Binishell inflatable concrete homes was originally developed by architect Dante Bini in the 1960’s but the project was eventually abandoned due to little faith in the actual strength of the dome structures.
Dante’s son, Nicolo Bini, grew up to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an architect too where he would continue his father’s Binishell inflatable concrete homes and perfect them. The cherry on top though? They only cost an astonishing $3,500.
“Binishells have survived even extreme environments such as lava, ash, and constant earthquakes on Mount Etna for almost 50 years,” said Nicolo Bini, the architect behind this unique technique.
Binishells homes were designed to provide a low-cost housing solution for people in impoverished situations all around the world. Over 1600 of these domes have been constructed in over 23 countries.
“With 25% of the world’s population living in substandard shelters, this is where we feel we can have the most impact,” said Nicolo, “We’re proposing an alternative to low-cost housing that’s better from both a environmental and humanitarian standpoint,” he continued in an interview.
How does it work?
Nicolo Bini, the architect, creates these incredible structures using a technique incredibly similar to that used to cover a balloon with papier-mache to build his domes. The process starts with a two dimensional shape on the ground and then adds a wooden form around an air bladder and reinforced steel rebar. A load of concrete is then placed over top, sets, and slowly rises from the ground.
Binishell inflatable concrete homes come in varying sizes the largest of which is 40m or 120ft and can be raised in less than one hour using less than 1 PSI of pressure. These domes can be used for a range of different structures from high end homes and schools to military and sports facilities and storm shelters.