Using Earthbags for Low Cost, Disaster Resistant Housing

Local men filling earthbags at our project in Zambia

Local men filling earthbags at our project in Zambia

Local people can take part in all aspects of the construction...

Local people can take part in all aspects of the construction…

Even mothers with their young children can take part...

Even mothers with their young children can take part…

All members of the community are able to take part in filling earthbags...

All members of the community are able to take part in filling earthbags…

A dome being built at a Earthbag workshop in Zambia in 2012

The Zambian dome takes shape

Many parts of the world have a high probability of a natural disaster such as earthquakes, hurricanes or flooding. What makes matters worse is that many of those areas are very poor, so housing is often built using methods and materials which are not able to withstand these disasters.

Earthbags: bags of earth!

Building with earthbags provides a simple and low cost solution to this problem. Earthbag structures are based around using low cost and easily transported bags similar to sand bags, and filling them with natural materials that are available in the local community, such as earth, pumice, gravel or sand.

Low cost materials: no wood and steel required…

With some carefully planned designs, often based around self supporting arch and dome structures, homes can be constructed using free materials from the earth, with minimal or no amounts of expensive structural materials such as wood and steel.

Thick disaster resistant walls…

Because earthbag walls are thick and usually self supporting, then they are much more able to withstand natural disasters than much of the houses that currently exist in the poorer, disaster prone areas of the world.

Local unskilled labour, bringing communities together…

An earthbag building project only needs a single person with knowledge of earthbag techniques and the house design: the construction work requires no previous skills, and is based around digging up the earth material, filling the bags, and flattening them down. Earthbag construction can be a team effort of everyone in the community, from children to the elderly!

Can regulate or insulate heat…

Earthbags filled with earth will have a high thermal mass which can regulate the heat inside the house in warm countries. Earthbags filled with porous materials such as pumice will contain pockets of air which are highly insulating.

Introduce earthbag techniques to a community…

More and more charities and local leaders are looking to introduce earthbag building techniques into the world’s poorest disaster prone communities. Earth, Hands and Houses can be the catalyst for that process: we provide open workshops around the world where local leaders can come and learn earthbag techniques, or we can come into your community for training more specific to your locality.

For more details…

We are running an Earthbag workshop in Thailand 10-18th February 2014 which is an ideal introduction to introducing earthbag construction to disaster prone communities.  Click here for more details.

Or call or email us directly:
call +44 1825 713349
email info@earthhandsandhouses.org.

We look forward to hear from you!

Hear Paulina talk about her experience and vision for Earth, Hands and Houses:

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