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Binishells Graceful Housing

Binishells are unique shelters that can be constructed quickly, and in the most ecological manner possible.


(Binishells housing)

Housing remains the most challenging issue facing architects, builders and politicians today. The adaptation of the Binishells system illustrated above, provides strong, permanent shelter in the fastest, least expensive, most ecological manner available on the market. These shelters are strong and able to resist hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes and fires. They are easily deployable anywhere as they can be fabricated from locally available materials and require no factories for prefabrication and no heavy machinery for installation.

The Binishells may be the most innovative new system for construction since the introduction of prefabrication in the late 1800s. This patented technology in based on the radical notion of replacing formwork and heavy machinery with air. The system, developed by Dr. Dante Bini in the 60’s uses low air pressure to lift and shape wet concrete and reinforcing steel. More than 1,600 buildings have been built using this system in 23 countries. The system has been recently improved, rendered more environmental and architecturally flexible. Today Binishells use 80% less materials, have 95% of the embodied CO2 and have a carbon footprint 80% smaller than traditional construction.

I first read about this construction method as architectural coral, an idea proposed by Larry Niven in his 1968 novel A Gift From Earth. Here's how it works:

The remnants of the shaping balloon, which gave all architectural coral buildings their telltale bulge, had been carefully scraped away...

...A genetic manipulation of ordinary sea coral, it was the cheapest building material known. The only real cost was in the plastic balloon that guided the growth of the coral and enclosed the coral's special air-borne food.
(Read more about Larry Niven's architectural coral)

Thanks to a reader comment, it appears that the first Binishells project was carried out in 1964, but that doesn't mean that Niven didn't think of it independently, of course. Also, note that Niven's idea also contains the notion of modified coral that grew as a building material, so his idea isn't quite the same as Binishells.

Read more about Binishells.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/13/2010)

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