The Merits of Earthbag Building

With a couple rolls of barbed wire, a bale of bags, and a shovel one can build a magnificent shelter with nothing more than the earth beneath their feet. This is the premise that inspired the imagination of international visionary architect Nader Khalili when he conceived the idea of Sandbag Architecture. In his quest to seek solutions to social dilemmas like affordable housing and environmental degradation, Nader drew on his skills as a contemporary architect while exercising the ingenuity of his native cultural heritage. Monolithic earthen architecture is common in his native home of Iran and throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean. Thousands of years ago, people discovered and utilized the principles of arch and dome construction. By applying this ancient structural technology, combined with a few modern day materials, Nader has cultivated a dynamic contemporary form of earthen architecture that we simply call Earthbag Building.

Using earthbags, a whole house, from foundation to walls to the roof, can be built using one construction medium.

1.2: Marlene Wulf's earthbag dome under construction, deep in the woods of Georgia.

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