samedi 6 décembre 2008

# SMALL /// Technocraft's Low tech balloon system

Here is one emergency architecture designed by Technocraft you can find in the book Design like you give a damn (see also a previous post about Concrete massonry units by Sistema Arde).

The idea is to take used hemp sacks, in this case animal feedbags, and sew them together to form a dome-shaped structure. The construction is separated into prefabricated elements that can be assembled off-site or a local cottage industry "build-up process" at the site. Separating the production process allows for faster production and eliminates the need for electricity.
At the site the sewn hemp "skin" are connected by plastic ties and attached to "Life Elements" (doors, windows and faciilities for cooking, sanitation and storage) with a maximum of eight per structure. Workers stuff the hemp strucutre with inflated airbags or balloons, tighten the plastic ties to increase the air pressure, and dampen the entire structure. They then spray or apply mortar over the dome to create a thin concrete shell, much like a papier-maché model. Inner pressure from the airbags supports the structure during the mortar application, making additional construction devices such as an air-compressor or wooden supports unnecessary.
Once the mortar has dried, teams cut out excess hemp from the openings of the doors, windows, and other elements and deflate the airbags, which can be reused. Then workers mortar and plaster the interior walls, creating a waterproof, thermal-insulated shell. Individual units can be easily combined to create larger living spaces.

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