONCRETE CANVAS SHELTERS can be deployed by 2 people without any training in under 40 mins and are ready to use in 12 hours – only water and air are needed. the shelters are distributed in a packed format, water is added, they self-inflate to adopt the optimum final shape and in a few hours the concrete sets. they are easily distributed, they are semi-permanent, can be covered with other materials or can be part buried to improve the thermal properties and make them more resistant against impact… they meet certain needs (especially where there is an armed conflict going on or in extreme climates) that a more traditional tent (despite them being great for other needs!) can’t meet.
here are some pictures and a pdf with more info for you to see the great job CONCRETE CANVAS are doing.