Fortress of Solid-tude
Design Spotlight: Concrete Canvas Shelter
Looking to build a man-cave resembling something out of the Applied Sciences section of Wayne Enterprises? While undoubtedly Batman’s bivouac of choice, the Concrete Canvas Shelter (~$30,000+) is also an incredible achievement in British ingenuity and instant accommodations. Available in both 270- and 580-square foot models, these buildings-in-a-bag can be constructed by two people in under an hour and become semi-permanent structures in just one day. Simply unfurl, inflate and douse the shell with anything this side of sewage, and you have a weatherproof and insulated shelter ready for refuge.
Essentially a paper-mâché piñata on steroids, each shelter sports a self-inflatable inner that acts as a form for the cement-impregnated fabric that surrounds it. Once it has been moistened, set and cured, each Concrete Canvas Shelter (CCS) has a minimum design life of ten years and can be easily outfitted with essential services (yes, even cable) without causing structural damage. Backyard Batcaves notwithstanding, the real appeal for these easy-up structures lies in the hands of the military and disaster relief forces. The compressive structure of the CCS was designed with earth berming in mind, so structures can be strengthened and insulated easily by adding thermal mass in the form of dirt. Done right, the CCS will keep insiders comfortable while also protecting from shrapnel and small arms fire, making it an obvious option for bombproof barracks or a much-needed MASH unit.
Inside, things are equally safe, as a flame-retardant fiber-reinforced polyethylene inner packs a B1 fire rating; the CCS can also be set up to provide full spectrum CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) protection. Whether you interpret that to mean Bravo Company can sleep easy or that your annual Super Bowl Chili Cook-off has a found new home is none of our business.