A house made of Styrofoam?
Sounds flimsy. But spray it with a new brick-like concoction called Grancrete, and it’s virtually indestructible. Invented by scientists at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago and builders at Casa Grande, a construction firm
in Mechanicsville, Virginia, Grancrete is twice as strong as structural concrete and won´t leak or crack. It’s also affordable: When the first bags roll off the production line later this month, builders will be able raise a home for $10 a square foot, compared with $150 for a standard U.S. home.
Traditional concrete, composed of calcite, water and sand or stone, can take up to three weeks to harden. Grancrete dries in one day. Its main ingredients–magnesium oxide and potassium phosphate–form tighter bonds than those in the concrete mixture. Load the slurry into a handheld pump, spray it over a Styrofoam frame, and you´ve got a home in 24 hours flat.