At Bobtrade we have one eye glancing at the past and the other firmly fixed on the future. We are firm believers that you shouldn’t turn your back on the past and present when you look at how we can do better in the future. In this instance we are exploring the potential for construction in space and more specifically, life on the moon.
Well, according to Gerard Evenden of Foster + Partners, we need to look to the desert. If we can conquer construction in the desert then we can conquer construction on the moon. Building in the desert requires efficient use of space, light and construction materials. Evenden’s theory comes from the famous Masdar City Project.
The Masdar City Project was a project in Abu Dhabi. Masdar was a sustainable planned city project in the desert, it’s from this that Evenden hopes we can learn lessons to boost our chances for efficient construction in space. It’s all about “fixing extremes”.
"Evenden hopes we can learn lessons from The Masdar City Project to boost our chances for efficient construction in space."
The loose soil and rocks are not too far off the type of landscape and debris found in the desert, the issue would be water. But fear not, by heating sulphur to 240 degrees celsiusit becomes a liquid. Mix that with mars soil or moon dust? You’ve got yourself some space concrete.
It has been theorised by the gang at Foster + Partners that the types of energy efficient villas being used in the Abu Dhabi project could be perfect for space towns! Foster + Partners have been working on a way to transport materials to space for many years now. Ultimately they came to the conclusion that 3D printing was the most efficient way.
"The energy efficient villas being used in the Abu Dhabi project could be perfect for space towns!"
Using the structure of a bone as inspiration, Foster + Partners wanted to create substantial but hollow walls. Allowing for increased strength but also better ventilation and heat retention.
The villas in Abu Dhabi were built in 56 days through prefab methods and have lasted for 9 years in the desert against the elements which fairs well for our moon habitats!
Foster + Partners hypothetical Mars village proposal actually won them $1.1million to take part in phase 2 of the Nasa challenge to solve the problems of construction in space.
[Photo Credit: Pinterest]
Foster + Partners are not the only people working toward life on the moon and even further afield than that. Architect Ondrej Doule proposed SHEE, Self-deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments. In 2015 the SHEE project was first tested in Rio Tinto as part of a “Mars analog environment” test to great success.
It’s an exciting time with so much innovation in the construction industry on earth, let alone in space. More sustainable building techniques and materials, bigger projects and bolder ideas.