Innovation That Matters

New building block design serves multiple purposes


Sustainable and reclaimed building materials have been featured on our virtual pages numerous times in recent years, but never before have we had occasion to write about something so seemingly esoteric from the architectural world as a “space truss geometry.” Until now, that is. Israeli designer Dror Benshetrit recently unveiled a new design for just such a thing, with the potential to change the way buildings, bridges, furniture and even emergency shelters are built. Dubbed QuaDror, Benshetrit’s building-block design consists of four identical L-shaped pieces attached through corner hinges in such a way as to allow them to either sit together flat or open outward into an attractive trestle-like shape. Building blocks featuring the QuaDror design are remarkable not just for their visual appearance and versatility, but also for their superlative structural strength and sound-buffering capabilities. Some applications take advantage of the design’s load-bearing power — using it as the support for a bridge, for example, or a modular component in buildings — while others make use of its acoustic properties, such as for sound barriers along highways. The design can also be used as an element in works of art. QuaDror’s ease of manufacturing, collapsibility and energy performance, meanwhile, make it particularly promising for use in low-cost emergency shelters. Now based in New York, Benshetrit has already designed such a kit “QuaDror Home,” 1,750 of which can fit in one 40-foot container; the first of them are slated to be deployed in Brazil and Sierra Leone by 2012, according to a report on Fast Company. After debuting QuaDror last month at the Design Indaba show in Cape Town, Benshetrit now seeks partners and licensing deals in a range of fields to help bring the patented innovation to market. One to get involved in for the application of your choice? (Related: Eco-drywall made of recycled materials Eco houses snap together using Lego-style blocksOnline library of green building materials.) Spotted by: Zachary Love



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