CD Designs Blog

    Humanitarian Solutions – 24 Hour Concrete Tents?

    Recently we’ve come across another exciting concrete innovation, the likes of which can really make you appreciate the strength and diversity of our favourite design medium, going beyond pattern imprinted driveways and patios. Civilised society has few fears and unknown mysteries, yet the one thing we cannot master is the raw force of nature. Natural disasters cause untold suffering and damage wherever they strike, and as you will all be well aware, we have seen a large number of humanitarian crises in the last couple of years.

    Most recently, we have seen major earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, and tornadoes in the South-West of the US, all of which have resulted in huge numbers of people dead, injured and homeless. Dire times indeed, so how can concrete come to the rescue?

    Enter concrete canvas – this new innovation, invented by a team of engineers as part of their university research, comes into the form of a cement-impregnated canvas shelter, with waterproof backing on one side. Spray it with water, and it hardens into a tough concrete shell within 24 hours, allowing aid teams working in emergency conditions to construct shelters easily and rapidly. It is estimated that a standard 54 square meter structure would take two people around an hour to construct.

    Since it comes in highly malleable rolls, you can shape it as desired, with any hand tools you might have available. The shape is given by an inflatable inner area, which the concrete canvas can then be affixed to the outside of. Because it is a hardened structure when finished, it is a lot more durable than a standard tent, and you can do things like install power points and other features into it.

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