Curvilinear shell-shaped houses are generally a retro notion, but perhaps they were merely an idea before their time – a time, that is, when such things could be more easily constructed, mass-produced and deployed.
That idea, at least, is what Binishells appears to be banking on. So what, exactly, is different this time? Using low air pressure to lift and shape reinforced concrete thin shell structures, poured at ground level, Binishells essentially use air as their form work. There’s no wooden formwork to be thrown away afterward, wasting materials. Liquid concrete can be poured over reusable inflatable molds, saving time, resources and money while creating interesting organic architectural shapes.
That results in faster construction, too. And while concrete is a resource-intensive material to manufacture, perhaps future innovations will turn up similar materials that incorporate organic substances for a greener result.
In short: the technology has caught up with the times, and recently repopularized notions of eco-friendly living fit neatly into this reinvigorated design concept. That, and retro appeal works both ways – it may seem dated, but it can be cool, too.
“As well as being inherently green, Binishells are fast, strong and flexible and can be made in an infinite variety of shapes. They can be used for everything from high-end residential, to schools, to gymnasiums, commercial buildings, low cost housing, emergency shelters and an infinite variety of other typologies.”
“Like eggs, thin shell concrete dome structures distribute forces along their entire envelope. In this highly efficient structural system, forces are transferred gradually and evenly to the foundation along the entire building perimeter. Furthermore, domes typically act in compression and concrete is known to be highly efficient in compression. Furthermore, domes provide the largest enclosed volume to exterior surface area ratio. These factors mean that safer buildings can be produced by using only approx. 50% of the raw materials.”