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'Concrete Canvas' Makes Erecting Permanent Buildings As Easy as Pitching a Tent


When disaster strikes and permanent structures are leveled, as they were recently by earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand (and more distantly in Haiti), they are usually replaced in the short term by tent cities. Two engineering students thought they could do better and invented Concrete Canvas, a fabric impregnated with concrete that can turn a tent into a hardy, permanent structure in 24 hours. Just add water.

Fundamentally, Concrete Canvas is a clever means to erect a sturdy, permanent structure anywhere. Packed in a crate, the entire building comes ready to erect with a minimum of infrastructure or extra tools. The exterior fabric, the Concrete Canvas, is basically like normal tent canvas loaded with dry cement particles. That fabric is bound to an interior airtight bladder.

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