Ariel Schwartz

CONCRETE CLOTH: Flexible Material Makes Durable Disaster Shelters

by , 11/30/09

sustainable design, green design, design for disaster, concrete cloth, shelters, disaster, pvc

When a disaster strikes, it’s often difficult to get shelters up in time for displaced residents. Enter Concrete Canvas‘s new Concrete Cloth, a durable waterproof building material made of cement sandwiched between fabric. The cloth, which won Material ConneXion‘s Material of the Year 2009 award, can be molded into any shape when bonded with water — and it takes just two hours to set!

concrete cloth, shelters, disaster, pvc

Perhaps the most useful application for Concrete Cloth is in disaster relief, where the material could be used to quickly and efficiently house both people and food. Since the cloth has a life span of 10 years, it can be used in situations where displacement is prolonged. Concrete Cloth’s durability also makes it ideal for military use.

There’s just one drawback to Concrete Cloth: the material contains PVC, a plastic that leaches toxic chemicals. If Concrete Canvas could figure out a way to replace PVC with something else, we’d love to see Concrete Cloth used around the world.

+ Concrete Cloth

Via Dezeen

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5 Comments

  1. janakiramya September 11, 2012 at 5:06 am

    is it(concrete cloth) economical?

  2. ashok January 31, 2011 at 8:03 am

    i got a good information

  3. stevenpfalkowski December 1, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Concrete can be used as aggregate in new concrete. It still requires new cement, but it isn’t totally unreusable.

    How about some windows or skylights? Even as a temporary accommodation, it must be a dismal interior.

  4. esmtll November 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    I’m not sure PVC is the only drawback here. Concrete itself, despite attempts by LEED to make it seem like a eco-dream material, takes a lot of energy to produce (particularly the portland cement). And though it can be reused as gravel, etc. concrete cannot be recycled.

  5. alexjameslowe November 30, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Only drawback to something like this is that it would tend to transition from emergency shelter to permanent shelter pretty quickly. Once set, a group of these things would be impossible to rearrange, which could make it difficult to give them sewage and electrical support.

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