More mud-spraying drones to build emergency homes

The Terramia pavilions, developed by Stephanie Chaltiel of MuDD Architects, CanyaViva, and Summum Engineering, are innovative emergency housing prototypes combining digital fabrication of mud-spraying drones with natural local materials.

Chaltiel has been investigating the use of digital technologies and earth construction. One outcome is the ongoing “bioshotcrete” project. This idea borrows principles of shotcrete (sprayed concrete) and wattle and daub, using exclusively natural local materials. Robots or drones are deployed in order to spray different layers of clay mix (daub) and a lightweight formwork (wattle). She used this technology to create wooden domes mounted with bags of hay and sprayed with mud in 2018, which you can read more about here.

The latest project, constructed for Milan Design Week 2019, consists of three doubly-curved shells, constructed from a bending-active formwork of locally sourced bamboo culms and CNC-cut jute fabric with circular windows made of transparent flexible PVC. These structures were sprayed with a clay/sand mortar mix, reinforced with rice husks, an agricultural by-product.

The structures highlight that affordable and fast construction method can lead to quality housing, and transform emergency housing from typically lightweight fabric into a system that is robust and durable.

Photos: NAARO