London Designer Brings Semi-Permanent Inflatable Buildings to Market
Image courtesy of Airclad.com
Need a spare room, but only for a few months? Want to make your outdoor jacuzzi an indoor one for the winter? Thanks to Airclad, by Inflate, now you can. The London based designer, which has been producing temporary inflatable structures (marketed for events and conventions) since 1995, is now going permanent and semi-permanent. The Airclad line is designed for those interested in an extra room, but want to avoid the permanence and carbon footprint that comes with building conventional structures. If you don't like it, just deflate it.The prefabricated Airclad structures come in 3, 4, 5, and 6 meter widths, and can extend up to 20 meters long. Their main core is made of wood and steel trusses, they also contain some aluminum and plywood, but the rest is all plastic and, of course, air. (All the materials used can be recycled.) Inflatable structures require less material and construction than conventional ones, and the fact that they can be deflated, transported and reused gives a major boost to their green credit.
Inflate suggests their use for making usually outdoor spaces temporarily indoor ones (like the jacuzzi), as rooftop or garden offices, and even as a seasonal home (try spending a weekend at the family inflatable house instead of the family cabin!). They come with lighting and outlets, depending on the availability of a nearby power source. (Inflate is currently working on a fully solar-powered inflatable building.) The structures can be designed and manufactured in six weeks, and take two to four days to assemble.
The one significant barrier is cost- Inflate estimates that the average structure will run you around £19,500 ($30,500). But if you're set on having another room or building, the averted construction costs (and, of course, reduced environmental impact!) may well be worth it. Just be sure not to run with scissors once you've installed it.