Saturday, August 8, 2009
Sourabh Phadke's booklet is a great introduction to earthbag construction (and it is free and legal to download)
Earthbag construction which uses earth or an adobe mix packed into bags and connected by strands of barbed wire between courses was developed by architect Nader Khalili, who first suggested it as a method of building on the moon. It was quickly found to be an excellent means by which refugees could construct their own housing.
Today, in the USA earthbags are widely used to make foundations for natural buildings, as well as for whole buildings. The leading proponents in the USA include Doni Kiffmeyer and Kaki Hunter. Check out their website and book, Earthbag Building, much of which can be read on google books.
But if you want to legally download and print out a guide to earthbag construction, then Sourabh Phadke's primer "Earthbags! also known as a manual in self help construction in using 'flexible rammed earth' " is the way to go. It is 33 pages and has enough detail to get you started. Mr. Phadke has been advocating natural and self help construction in western India for several years.
Below is a video of an earthbag project designed by Mr. Phadke called the Rocket and the Rabbithole:
Here is an Indian produced video showing the basics of building an earthbag dome.
For more videos of sustainable building and technology from India, check out the Antiismistix YouTube Channel.