Opal Hospital

The Opal™ Building System

Defensive Structures for Unforgiving Environments

A Quick Overview of the Opal™

The Opal™ is a lightweight modular building system based off a 23ft, or 7m, diameter dome. It displays remarkable physical and insulating properties. Upon entering, one’s attention is drawn upward to the 10’ (3m) vaulted ceiling - it is simply stunning! The Opal™ was originally developed to meet military specification, for both manned outposts, and unmanned remote communications installations. However, with the addition of straight segments to elongate the domes, they become quite opulent and long-lasting homes! No need to paint, no re-roofing, virtually no maintenance ever. With an insulation rating of R-60, they are literally a thermos.
The interior space is an open span dome with a reversing slope near its base. Engineering the reversing slope has proven the expected results, and more. It is the best way to exploit usable space and materials, and to condition no more air than necessary. We reap the same amount of usable floor space as a dome 4 ft. (1.22m) larger in diameter. A 6 ft. (1.83m) man can now stand erect, a mere 9” (.23m) from the wall. The slope contributes to both structural integrity and aerodynamic profile, while shielding the base from direct rainfall, and scouring away snow and sand. Rainfall adhering to the dome is collected, therefore posing no risk of leakage.
The Opal™ segments are composed of an outer and inner skin made from Polyurea Amine Resin, blastproof "Truck Bed Liner". The two molds are then joined and injected with 6” (152mm) of polyurethane foam insulation. This process facilitates molding the shell in different colors (inside and out), adding ballistic mats, and installing electrical conduit and fixtures before the foam is injected. The polished molds cast off a first class product in every way. The smooth non-porous inner surface can be sterilized to surgical specification. By using a combination of complex curves and material properties to achieve structural support, beyond that of a wood frame construction, we have all but eliminated thermal bridging, or heat leaks through conduction.
A circular dome is assembled out of ten segments firmly fastened to one another, and to the floor segments, with cam-locking hooks; each hook compressing gaskets to create a tight seal. It is then capped with a flush mounted elevating ventilation hatch. Assembly on a well prepared site is straight forward and takes only a short time. In overburden, CSI has a secure accessory solution for ground attachment . On a slab, drilled and cemented bolts are specified. Secure ground fastening is mandatory in storm prone locations. A 100mph (161kph) crosswind generates 3031 lbs (1375kg) of vertical lift as it passes over the structure. However, once secured to specification, the Opal™ provides solid any-weather protection. Being round, the Opal™ always presents its best side to the wind.

Product Evolution

Super Igloo

The original Super Igloo was a fiberglass dome designed primarily for immediate disaster relief, and to serve as temporary housing through re-construction. Recent natural disasters, wars, and civil unrest have clearly emphasized the need for quick access to a good supply of realistic emergency shelters. Tents just don't cut it. The Super Igloo is still serving reliably, in Haiti, as schools and homes. The Super Igloo has since been replaced by The GEM™.

GEM

The GEM™ has been designed to replace the Super Igloo as our thin-wall immediate response shelter. Fiberglassing is a slow, labor intensive process, and it lacks the repeatability at the level of quality control to which we aspire. The GEM™ will be vacuum-formed from infrared heated polymer sheets.

 Where the Super Igloo molds were hand crafted, the GEM™ was designed and modeled in CAD, and the molds are CNC milled, then polished. By achieving a higher level of accuracy in duplication, these parts stack in very high density, for massive deployment to any event, anywhere.

HADES

The HADES (High Altitude Defendable Envelope) was our response to a very challenging request; to keep a small company of men alive and comfortable at very high altitude in extreme cold and isolation through the winter. This prototype gave birth to the Opal™. Because the structure had to be transportable by manpower alone, it was divided into 12 segments as opposed to 10 for the present Opal™. Emergency escape panels were cut out of the lower wall area, further reducing the weight per part. By the end of the design phase, we had achieved a very manageable package. By introducing a half gauge series of parts as connectors/tunnels between full size structures, we were even able to locate sanitary facilities separate from the living and working quarters. The first prototype still functions beyond expectations today; 3 winters later.
The Opal™ is made to travel. Each part fits through the doors of a shipping container with only a 1/2 inch to spare. The parts are light, yet bordering on indestructable. Assembly can be done in 2 ways. Parts can be equipped with cam-locking hook fasteners for portable or reconfigurable installations, or the joint surfaces can be permanently bonded together, thereby integrating the parts into a single solid that can be airlifted. It will withstand hurricane force winds, and absorb smaller, but often deadly, debris impacts without serious damage. If nature is not your most pressing concern, ballistic protection can be installed within the parts, to meet the client's requirements.

 

Our Distributed Production Concept

 

 

"It's all about being able to mount an effective response."

Compact Robotic Factories | broadening our footprint worldwide

We chose the above locations because they all have good port access and land-based transportation infrastructure, while avoiding the larger super-port congestion and scheduling for the most part. Our factories require the best of what the petroleum industry has to offer, so to ensure supply, proximity to refineries is also a must.

Situations can happen anywhere, and often everywhere, so we have chosen to establish a distributed grid of production facilities. By engineering a Mobile Robotics System, we have the freedom to move a factory on short notice if warranted. Think of CSI as a single, but very spread out, and mobile, factory. We don't require a specially engineered building to set up and produce. The robots and mold carriers simply perform a self-alignment, then start spraying and flipping molds. Factories are networked, and share in the distribution of machine time, material resources, and even maximize shipping expediency.


Opal™ Features | Freedom from Constraints

 


Mythbusters | test the Opal's outer armour

Haiti | a quick look back

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About Us

 

Founder | President
Ken Laughren

Ken Laughren

As Company President, Ken has transformed his steadfast support of the design concept, into a clear and focused vision of where the company is going. His natural business accumen and open-mindedness have set the foundation for a freely evolving enterprise equipped to stay out in front of the wave. With a passion to leave his mark as someone who helped, Ken has formulated a business | foundation framework that truly addresses the shortcomings of historical efforts to eleviate the world's housing deficit.

Chief Designer | Director of Research & Development
Charles Garden

Charles Garden

Charles works behind the scene and handles the finer details of CSI’s Design process. He is the designer & co-creator of the Opal™ Building System, and has been collaborating with Ken Laughren for many years. Ahead of his time, Charles is an indispensable asset with a rare combination of skills and talent.

CSO | Common Sense Officer
Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

Nik has an extensive background in electrical theory and practical engineering. An authentic "idea" man, he helps out from beyond the luminiferous ether. Brings us back to earth when our minds run too wild.

Contact Information

CSI will be implementing our production grid and fulfilling existing contractual obligations for the balance of 2015.

We hope to have our products available at large sometime in 2016.

Head Office

Sustainability

Re-thinking | environmental responsibility for the long haul

Being a producer of petroleum-based products, we feel it prudent to address the appropriateness of their use. Canadian Super Igloos has taken a comprehensive approach to defining its policy concerning the environmental balance sheet. On the surface, it may appear that oil in general, is a dirty business. We would agree that the burning of oil should be reduced drastically, as soon as possible.

Being caught up in our "blame and vilify" culture, most tend to overlook the beneficial and indispensible properties that petroleum products possess. Their amazing longevity and recyclabilty (now, and even more so in the future), justify their use in a re-usable building like the Opal™. You will never see our products in a landfill. By the time these parts are no longer passed down and passed on, they will be valued and recycled like today's copper. Carefully formulated raw materials, and the efficient processes that we have developed, result in only a small fraction of the waste generated in conventional construction, and none on site.

The insulating properties of polyurethane foams are second to none. Just the energy saved in heating & cooling the Opal™, has a very measurable impact in addressing the real solution to our environmental problems; which is the clean, efficient, responsible, and fair use of all our resources.

Canadian Super Igloos keeps abreast of material & technology advancements, to insure that we not only lead the way, but even contribute to tomorrow's ever-changing standards. As committed disciples of ISO principles, we have the mechanisms in place to closely monitor efficiencies, and to mitigate environmental impact, and safety, in all areas of company operations.