Called “concrete canvas shelters” (CCS), these hardened tent-like buildings are made of concrete cloth. Only water and air pressure are required to build CCS structures which are approximately 25 square meters and can be set up by two people without training in under an hour. The concrete cloth remains workable for two hours; the buildings themselves are ready to be used in just one day.
There are a number of factors that make concrete canvas shelters more desirable than traditional cloth-based tents. They are designed to withstand berming (sand bags, fill materials, snow), offer additional environmental protection, security, medical capabilities and insulation. CCS constructions last about ten years and are fireproof.
The material pictured on the left is concrete cloth, a cement-impregnated fabric. In a CCS, this cloth is bonded to a plastic inner structure which is inflated by use of an electric fan. Once the structure is self-supporting, it’s anchored to the ground with pegs. Then the builder simply sprays the CCS with water, allowing the concrete to cure. Access holes can be cut into the dome-like building to allow for more versatility in function. Concrete canvas shelters have been used for disaster relief, military and commercial purposes.
I’m pretty sold on this long-lasting, easy-to-assemble solution to the need for quick, simple living spaces. After seeing the picture above, however, one question remains: can anything be hung on the walls? I’m guessing not… still, I think I’d be getting some streamers to decorate somehow!