Recently CES Hire were asked if we would like to assist in a new initiative project being developed by a team of researchers from various Universities throughout Europe. The team was headed up by Stephanie Chaltiel a French architect and researcher from Barcelona’s Institute of Advanced Architecture. CES Hire supplied the Euromair CP30 mixer/spray pump as well as our expertise to operate it as it was critical to keep the operation running smoothly. The project was carried out on a specially prepared area on the South Bank in London outside the ITV studios.
The mud shell project by Stephanie marries latest drone and mortar sprayer’s technology with ancient earth architecture principles such as wattle and daub. The focus is particularly on innovative sustainable dwellings that could be used in refugee camps and disaster zones. Chaltiel had worked on housing projects in Mexico and recognised that the mud shell would have taken weeks to coat by hand and therefore developed this innovative idea of using drones to coat a structure. She is currently working on a project in Vietnam where a fairly inaccessible house on a cliff could be sprayed using the drone.
Different layers of clay mixes were sprayed by drones fitted with mortar sprayer hose to coat a sturdy domed shelter made from bags of hay attached to a wooden lattice which resulted in a sturdy high inertia construction. The drone spraying method enables reaching high or difficult to reach areas without the need for scaffolding as well as drones being very easier to bring to any site even going to remote areas. The choice of using a drone is also to monitor the structure in progress and be able to apply different thicknesses and textures at speed. The technique creates an overall structure that is cheap to form, durable, weatherproof and permanent. The project was funded by EU innochain and has recieved the ACADIA Autodesk prize in 2017.