What is Earthbag building
The project for the Gandhi Worldwide education institute in South India,
the ideas was to build some houses for rescue child labours, involving them in the construction process.
On top of that a permaculture design of the land with swales, ponds,gardens & trees.
we build 1 eco dome + one 3 m diameter dome with the help of the children during 6 months,
an unforgettable experience.
Building a dome in a national park
as a playground for kids while organising a workshop ,
the students building a dome in 2 weeks,
a pleasure to create for children.
Bali Buda Natural Birth Clinic Indonesia
2 Domes connect with an open space and a canopy roof on top,
the construction was made to create a space to give birth in a gentle way,
a big inspiration.
Green School Bali Indonesia
Creation of a classroom with
The challenge was to build
a 4 m dome as a massage space with a minimum budget & crew,
a lot of sweat and DIY solution.
A totally free cement project
(except the floor ) ,using only lime for finishing.
Building for Auroville community fill us with joy.
Mana Earthly Paradise Bali Indonesia
Creation of a totally sustainable Eco Resort for a Japanese Ethical Company.
Playing with some curves walls
& differents designs to create 7 Villas with naturals thatched roofs & sustainable systems for solar energy, water harvesting ,ecological sewage & permaculture gardens.
By using straight curves walls ,
we push amy size limitations
& give as much space as we need,
mixing Bamboo & superadobe ,
a beautiful place for a natural & reconnecting to Earth Paradise.
Blue Karma Indonesia
Creation of a 5 m dome as a sound healing space ,
the aim is to give an optimal space for the music to be totally deep & surround with high ceilings& perfect symetry.
An amazing sound trip of his own.
Kokufu Tokushima Japan
Creation of a 3 m dome as a food storage and playground for kids.
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.
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.
-COMMUNITY BUILDING ALL OVER THE WORLD
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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 .