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

PHOTOS: Windstorm blows through Kelowna

Photos from readers in the Central Okanagan following Wednesday night’s storm

Halloween festivities cancelled at Kelowna’s Orchard Park Shopping Centre

Physical distancing guidelines would not be attainable while holding the annual trick-or-treat event

Historic BC Tree Fruits head office in downtown Kelowna for sale

The company’s CEO said the decision was necessary due to a fickle fruit market

Vernon ‘schools are healthy’: IH medical health officer

Children have a low risk of catching and spreading COVID-19

2020 overdose death toll rises to 73 in the Okanagan

Just under half of the deaths occurred in Kelowna

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Kamloops Mounties happened upon alleged gang-related robbery, kidnapping

Michael Mathieson is charged with armed robbery, unlawful confinement and kidnapping

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Penticton quadruple murder trial begins in Kelowna next month

John Brittain, 69, is facing three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Most Read