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Light weight portable habitats

Buildings with solutions.

When we think about an approach where things could be done quickly and with less possible resources, then it’s the time we are actually thinking about the future. Many people are doing their research on how they can bring a complete house into a suitcase or how they can carry their own houses to everywhere. People would have carried their houses if constraints such as weight, portability, adaptability and cost were not involved that much .

Elon Musk may be one of the richest men on the planet (£138 billion and counting), but recently the Tesla chief has sold six of his seven properties, shed most of his physical possessions and relocated to the unlikeliest of dwellings for a billionaire: a tiny house. Measuring only 375 sq ft, the moveable prefab unit in Boca Chica, Texas, is worth just $50,000 and is smaller than the minimum space standards for a London flat. Yet the mogul, who is renting it while he works on his SpaceX venture, described his humble abode as “kinda awesome”.

With today’s economic pressures, this is a market ready to explode. As one of the nation’s larger tiny home builders, Escape has seen business grow by roughly 200 percent the last few years, with plans to add two more factories to eventually ramp up production to thousands of units a year.


When we are thinking about such technologies the first hing which comes in our mind is material. What material could be chooses , which can provide t he ease of assembling to the person. People nowadays are moving from one place to another and it takes a lot of expenditure rent or buy a house at a different place. To solve this problem we need a smart approach which can provide a smart, sustainable solution for this issue for a long span.

Over the ages as we have evolved, so has our engineering and researching skill sets. Even today, we are constantly innovating, researching and developing technology in pursuit of a sustainable future. Throughout this evolution, researches and engineers have found themselves in constant search for new and better materials to optimally manage the performance cost tradeoff in the construction sector. Many new raw materials have been discovered and many ground-breaking composite have been developed, of which not all but some have proved to be a phenomenal success. Carbon fiber is one of these materials, which is usually used in combination with other materials to form a composite. The properties of carbon fiber, such as high stiffness, high tensile strength, low weight, high chemical resistance, high temperature tolerance and low thermal expansion makes them one of the most popular material in civil engineering possessing strength up to five times that of steel and being one-third its weight, we might as well call it ‘the superhero’ of the material world.


The 20th century saw a roller coaster ride in the demand for carbon fibre. Threats to peace increased the demand for carbon fibre for defence purposes mid-century. A downturn in defence needs result in a reduction in production of carbon fibre toward the close of the century. By the beginning of the 21st century, new applications and new markets sent the production of carbon fibers on an upswing. Despite a downturn in 2007-2008, worldwide demand increased to approximately 40,000 metric tons in 2010. Carbon fibers have revolutionised the technology of materials. It is no wonder that the National Academy of Engineering voted carbon fibers one of the 20 top engineering achievements of the 20th century and the American Chemical Society named the development of high performance carbon fibers a National Historic Chemical Landmark in September 2003.


Carbon fibers are a type of high-performance fiber available for civil engineering application. It is also called graphite fiber or carbon graphite, carbon fiber consists of very thin strands of the element carbon. Carbon fibers have high tensile strength and are very strong for their size. In fact, carbon fiber might be the strongest material. Carbon fibers have high elastic modulus and fatigue strength than those of glass fibers. Considering service life, studies suggests that carbon fiber reinforced polymers have more potential than agamid and glass fibers. They also are highly chemically resistant and have high temperature tolerance with low thermal expansion. and corrosion resistance.

Each fiber is 5-10 microns in diameter. To give a sense of how small that is, one micron (um) is 0.000039 inches. One strand of spider web silk is usually between 3-8 microns. Carbon fibers are twice as stiff as steel and five times as strong as steel, (per unit of weight). . The most important factors determining the physical properties of carbon fiber are degree of carbonisation (carbon

Weighing in at only 6 pounds, this carbon fiber truss comprised of ¾” x ¾” tubes and gussets, was subjected to a cantilever test load with 800 pounds placed at the end without breaking.

content, usually more than 92% by weight) and orientation of the layered carbon planes (the ribbons).

Carbon fibre-reinforced composite materials are used to make aircraft and spacecraft parts, racing car bodies, golf club shafts, bicycle frames, fishing rods, automobile springs, sailboat masts, and many other components where light weight and high strength are needed. Carbon fiber’s high strength, light weight and resistance to corrosion make it an ideal reinforcing material.


  • Height strength to weight ratio.

  • Carbon fibre is very rigid.

  • Corrosion resistance

  • Electro conductive

  • Fatigue resistant

  • Good tensile strength.

  • Good thermal conductivity

  • Fire resistant

  • Low coefficient of thermal expansion

Several structural engineering applications utilize carbon fiber reinforced polymer because of its potential construction benefits and cost effectiveness. The usual applications include strengthening structures made with concrete, steel, timber, masonry, and cast iron; Retrofitting to increasing the load capacity of old structures like bridges; to enhance shear strength and for flexure in reinforced concrete structures. Other applications include replacement for steel, prestressing materials and strengthening cast-iron beams.

Weighing in at just 14lbs., the truss is light enough for a six year old child to lift and carry! Made completely of carbon fiber materials, these types of light-weight structures are highly portable and versatile.

Rugged telescoping tube assemblies are constructed from twill/uni carbon fiber tubes. The combination of additional wall thickness and hybrid twill and uni-directional material provides a more robust construction without sacrificing rigidity. The clamp-style tube connectors are appropriate for both high bending and high axial load applications, and are user-adjustable to ensure adequate clamping force is provided and repeatable without the need for further adjustments in the field. Available in lengths up to 8 feet long, and allows the use of high modulus carbon fiber tubes, providing up to 3 times the stiffness of a standard telescoping tube.

Project description

We tried creating a habitable space of 20p soft where we tried making it expandable according to the user’s need and comfort. Where multiple blocks could be placed and expanded in future of while moving.

The skeleton have been used of carbon fibre, where it remains light weight and much durable. Keeping it light weight makes it easier for the user to assemble and remove easily.

Our design is a kind of solution which provides flexibility to the user to establish on ground of keep it mobile. Everything which is provided is modular and could be removed or expanded.

In addition to that the user has the possibilities to further increase the areas without effecting any of the circulation spaces or functionalities.

The unit could be proposed as a permanent development or it could be used as a mobile solution for the people who like to travel.

The kind of system w are designing with ms plate , to reduce the building load the top part of the entire building could be designed with the folding plate truss grid system.

I did some experimentation with the paper and tried folding it in different shapes to get the combinations of , how the roof could come in one single part provide all solutions of our need.

Folding plates and truss formation could create a long span in a single go and the availability of the material in the same properties makes it more possible. In total the entire roof of 200 soft could be picked up by a single person in a single go. The structure would be divided equally while designing the folds .


I have created a prop type by using the cardboard which has similar looking structure as the carbon fibre truss. While providing the hinges at the nodes of specific design we could easily bring down a structure of 200 SQFt to 50 SQFt after folding.

Flexibility of shaping different kind of roofs with a single module.

The truss module with folding provides the flexibility of putting the one module to any desired roof type. Considering it 60 times lighter then the tradition roof structure provides the ease of converting it to any desired shape and slope.

Carbon Fibre House: a Swiss home that draws on the history of prefabrication

Thank you!

Manish sharma

OPAME architects

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