Earth bag construction is nothing but back to basics solution for building a healthy and sustainable environment. Building houses with sand and dust filled polypropylene bags have devised an affordable, eco friendly and affordable method of accomplishing housing needs. This earthquake-resistant and quick building scheme is best suited housing solution for many developing and disaster prone nations in the world. Eco conscious people worldwide are adopting these techniques to help environment as well as their own health.
As earth bag building requires minimal resources, the construction is cheap and affordable. Transportation cost is saved and built in short time. These houses are more insulating and adapt to hot and cold climate well. Though, the only hitch is that multi-storied buildings cannot be constructed with earth bags.
So far, during military operations bunkers of earth bags are constructed to safeguard from artillery shelling but today they have become order of the day for sustainable living. Here’s how eco conscious people are incorporating this idea into reality.
1. Earth bag dome shape buildings:
This eco-architect Nadar Khalilâs construction was made up of easily available sand bags to deal temporary housing needs during emergencies. He has applied dome method for his buildings. He uses sack filled with sand to construct wall and inserted barbed wire between sack layers to give needed stability to the wall. After construction of wall is complete, it is tamped from above so that all sand and dirt settles down. Finishing touch is provided by coating from mud, adobe or cement plaster. This takes 1-2 dayâs time for complete construction.
2. Somos Children village:
Constructed in Tecpan town of Guatemala, this village is for orphaned and abandoned children. Seven Earth bag homes are being built with alternative power resources. This will be model village showcasing eco sustainable methods of living. The children will be looked after by foster mothers. Organic farming and orchards will meet the food requirements of children. This project is being built in collaboration with University of San Carlos, Guatemala.
3. Root cellar:
This root cellar is a stunning example of earth bag construction. This cellar is a dome shaped construction, plastered with green grass. This construction can be used as storage as well as garden shed.
4. Cub cottage:
This cub cottage is ideal for places where flooding is a regular phenomenon. This beautiful house is constructed with sand bag. It’s easy to build, if destroyed. Not big expenditure is incurred on reconstruction.
5. Utah home constructed with earth bag:
This is one of the first constructions in Utah, built like normal concrete houses. It belongs to Alison Kennedy. The greatest asset of these constructions are that they are earthquake proof.
6 . Earth bag cob cabin:
Artist Scott Howard’s creation is constructed with sand bags and plastered with earthen paints and natural plasters. This 200Sq ft building has glass windows. Howard regularly conducts natural building workshops in Portland and abroad.
7. Home kitchen:
This kitchen describes the kitchen interior of a house built of earth bags. These constructions can be done in variety of shapes. The interiors are naturally insulated in earth bag houses, which keeps them warm in winters and cool in summers.
8. Honey house:
This alternative housing construction was completed in 1996 at a mere expense of $1500. This 12 ft construction includes the cost of sand bags, barbed wire, window, door frames. It just took 19 days to complete the building.
9. Youth center at Dennilton
This youth center is a well-ventilated structure. It was built for conducting classes for young. The construction is eco sustainable and easy to build.
10. Round earth bag house:
This earth bag house is easy and fast to construct. Put up a pole in the center of construction and equally measure the circle from all the sides. Construct an earth bag wall from all sides without leaving air gap. Ceiling is protected by thatched roof to provide relief from sun and keep the house cool.