Technology for shelters in the event of a natural disaster or crisis has seen strides recently. Many companies are creating shelters and tools to help provide people affected by disasters an easy set-up shelter or survival kit. One pioneering British firm has created an inflatable tent that turns into concrete by just adding water.
You might think this is too good be true. “Just add water” seems like an infomercial line that is used to sell a product to the masses. However, the Concrete Canvas Shelter is the real deal and can be erected by just two people in less than an hour. In less than one day the structure will turn from inflatable dwelling to a full concrete structure.
The Concrete Canvas Shelter begins inside of waterproof plastic sheeting for easy transportation. First, water must be pumped into the unit to start the process. The concrete cloth inside is made up of fibers which evenly absorb water until all of the cloth is saturated. Once the unit is filled up without about 800 to 1,000 liters of water, there is about a five hour window to erect the structure before the concrete sets. The waterproof plastic is removed and a inflation device is used to blow air inside of the unit. The cloth must be completely dragged out before it is completely inflated for proper set-up. Then you just wait and watch as the structure inflates to its full size of 50 square meters. A day later the concrete structure is ready to use.
The speed of which this technology can be used may allow for huge improvements in how
the world reacts to humanitarian crisis. A concrete canvas building has great thermal properties, so whatever is kept inside can be kept cool or warm, and can provide a sterile environment for surgery. The tent was first created with military use in mind, but will be a great help in natural disaster situations.