Housing has always been an issue for many people, but not so much like today with so many refugees. Therefore, there is a great need of finding alternative ways of housing that is practical, and money-saving.
We recommend the “dome house”, an inflatable concrete home with a starting building price of $3500. It is transportable, and while building it creates significantly less mess and waste. Once it is built, it can be easily modified and personalized. Not only that it is a low-cost home, but it is also eco-friendly as it uses air as formwork with highly efficient building envelopes that are strong and flexible in shape and size.
The dome house was invented by the architect Dr. Dante Bini in 1964 who was the first to use air pressure to lift and shape reinforced concrete shell structures poured at ground level. This building structure was later on improved by his son Nicoló who continued his work. The concrete bubble-shaped structures that were invented by his father have been tested for 50 years in some extreme conditions such as ash, lava, and earthquakes on Mount Etna, and proven to be durable. Nowadays, they can be used as homes for refugees and displaced people, but these structures can be easily turned into residential, commercial, and recreational resorts, or educational places. Plus, they can be used as storage or most importantly as emergency shelters.
However, the current situation with the refugees imposed the need of low-costing houses.
“With 25% of the world’s population living in sub-standard shelters, this is where we feel we can have the most impact.”
Binishells – The New Cost Efficient Homes
These homes were built in 23 developing countries in the world. Over 1,600 binishells ranging from 120 feet in diameter to small bungalows are now homes for many people. Their greatest advantage is that they can be built really quickly, in less than an hour, using less than 1 PSI of pressure. They are elevated up to 40m (120ft.), and can have various shapes, round, bubbly-shaped, or made in a simple and tiny residential-style.
The main material for the construction of the “binishells” is inflatable concrete. The building starts form ground level slowly building the layers of the walls. A load of concrete is being added so that the dome gets created and with the help of an air bladder that is deflated when the building is done. The next building step is inflating a pneumoform and then a steel rebar is being put around its shape serving as structural reinforcement for the later structure. In the end, the concrete is being poured all over the entire structure which is winded up with steel-reinforced concrete in the shape of a balloon.
The materials that are used for its building are easily available, and what is most important the balloon, “pneumoform”, is reusable.
Further on, Bini explains:
“Aside from some special additives, our concrete mix can be sourced locally almost anywhere. Similarly our reinforcement is the same rebar you find sitting on the shelf of supply stores around the world.”
Although they are built quickly, one needs to be experienced in working with rebar and concrete, but the fact remains that they are really cheap and in no time a home can be built.
We recommend visiting the Building Homes and Living directory for more detailed info and ideas regarding these dome homes.