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Blog Post 18 February 2015 Updated 10 November 2020

The next big thing: mini energy efficient homes

Binishell. Certainly not the most evocative word. But, as Forbes and others insist, it’s one you might have to be familiarising yourself with in the coming years. You might even end up living in one.

The Binishell concept has reared its head in the last five years or so, and aims to make ultra energy efficient living a quickly-executed and affordable option. The idea centres on concrete as the main building material, which is moulded into a dome shape by the inflation of a re-usable ‘bladder’.

It’s far from a new idea, having been conceived by Italian Dr Dante Bini in the 1960s, but the early 21st century, with its energy uncertainties and high bills, is seemingly the ideal time for a renewed marketing push. The homes claim to deliver 75 per cent energy savings on heating and cooling, and reduce building schedules by at least half.

On top of this, less skilled labour is required for the construction (or should it be inflation?)

The structures have been described as “homes for modern-day Hobbits” and “The Flintstones meets The Jetsons” – but to us, we’re thinking more Tellytubbies. Not that the rounded structure is necessarily an unappealing one; it may in fact be that in the world of angular modern architecture, a more curvaceous alternative might catch on.

While it may be a while before we’re all residing in neighbourhoods of Binishells, cheap and swiftly-built are two strong qualities when seeking to gain a foothold in the green building market – and may appeal particularly for housing schemes in developing countries. There are currently 1,600 of them in the world.

If perhaps you don’t think a Binishell future is for you, there are plenty of ways to improve the energy efficiency of your – presumably more conventional – home.

Last updated: 10 November 2020