Owen suggested that I elaborate on my suggestion for the use of magnesium cement in conjunction with basalt woven mats to create nearly instantaneous shelter. This idea stems from the work done by Michael Collins using magnesium cement (sometimes called “Ceramicrete”) in combination with other fibers, such as burlap or canvas. You can read a lengthy post I wrote about this several years ago at www.naturalbuildingblog.com/magnesium-cement-for-roofs-and-plaster/ . It would seem to me that using the basalt material, which is so incredibly strong, and stiffening and waterproofing it with a bit of the magnesium cement, has some very interesting potential. This is only conjecture though, since as far as I know it hasn’t been tried.


Further Information about Instant Shelters — 4 Comments

  1. We are sold on the benefits of magnesium oxide concrete. Do you have a current contact for Michael Collins? He refers to conmesh, and we have not been able to locate that in the US. For the concrete, we want to spray it on. Do we need to experiment to come up with the right mix of ingredients, or is there a tried a true formula? Having difficulty finding a company that will sell mag oxide based concrete to DIYers. Thank you.

  2. Kelly,

    This seems like a really good idea (assuming it works, of course). I would think that this method could be used to create a moderately weather-proof environment where-in an owner-builder can complete the interior. Scale would likely be the biggest problem, as far as I can see. Maybe a geodesic dome frame could be used to get the scale up to something reasonably habitable (by western conventions, I mean ;-).

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