A Binishell house under construction in Esquimalt is the first of its kind in Canada. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Victoria-area ‘inflatable home’ the first in Canada

Housing company says Binishell structures eco and affordability-friendly

Victoria’s – and Canada’s – first ever ‘inflatable home’ or ‘Binishell’ is going up in an Esquimalt neighbourhood. And while it might look like a large tent is being installed, the Binishell is actually used as a building system that cuts down on costs.

The home is the first for Nouvel Housing Inc. – the Canadian partner and licensee of the Binishell technology. It received approval from Esquimalt council in 2018 and a building permit in January. The 3,800-square-foot duplex will have a garage, bonus room, balcony and up to 20-foot-high cathedral ceilings.

“The formwork itself is inflatable, and the shell is built outside of that,” said Brittany Olney of Nouvel Housing. “It’s seismically sound, [and] it’s going to cost you significantly less. There’s a fraction of the maintenance.”

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island residents say municipalities are not moving fast enough on affordable housing

Nouvel Housing Inc. is in the process of constructing Canada’s first ever Binishell home in Esquimalt. (Facebook/Nouvel Housing)

So how does it work? A patented pneumoform is fastened to a pad or foundation and inflated to maintain constant temperature and pressure. Polyurethane foam is evenly sprayed over the structure and once it has set, the ‘tent’ below is deflated and stored for the next house.

Rebar reinforcement and 4.5 inches of specialized shotcrete are applied. Finally, a weatherproofing membrane is added with a stucco finish and custom accents.

Because they use less material and labour, Nouvel Housing Inc. said the homes are half the cost – an answer, at least in part, to affordability barriers across the province.

“Because we are able to produce this so much faster, use less material and produce less waste, we’re cutting down on time and labour which is cutting our costs down as well,” Olney said.

The homes also boast some environmental benefits, Nouvel said it can reuse the pnemoform up to 100 times and produces less waste. Its structures also use zero thermal bridging – the building envelopes are made from a single material with a consistent depth, which, when insulated properly, optimize energy efficiency.

The company is working on four other buildings in Greater Victoria, three on Salt Spring Island and one in the Interior.

READ ALSO: Housing experts host inclusionary housing workshop in Victoria



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Conservation society hosting Free Your Things Weekend event June 20-21

Residents are encouraged to place reusable items with a free sign clearly visible

Williams Lake RCMP request public help in finding clues to stolen Dodge truck

Incident not linked to Tuesday’s hunt for a suspect who collided with a police car

UPDATE: Williams Lake RCMP suspend search overnight for suspect on the run

Public asked to keep eye out for suspicous activity

Rotary Stampede Community Spirit Drive-Thru Breakfast planned for Williams Lake, July 4

Stampede director Tim Rolph shared details during Tuesday’s city council meeting

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Most Read