Inflatable Buildings That Could Earn $10 Million a Year

Looking out of the Chrysler Building top floor...
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Using clever, super-green construction methods, Woods Bagot proposes a building system that would make use of the stalled sites littering New York.

In New York, the most glaring signs of the Great Recession are the stalled construction sites littering the city–boarded up, dusty, and desolate eyesores.

The architecture mega-firm Woods Bagot may have a solution, which they’ve just unveiled: Temporary, inflatable buildings that let the developers make money while they wait for their finances to shape up. “We tried to re-imagine how you could reuse those sites,” Jeff Holmes, the partner in charge of Woods Bagot’s New York office, told FastCompany.com. “But it had to be a real proposal. There’s been a number of creative solutions in New York and Boston because of the number of stalled states. We took a hard-nosed look at creating something viable.”

Stalled sites pose a problem for developers whose financing has dried up in the recession because even when sites lay unused, they wrack up huge tax burdens–as much as $2 million a year. And sites can easily go fallow for 2 to 5 years.

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