Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Coral wall builders
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,

A set a forms which includes salt water and the correct environment for corals to create a wall for you. (will take a long time to do, but there is no labor cost and I guess that material costs would be minimal.
Zimmy, Jul 24 2003

264 mm per year. http://www.grisda.org/origins/06088.htm
Staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis. At a little less than a foot of growth maximum, it's "the fastest." [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Bamboo flooring http://www.bamboo-f...ng.com/products.asp
Sorry, off topic. [bristolz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Seacrete http://www.biorock.net
Mad architect weaving underwater coral baskets [Mungo, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]



       I'd buy it just to get that delicious salt water.
DeathNinja, Jul 24 2003

       Sounds like something out of a scifi - a job for an immortal. I am reminded of the alien in Sirens of Titan who bred colossal flowers over thousands of years, just for something to do.
bungston, Jul 24 2003

       don't they do this already by sinking ships in strategic locations which promotes the start of new coral reefs
SystemAdmin, Jul 24 2003

       Excellent idea! If we can farm pearls, we can farm coral (and it is my firm belief that the best way to save flora and fauna is by giving people an economic incentive to do so).
DrCurry, Jul 24 2003

       next thing you'll be suggesting we use bamboo as a building material.   

       Nice idea, have a crunchy bun
neilp, Jul 24 2003

       sorry [DrC] that was mis-placed sarcasm. Besides Bamboo is best for scaffolding rather than actual construction, I'd have thought.
neilp, Jul 24 2003

       I have a friend who has bamboo floors in her house and they are beautiful.
bristolz, Jul 24 2003

       [bristolz] - I stand (on a nice bamboo floor) corrected.   

       P.S. excuse the intrusion (I hope), but is [bristolz] anything to do with bristol, Avon, UK ?
neilp, Jul 24 2003

       no. not that I know of, anyway.
po, Jul 24 2003

       excellent. that had been bugging me. Thanks [po]
neilp, Jul 24 2003

       No, Bristol is a nickname my parents gave me when I was little (long, boring story having nothing to do with the UK or with breasts) and the name stuck. The "Z" is the first initial of my last name.
bristolz, Jul 24 2003

       To the everlasting disappointment of the male Brits around here.
DrCurry, Jul 24 2003

       What, male Brits don't like the letter "Z?" How odd.
bristolz, Jul 24 2003

       bris, how do you get a flat surface with bamboo?   

       neilp, but I know someone who is.
po, Jul 24 2003

       [po], I don't but the people who mill the bamboo flooring do (link). Stuff is really gorgeous and durable and can be put down directly on concrete (or coral, presumably) sub-floors, unlike normal hardwoods. Has the added advantage of allowing the homeowner to boast to friends that they have grass floors.   

       <apologies for all this off-topicality>
bristolz, Jul 24 2003

       I can imagine its lovely. thank you bris.
po, Jul 24 2003

       Speaking of bamboo: People who live in grass houses shouldn't mow homes
dweeb, Jul 24 2003

       And for the land-dweller: how about putting giant redwoods, or seqouias, through growth forms of some kind, over several hundred years, to form skyscrapers? The ultimate vanity project for your great-great-great-grandchildren to enjoy! (Can buildings be formed by "growing trees together"? If you can do it with coral, why not? What we need is land coral, dammit, or a way to grow coral fast in underwater brick molds... And mother nature beats a factory any day for efficiency...)
cloudface, Jan 08 2004

       Here's a simplified form of flattening bamboo: Soak it, press it, and dry it. Once dried, it is flat. Not sure if bamboo attempts to curve again when soaked, but is possible; it would explain why much of the flat bamboo is a laminate of one type or another.
reinventor, Feb 13 2004

       There is something wonderful about this idea. The idea of making a building over many generations has a certain appeal to me. Can't explain it so I'll just toss a fluffy pastry at it and not worry.
Klaatu, Feb 13 2004

       A guy named Wolf Hilbertz does something similar. (Itried it, too, but the police kept running me off the beach) It works but is very slow. (link)
Mungo, Mar 05 2004

       [Mungo] Great link. I love the illustration of the solar coral island grown in the shape of a shell (in the "Architects of the new Atlantis" article on the site). Very sci-fi meets real world.
Worldgineer, Mar 05 2004

       + for adding 'mariculture' to my vocabulary.
dpsyplc, Mar 05 2004

       I read an article (in Mother Earth News, of all places)some years ago talking about mineral accretion construction, using a wire mesh carrying a current in seawater. In a relatively short time - much shorter than waiting for coral to do it - you can have a sturdy, relatively cheap structure made for a minimum of purchased materials.
elhigh, Jun 20 2005

       //mineral accretion construction// Maybe people who live in hard water areas could buy removable electric kettle elements made in the shape of breeze blocks.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 20 2005

       Would you replace the seawater over time or try to dissolve more calcium? Either way, the machinery involved would require servicing, so the labour costs would be significant over the time necessary.   

       I suppose you could grow coral bricks in shallow areas of the sea, which would parallelise production and reduce the time required to actually build anything.
Loris, Jun 20 2005

       Sorry for all this churning.
I would have thought that the beauty of a coral building would be in the randomness of its shape. Use the form shaping for the inside only but leave the outside alone. To go and make coral bricks kind of defeats the purpose.
Anyway, I'm off to take the dog for a swim.
methinksnot, Mar 13 2006

       You can cut coral bricks. I read about a building made of these on one of the Florida Keys which was the only thing for miles around to survive a big hurricaine in the 1930s.
bungston, Mar 15 2006

       //To go and make coral bricks kind of defeats the purpose.// Couldn't disagree more... I lived in Florida for a long time, and I've seen some really wonderful architectural features done with cut coral. There are a lot of other "purposes" out there.
zigness, Mar 15 2006

       You are right [zigness], my bad. The comment was aimed at preserving the seemingly-random shape that corals take over the years purely for its artistic value.
Beautiful things can and have been made out of regular bricks (you just have to stand back a bit to appreciate them).
methinksnot, Mar 15 2006


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