Yes, it is! This building technique is called Super-Adobe!
Super-Adobe structures are part of an architectural style developed by Iranian-born architect Nadir Khalili, using locally available materials to create structures of incredible strength. These domed structures are resistant to earthquakes, tornadoes, fires and floods. They have passed California earthquake code tests and withstood a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Nepal!
So how can you build one? And from what are they made?
Structures are made from 85% soil and 15% cement plaster. You will also need:
– Long or short sand bags.
– Four-point, two strand, galvanized barbed wire.
That’s it! Sounds like sand castles you were building in the childhood 🙂
You don’t need any extra expensive equipment. There is no heavy lifting or backaches. The bags are filled in place on the wall using small pots. You can build alone or as a group. All Super-Adobe structures can last several years but to make a structure permanent, you must plaster over the sandbag structure.
Examples of Super-Adobe structures
Casa Antakarana, built and designed by architect Jose Andres Vallejo who trained at a CalEarth workshop at Organizmo in Colombia.
This 1800 sq. ft home (170 sq. meters) was built in 10 months with a crew of 6 people includes 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms as well as a rain collection system with capacity for 10,000 liters (2640 gallons).
Awarded the World Architecture Award in 2012.
After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Super-Abobe structures were used as a temporary housing alternative for individuals who lost their homes and were living in tent villages.
Earth One is a 2,000 sq. ft home including 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a 2-car garage in a 9-vault design.
We spotted the community “Konbit Shelter”. Konbit Shelter began as a sustainable building project in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010. They used their knowledge of the highly resilient Super-Adobe construction method through the building of a permanent community space that included a community centre and some family houses. You can also find their new community project on Kickstarter.
Would you like to build one of these for yourself? Do you think that would be OK in Ireland?