A Concrete Idea: Raising New Roofs

Whether it's for disaster relief or relief from urban sprawl, these housing designers have ingenuity nailed down

Building in a Bag

Stuffing a building into a bag is no easy task. Nor is erecting a concrete structure in less than an hour. But Peter Brewin and William Crawford have figured out how to do both. The two British engineers, both 26, dreamed up the Concrete Canvas--a sack of cement-impregnated fabric that morphs into an emergency shelter with the addition of two simple ingredients: water and air. Brewin says the hut can be deployed by a single untrained person in about 40 minutes. Before being inflated, the bag containing the construction material weighs about 500 lbs. The builder fills...

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