• Earthbag House


    -Natural house

    made from earth

    for us-

    "Treat the earth well:

    it was not given to you by your parents,

    it was loaned to you by your children.

    We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,

    we borrow it from our Children."











  • Inspiration


    This is about earthen architecture


    and a new way of building,


    simple, fast and beautiful


    : earth bag ,


    using mostly the soil beneath our feet, sandbags


    and barbed wire...



    The inspiration is our mother Earth ,


    as everything in the universe is composed from the 5 elements (earth, water ,air ,fire and space),


    we need to use these to create like some of the people who inspire us,


    All the earth builders and among them, Nader Khalili, iranian architect ,


    he had a dream to create a way to build in harmony with nature,


    and develop the earth bag system at cal earth with some associates

    they never forgot the human need and bring solution for low cost and low impact housing, respecting human and nature.

  • Conception





    The strongest structures in nature are arches,domes,vaults,apses...


    by trading corners for curves we fortify the structural integrity of our architecture,


    and uses least amount of materials while providing the maximum amount of space.


    Domes rely on 2 opposing natural forces to hold them together


    : gravity & tension,


    let's take a simple example,


    a fresh raw egg, if you try to break it in your hands it will resist your effort,


     like an egg , the dome has a double curvature wall, it curves in both the horizontal and vertical plane in the same time.


    Our choice to build to give maximum safety with minimum impact is the dome with all the different variations in design.


    It's beautiful,strong and unique.


    they offers 3 principles


    - resisting the pull of gravity by compression


    - resisting the heat of the sun by creating a sun and shade zone and thus air currents

    - fighting the earthquake by sharing the forces equally, and of fighting the wind by softening its harsh blow in the curves surface...


    (from racing alone,Nader Khalili)



    10 ft dome

  • dome with apses around like ecodome

  • or double ecodome ,

  • until the creation of cluster of domes to create infinite possibility ...


    the dome is just amazing

















    The earth bag system has proven to withstand the ravages of fire, flooding, hurricanes, termites ..


    and two natural earthquake measuring over 6 and 7 on the Richter scale.


    In 1991 at cal earth,under static load testing conditions simulating seismic, wind and snow loads, the tests exceed uniform building code of California by 200%...


    some other advantage are :


    -the thermal performance, earth bag walls function as an absorbent mass, it's able to store warmth and reradiate it back, it gives a 12 h delay in


    energy transfer from exterior to interior, this means that at the hottest time of the day the inside is at its coolest, while at the coolest time of the day


    the interior is at its warmest. In winter it keeps the heat inside longer... acoustic and radio wave isolation...


    Earth bag method offers more benefit than any natural construction,


    it has more structural integrity than adobe ( a sun-dried, unburned brick of clay and straw), more plasticity than rammed earth,

    more speed in construction than cob ( a mixture of clay and straw used as a building materials ).


    Although earth bag is new compared to these ancient building methods,


    it offers superior economy and durability, earth bag construction offers broad possibility for ultra low cost and low impact housing, especially in region


    where timber, grasses, cement and fuel are scarce.

  • Vision





    According to the Japanese government's white paper on disaster management 2009,


    "106 million people become victims and 95000 lives are lost every year around the globe, with losses worth more than 36.8 billions $..."


    if we want to help and bring solutions,


    the only way is to teach people how to use the earth under their own feet ,


    such simple technology based on eco-friendly and indigenous ways exists today.


    Build as a community,with friends,neighbours as we use to do not so long ago, show people and teach them this simple way of building to be self


    sufficient is our goal.




    Respect the nature and take care of it,


    realise that all we need to build is around us and


    easily available.


    More than all, earthen architecture endures ,


    if we can build one ecological friendly house in our


    lifetime that is habitable for centuries we will have


    contributed towards a sustainable society.

  • Solution





    Sandbags and barbed wire technology,


    the super-adobe technique .


    It was developed by Nader Khalili, an


    iranian architect and humanitarian who


    never forgot the human need and creates


    Cal-Earth - The California Institute ...


    imagine it as bags filled with the earth that


    is on site, and arranged in layers or long


    coils, strands of barbed wire between


    them act as a both mortar and



  • Materials




    Bags, Barbed wire, Shovels, Pipes, Tamper, Scissors, Wheelbarrows, some chains for the Compass ...


    is the minimum ,


    you can add a cement or lime mixer to be more efficient.


    What you need is:



    the best mix to put in the bags will be


    80% sandy soil and 20%clay,


    thus the big advantage is we can use


    mostly any kind of earth ,


    we don't need some specific ratio like


    the other kind of earth architecture.



    any woven bags ,


    from burlap to hemp...


    most of time they' re polypropylene like


    rice bags cheap and available




    the advantage of using long bags in


    roll gives more flexibility and efficiency



    super adobe dome is not a




    but it has a taller "lancet" or "ogival"


    shape because of the structure and


    method of building,


    for this we just have to follow 2


    compass,one height compass and one


    centre compass

    -Barbed wire


    4 points barbed wire uses as a velcro


    mortar between every row of bags,


    it clinches the bags together and


    provides exceptional tensile strength.



    just after the bags are lay we tamp or


    ram it,


    that means we compact the earth


    inside the bag to make a uniform




    this gives the earth mixture its





    we will use some pipes as a natural


    ventilation system to aspire the air out,


    the pipes are use as windows as well,


    we can put as much as we want 

  • Plaster


    To finish we will apply some plaster ,


    to protect the bags from the sun ( a polypropylene bag has 300 to 500 uv hours lifespan ) and for the waterproofing of the structure .


    Depending on the climate we will find the best mix suitable including some stabiliser (lime,cement,bitumen...)if necessary ,


    if we go for a natural one some easy maintenance is required once a year.

  • Time & Cost 


    Materials are inexpensive, abundant and accessible ,


    Basically earth-bag building save time and money,

    the cost can vary from few dozens dollars for a simple shelter built in one day, to hundreds for a 10 foot dome,

    or like here in Iran for the UNHCR


    in a refugee camp in 1996, more than 15 domes


    built in 21 days by the refugees themselves with the


    help of one instructor,


    for a 15 foot dome from 621$ to 1000$ for an


    upgrade one (electricity,water,windows...)

    to thousands for a full structure like an ecodome


    (15 foot diameter with a living space of 55 sq m)


    the cost was 9000$ in 2003


    built in in Usa with a full finishing




     Another example in Japan in Hokkaido in 2010 ,


    a 4 m diameter dome with




    for a cost of 1400 us dollars.

  • It' s difficult to really give an average  price as it varies to the conditions ,


    countries, community work, all this different aspects give different prices.


    just be sure it's one of the cheapest way to build in harmony.

  • US



    Originally from France ,


    travelling since the last 15 years over our beautiful


    planet, sharing the life of our brothers and sisters ,


    he wants to give back  all the love he receives,


    asking himself some questions he is looking for


    solutions and get interest in earth architecture,


    studying in Auroville in India for some time,


    he decides to go to Cal Earth as a long term


    apprentice and realizes earth bag is one solution to


    provide affordable,sustainable housing,


    now acting to built these beautiful and respectful


    house all over our planet,


    just because to get a home must be a right and not


    an option.



    Xavier's partner,


    originally from Japan,


    supporting about earth bag activity,


    for 13 years she was dancer in Tokyo and felt she is


    missing something toexpress by dance,


    she realises she need to remember the connection


    with nature, and left  the city life and spend time in


    nature, travelling in India,Indonesia...


    Now she is learning about natural agriculture and


    sustainable way of living (permaculture design...)


    with some experiences in Japan and India...


    She hopes their activities and life style itself will


    contribute to people happiness .

  • Contact


  • Donations & workshops

    Each donations will serve to make some actions for disaster areas & empowering poor people.

    Payments for workshops worldwide .