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

Esquimalt’s ‘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

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

Saanich teen earns $100,000 commerce scholarship to the University of Calgary

Matias Totz is graduating from St. Michaels University School

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read