French firm proposes sand and bacteria as building material in the Sahara

The method relies on the sun and wind to do most of the building.

April 14, 2015 |
French firm proposes sand and bacteria as building material in the Sahara

Paris-based XTU Architects presented the idea as a way to construct a city in the mostly inhospitable Sahara desert. Renderings courtesy XTU Architects

Deserts are already abundant with sand, so why not construct buildings out of it? This was the thought behind Flohara, a collection of shelters Paris-based firm XTU Architects thought up for the Morocco Pavilion in the 2014 Venice Biennale. 

The firm marketed the idea as a way to construct a city in the Sahara, a step toward making deserts more habitable and sustainable, as the need to transport additional building material is decreased (water, on the other hand, is another story).

Gizmodo reports that the construction of shelters using the method developed by XTU Architects can be broken down in three steps. First, “bubbles” that function as support skeletons for building upon must be inflated and placed in the desired site toward the wind. Next, sand, water, a hydogel, and the bacteria Sporosarcina pasteurii (which hardens sand) is mixed and sprayed onto the bubbles. Finally, the structure will be left alone as the sand and sun slowly build and harden the structure before the bubble is deflated.

Read more at Gizmodo.

 

Overlay Init