Aqueduct joining mountain and roof.

Flex-Shell Core Architecture

Flex-Shell Core Architecture is a curvilinear, high-strength shell construction method that uses accessible cutting-edge technology for durable, earthquake-safe, tornado-safe and fire-safe buildings that demonstrate the advantages of authentic sustainable design. It focuses on using practical organic form to smoothly blend the core elements of a building into a cohesive, flex-stable core shape that is also a response to the conditions of each specific building environment.

This initial form, the Flex-Shell Core, is integrated into the environment with minimal disruption using the same high-strength shells for Flex-Shell Retaining Walls.

The Flex-Shell Core shape is unique for each building environment but mainly consist of funnel-shaped columns that support a broad, double-shell structural-sandwich roof, which provides enough thickness for proper insulation requirements for each specific building climate, and a single-shell cantilevered awning that has a fluid curvilinear shape that shelters the entry walls below. This integral awning design provides an important stabilizing effect for the entire building while safely channeling roof runoff and creating protected roof garden areas.

The Flex-Shell Core is first formed with light steel curvilinear framing designed for precision control of complex curves and optimum reinforcing.

A tough but thin shell mix is then applied that is made from an Ultra High Strength Reactive Powder Concrete (RPC) plaster mortar.

Finally, a light, insulating fill of cellular concrete is pumped in or, gravel, rubble and recycled/landfill diverted material, or any combo, is placed inside the roof, columns, and walls, around the light-steel truss framing, between the structural-sandwich surface shells, for insulation and thermal mass.

Between the entry walls and the Flex-Shell Core there is a tight weather seal along the edges in between but they are not mechanically bonded.  This allows the main structure and walls to shift and move independently without damage when enduring tremendous bending strains such as those encountered during earthquakes or tornados.  The two phases simplifies the construction by separating structural issues from entry wall issues.

Although Flex-Shell Core Architecture might seem wild and exotic with its flowing curves, the finished look can express many styles and the fluid shaping has a soft natural and quiet feel that is less jarring than abstract rectilinear geometry. It establishes a connection with the natural circumstance in an authentic, yet subtle way that is neither ostentatious or hiding meaningful connection with an abstract modernistic style.   Through enduring form the buildings quietly tell a story of self reliance, enduring estate, inclusion, tolerance and respect for nature as a way to restore our place in harmony with each other and our world.