Two students have invented "a building in a bag" for refugees and relief organisations used to relying on tents for months, or even years, after human disasters.
Their Concrete Canvas structure can be put to use as a secure and clean home, storage space or a base for medical treatment and can be erected within a day.
It is based on the same principle as a plaster-cast bandage, using fabric seeped in concrete that can be shaped and inflated when wet then dries solid.
Mr Brewin, who served for a year in the Royal Engineers, said: "The technology offers several big advantages over canvas, in that you can have a hard building from day one of a crisis.
"Unlike a tent, it can be secured to protect equipment from looters and can be sterile from infections for carrying out medical procedures.
"Because it is a rigid structure, you can easily add sandbags to insulate it to make it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. One of the big problems with tents in Pakistan now is that it will soon be extremely cold."
Monday, October 24, 2005
Building in a Bag?
This potentially very useful idea is reported in the Telegraph: