An overview of building technologies and houses of the space age, giving a general idea of how the construction industry will be during the period of space civilization. And an overview of the technologies and homes that are relevant to the trend of the space age construction industry, available now
Building direction in space transformation.
When humanity passes into the status of a space civilization, it will change the lives of people in various fields, including in the field of construction and real estate, space age technologies will make houses better and cheaper, qualitatively new construction technologies will become available, which now seem to be futuristic. This article is an overview of the development trend of the construction industry as part of the space transformation project.
The space transformation project is an alternative to the currently accepted approaches to the development of space expansion through the gradual expansion of space programs, which, over time, should lead to the transformation of humanity into a space civilization. Cosmic transformation has the opposite approach. First, transform humanity into a cosmic civilization within the earth, then, having switched to a new way of life, having received new technologies and a new industry that can freely spread in space, humanity will be able to quickly and easily colonize the solar system.
Unlike traditional cosmonautics, which objectively cannot begin colonizing space in the near future, the space transformation scenario is available for implementation, nothing is holding it back.
The main stages in the development of space transformation are: First, the transition of society to living standards and technologies of space civilization. At the same time, the development of technologies and areas of activity contributing to the transition to the industrial way of space civilization. Further development of an industry based on automatic micro-factories, capable of producing any industrial product and making copies of itself. Consisting of several 3D printers and assembly manipulators placed in a container. When this area of industry reaches a sufficient power and level of technology, the transition of its further expansion beyond the borders of the earth. In space, machines capable of multiplying, making robots and a variety of equipment will rapidly and inexpensively increase their numbers and build industrial infrastructure. With the development of the mass, industrial colonization of space, humanity will receive unlimited resources at its disposal, and will be able to quickly develop the economy and raise its standard of living, without facing the threat of resource shortages and environmental disasters. When humanity finally moves to the level of space civilization, it will raise its level of development and standard of living to a qualitatively new level.
The logic of the development of the space transformation project is to switch to the way of life of a space civilization, to develop a new industry that allows to accelerate economic growth on earth many times over and freely colonize space, and raise one’s living standard.
At the first stage of development, the space transformation project will work mainly in the information sphere, by popularizing the idea of switching to the lifestyle of a space civilization and promoting the technologies and consumer products that are needed for this. In order to collect the rudiments of a cosmic civilization that are now available in the world and combine them into a common trend that will become the basis for further development. The Space Expansion website and the trading platform on it are the first reference point of the project. Further, as it grows, the project will move from the transition to the sphere of industry and public organization, and will develop as a community and network corporation.
From publications on building technology and space age houses, you can get information about this trend. And information about houses that correspond to this trend, available now, in which you can move in the near future.
Space-age construction technologies mainly involve increasing the level of automation, reducing material consumption and reducing prices.
These are technologies such as 3D construction oven, dome-shaped houses, modular construction, materials such as foamed concrete and fibrous concrete.
Exotic building technologies of low material consumption, like inflatable houses and structures, residential tents with strong walls capable of providing protection and thermal insulation. Tents made of fabric impregnated with concrete, which, when hardened, turns into fibrous concrete walls. Houses made of foam or low density foam concrete, which is lighter than wood.
In this article, I will give a short overview of building technologies and space age homes that are available now or may appear in the near future.
Space construction industry of the future.
How will construction be carried out in space? Building with the help of humans and human-driven construction equipment like on earth would be prohibitively expensive. A man’s annual watch at space bases will cost $ 30-100 million. For people, personally engaging in construction for this money will be very expensive. But on the other hand, groups of robots, numbering hundreds or thousands of machines, made by replicators, will operate in space. There will be automatic production lines capable of producing any building parts and structures.
Building in space will be fully automatic. And people will be engaged in design and management, sitting in command centers, in bunkers under the surface of planets and asteroids, or in orbital stations.
And accordingly, the evolution of construction technologies will go in directions that will be convenient for robots and automatic production lines. To build quickly, cheaply, and whenever possible using commonly available materials.
In space, the main materials will be blocks of soil sintered by concentrated sunlight. Fibrous ceramic made of mineral fiber and ground powder sintered together. It is a versatile material, durable and flexible, raw materials for which are silicate rocks, sand and basalt. And energy, sunlight, concentrated by concave mirrors. Beams and sheets of aluminum or asteroid iron will be used. Metal, a better material than fibrous ceramics, but more expensive and more difficult to obtain.
The main building technologies will be:
Construction 3D printing, which allows you to print buildings with automatic machines, adding small portions of material according to the digital model embedded in the control system.
Modular construction, using standardized container-like spaces from which buildings of any size and any project can be assembled.
The frame method of construction, the assembly of frames from beams, with the installation of walls and floors where needed, in the same way as industrial buildings and frames of skyscrapers are now being built on the ground.
Tunnels dug in the soil of planets or asteroids, creating a habitable space with an earthly atmosphere and a comfortable temperature, protected from radiation and meteoric dust, will be used as work and living quarters.
Light buildings will be built on the surface, similar to hangars or large tents, which do not allow the creation of an earthly atmosphere and protect only from meteoric dust. For machines and various equipment.
Space Age Terrestrial Construction Industry.
The terrestrial construction industry, which is the prototype of the space industry, will mainly use similar principles and technologies.
This is a construction 3D print. Which is already on the market, although it has not yet received mass distribution. Modular construction, which is already widespread, modules are commercially available and not expensive. Compared to traditional houses, container modules are a bit cramped. But they have their advantages, they are cheap, they can be transported, they can be combined into assemblies of any size and shape. And by using the modules as walls, it is possible to create spacious interiors without great expense. For example, put 4 modules in the shape of a rectangle and cover the patio with a roof made of a light steel frame, sheathed with thin steel sheets, or with transparent plastic foil.
Wireframe technology. With the construction of steel or concrete frames, sheathed with light panels of steel sheets with a layer of insulation, or foamed concrete, which is both light and cheap and provides good thermal insulation. Construction technology is also widespread on the market, underestimated by private developers. Frame technology is used to build mainly industrial or outbuildings. But it allows you to build quickly and cheaply, and the appearance of the house, due to finishing, can be done with anything, wood, brick or stone. Now the frame technology is not automated, but in the future construction robots will be developed that can replace the labor force in the construction of frames.
Housing in greenhouses. One of the varieties of frame construction technology is the use of serial greenhouses as housing. Greenhouses are not suitable for humans. But inside the greenhouse, you can put up a tent, or build a cheap, lightweight building from finishing materials. For protection against penetration, you can reinforce the greenhouse with a metal net. Or use a lightweight structure with thick fibrous concrete walls, 1.5 – 3 centimeters thick, comparable in strength to a thin brick wall. There are winter greenhouse options for sale, with good thermal insulation. Low potential heat from mobile generators on internal combustion engines can be used for heating. Residential greenhouses, a semi-artisanal version of rapidly erected housing, but it is cheap and has its own niche. These are farmers or residents of ecovillages.
Climatic domes. Another type of lightweight frame structures for creating living space is the so-called climatic domes.
Large, light, frame buildings in the form of a dome or arch, transparent to light, with residential buildings inside. They create a microclimate for the territories they cover. The concept of climatic domes was first proposed by the American architect “Richard Buckminster Fuller” in the “Dome over Houston” project. Which was supposed to cover the center of Houston with a giant hemispherical dome to protect the city center from seasonal hurricanes and floods. But this concept because of gigantism is not like an unrealizable megaproject. I have an alternative concept, the “Dome System,” consisting of many arched domes covering individual houses and creating corridors for air movement, interspersed with hemispherical domes covering individual houses or courtyards. The construction of such a dome system is affordable at a price and level of complexity. It can be used in northern regions for protection from cold and snow. The dome system allows you to partially store the heat coming from the houses. And redistribute inside the heat coming from low potential sources, industrial enterprises, bakeries, or recuperators, taking free heat from rivers or seas that are relatively warm during severe frosts. Domes covering residential buildings allow you to save energy and create comfortable conditions for people inside, in winter, the absence of severe frosts, wind and snow. In summer, they can insulate from heavy rain and wind, from mosquitoes and midges. Domes covering the area adjacent to the house can be used not only in large construction projects, on the scale of a city or a multi-storey building. But also for small, private buildings, in unfavorable climatic zones, to protect against frost,
There are serial transparent domes on the market with a diameter of 10 – 50 meters, and the domes can be made by construction companies on request.
An article about the dome system.
Domed houses. Due to their shape, they allow you to minimize the cost of materials, since a roof is not needed, and the walls have a minimum area. Dome houses are mainly built from lightweight cladding frames, or from monolithic concrete.
Frame domes are lightweight, prefabricated buildings.
Concrete domes are made mainly on an inflatable hemispherical formwork, or by applying a layer of concrete to a light frame structure, after which the light structure inside becomes an interior decoration. The advantages of concrete domes are their high strength, for a set of uniform load distribution over the concrete hemisphere. Concrete domes can withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, and even tornadoes. Concrete domes with a layer of mineral wool or foamed concrete on the outside can withstand severe forest fires.
Space-age building technologies include fixed formwork and lego bricks, or blocks.
Fixed formwork. These are hollow walls made of lightweight frames and thin sheets, usually fibrous concrete, or slabs of chips glued with cement mortar, in the cavities of which concrete is poured. And thus, monolithic concrete buildings are obtained immediately with external decoration and smooth walls inside.
Or special lightweight blocks with internal cavities for pouring concrete into them.
Using fixed formwork, you can build high-quality concrete houses without the use of heavy equipment. In the future, construction from fixed formwork can be automated by developing the right robots. Now, it requires a lot of labor, but for private developers it is convenient because you can build a concrete house with your own hands, without renting heavy equipment or special knowledge.
Lightweight fiber concrete panels. This is one of the promising areas of construction in the space age. In the future, fibrous ceramics obtained by thermal sintering of stone dust and mineral fibers will be widely used in space. Fiber ceramic sheets and panels are lightweight and durable material. On the ground, similar materials are now used, fiber concrete, fiber cement board, or fiber cement board, obtained from fabric impregnated with concrete, or from a mixture of cement mortar with fiber.
Fiber concrete can be used in construction instead of wood, replacing planks, thick plywood, fiberboard, or chipboard.
Now in mass construction, wooden houses made of light panels on a frame made of bars are common. Timber houses are cheap but not reliable. They burn, they rot, they are not very durable, they cannot withstand hurricanes.
An alternative would be houses made of lightweight concrete slabs, framed by concrete or steel beams. Such houses are relatively cheap, prefabricated, but not combustible and reliable.
There are no fiber concrete panels on the mass market right now. But there are quite a few fibrous concrete sheets. Lightweight panels can be made from serial fiber concrete sheets, or houses can be built, if desired by customers or construction companies.
Lego blocks or bricks. These are blocks with detachable connections, similar in shape to Lego elements. The advantages of Lego blocks are that the construction of them lends itself well to automation. Due to the detachable connections, the blocks do not need to be precisely adjusted, they are simply folded down to form walls of perfect accuracy.
Therefore, building from Lego parts is easy to automate by creating robots or automata. Now there are experimental developments in this area. Lego bricks and small blocks are also produced by hyper pressing, from sand with a small admixture of cement, only 3 – 6%. Therefore, they allow you to save a lot on building materials, especially if there is free sand near the construction site.
Inflatable houses and living tents. These are also the directions of space age housing. Although these areas are now exotic, but in the future, they will certainly develop.
Inflatable houses are, as a rule, an inflatable frame with walls made of fabric or plastic sheeting. They are cheap and can be used as shelter in warm climates. But mostly they are used as temporary commercial buildings or garages.
Residential tents are types of large tents, with walls made of durable fabric and a layer of heat insulator.
The advantages of inflatable houses and residential tents are low cost and mobility. The disadvantages are that they do not provide serious protection against low temperatures and illegal intrusions. The walls of inflatable houses and tents can be reinforced with nets made of thin cables and a thicker heat insulator. As such, they are quite suitable for permanent housing.
One of the types of residential tents is the so-called “Concrete tent”. Tent on an inflatable frame with walls made of fabric mixed with cement. When erected, these tents are flooded with water, and the cement-impregnated fabric hardens to form walls of fibrous concrete, a material strong enough for permanent housing. Nowadays, concrete tents are mainly used by the military. But in the future, they can become one of the areas of mass, pre-fabricated housing.
Now there are projects for the use of inflatable structures in space. This is the project of the orbital hotel by Robert Bigelow. And projects of lightweight inflatable modules for lunar bases, which should be inflated in the thickness of loose soil at a depth of several meters, and the soil will provide protection from radiation, meteors and temperature changes. Inflatable structures in space are unlikely to become massive, too unreliable, but nevertheless, this is one of the directions of construction in space, and on earth by the standards of space civilization.
Another type of space age housing is mobile homes.
Mostly trailers or wagons on wheels. They are quite common now, but trailers are not considered quality housing. And the carriages are mainly used as temporary housing for workers. The advantages of mobile homes are mobility and low cost. Disadvantages are the lack of living space, the lack of constant communications. These disadvantages can be compensated for by placing quickly erected temporary structures, such as tents or inflatable houses, next to mobile homes. Or using the scheme of “Houses of transformers”.
Folding mobile houses that increase their area several times in the unfolded position.
Mobile homes can be floating, housed on barges, pantons, or catamarans. This direction is now used in construction, but it is exotic and has not become widespread. Mostly floating houses are convenient on the shores of the seas, large rivers or lakes. They are convenient in areas with many rivers and lakes, such as the northern states of the United States, or Siberia.
There are also projects of flying houses placed on airships, but such projects are expensive and complex, as far as I know, now, there are no operating flying houses. Perhaps this direction will develop in the future, when mass transport airships appear.
In this article, I have given a general overview of building technology and space age homes to give an idea of this trend.
Further development of the trend of construction and housing of the space age will go along the described directions, but with the improvement of technologies and an increase in the level of automation of construction or production.
Building houses using traditional technologies is usually time-consuming and expensive. According to space age technologies, residential buildings will be made by automatic machines, quickly and cheaply. Lower housing prices will make your life more free, reduce dependence on loans, and increase independence and mobility.
The project can serve as a source of information for people interested in housing corresponding to the described trend. And also serve as a source of information and opportunities for additional business development, through the development of new technologies, customer search and advertising through publications. The project can act as a focal point for interaction between customers, manufacturers and sellers.
You can also read a more detailed overview of building technologies and space age houses:
Or see some houses from my trading platform:
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