Dante Bini is a visionary in the Bucky Fuller mode, an engineer experimenting with different technologies, construction techniques and scales, including vast cities in towers and in space. In the sixties, his ideas for lifting and shaping wet reinforced concrete poured at ground level with low air pressure to create concrete domes competed with the geodesic dome for mindspace among those experimenting with "organic architecture". In Australia they built many schools and shopping centers using his technology.
Like the geodesic dome, the concept sort of fell off the table as people stopped worrying about efficiency when materials and energy were cheap, and when such experimentation went out of fashion with bell bottoms and tie die. But a Binishell is very efficient, using only 18% of the resources and 25% of the energy required for conventional buildings, and is very much back in play.
Nicoló Bini explains that
"the reinforcement steel is placed at ground level and the concrete is poured on top of it (also at ground level, image C). The entire system is then lifted and shaped by low air pressure (.5psi, image D)."
The company is building a house in Palm Springs this year, that will "feature cutting edge technology which will enable it to by exceed even the highest levels of energy efficiency, LEED Platinum."
They make some remarkable claims for the technology:
Binishells are inherently green, fast, strong and flexible and can be made in an infinite variety of shapes. They can be used for everything from high-end residential, to school, gymnasiums, commercial buildings, or low cost housing and emergency shelters.
* fast -reducing construction schedules by between 67% and 75%
* green -reducing carbon footprints by approx. 72%
* strong -able to resist hurricanes, earthquakes and floods
* efficient -reducing building materials by 82%
* flexible - infinite variety of shapes, uses and finishes
Custom homes in Palm Springs are fine, but much more interesting are the possibilities for bermed houses and green design on a smaller scale.
And oh, for a return to some of Dante Bini's Classic Sixties designs mixing Italian engineering and design.