A New York startup has developed an ingenious technique that lets its workers blow up a house and pump concrete inside its walls. Automatic Construction provides inexpensive concrete buildings built using their patent pending inflatable formwork technology.
By: Staff Writers & Singularity Hub
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Imagine someone offering to build you an “inflatable house.” If you assumed they were talking about garish bounce houses rocking with screaming kids, you’re in for a surprise.
Over the last year and a half, the New York City startup Automatic Construction has been developing a construction technique that allows its workers to blow up a house and pump concrete into its walls. The company estimates that houses built using this technique can be erected in less than an hour and cost about one-fifth the price of more traditional, cast-in-place concrete methods that are used to build commercial structures and single-family homes in the U.S.
It’s an unusual method, but for a world mired in a housing crisis, it holds a lot of promise. By 2030, the UN estimates we will need to build 96,000 affordable homes per day to house the 3 billion people who will need access to adequate housing. In a bid to speed up construction and lower costs, architects and construction companies alike have embraced 3D printed homes, modular buildings, even robots. For Automatic Construction, the answer lies in a patent-pendingconstruction technique called Inflatable Flexible Factory Formwork.
“Our solution packs small and inflates on site,” says Alex Bell, the company’s CEO.
More below from Vanessa Bates Ramirez of Singularity Hub