Earthquake Resistant Earthbag Building Guidelines PDF

Earthquake resistant earthbag building guidelines are now available for free in a new PDF.

Earthquake resistant earthbag building guidelines are now available for free in a new PDF.


Earthen buildings are strong in compression, but need help against tension or bending stresses. The barbed wire and vertical rebar in earthbag add important tensile strength.

More than 50 earthbag buildings in Nepal have recently survived 0.5- >0.7g of earthquake motion. This same motion destroyed poorly reinforced and unreinforced masonry buildings around them, mud block and brick alike.

But existing earthbag is not magic. Standard earthbag has its limits. Adobe reinforcements that have performed well in New Zealand’s >2 g seismic risk show us what earthbag needs.
Here are three new options for building stronger earthbag, including intermediate levels for Nepal’s 1g to 1.8 g risk areas.

Owen Geiger and Kelly Hart have been instrumental in developing these guidelines. We welcome more comments and help.

Type A is the standard earthbag method used in low risk zones. Because Nepal’s quake risks are for motion 1.5- 3 times as severe as that experienced in the recent quakes, we encourage builders in Nepal to consider adding some improvements to earthbag, like Type B or better.

Read the complete report Earthbag Options for Nepal online at http://buildsimple.org/resources/EB%20Options%20for%20Nepal.pdf

And see BSI’s simple visual building guides like Building EB Walls Better- we will be updating them soon, but can be found at http://www.buildsimple.org/earthbag.php – follow the link on upper left.

Special thanks to Patti Stouter at Build Simple.org for her remarkable efort making this report available. She must have squeezed in 100 or more extra hours into her schedule to pull this report together in such a timely manner.

Earthquake Resistant Earthbag Building Guidelines PDF is a post from: Natural Building Blog

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Earthbag Shelter for Street Children, Nepal

Day 4 of placing earthbags. We have reached 3ft, our room height will be 8ft.

Day 4 of placing earthbags. We have reached 3ft, our room height will be 8ft.


I just found this earthbag shelter for street children in Boudha, Nepal. That’s pretty much all I know about this project. Maybe one of our readers can fill us in on the details.

To those who are new to earthbag building: Does this look complicated? Filling and stacking bags of soil? Work with local builders who know roofs, plaster, bond beams, etc. and simple houses and shelters like this can go up very quickly with minimal outside assistance.

Wegain Zone Facebook

Earthbag Shelter for Street Children, Nepal is a post from: Natural Building Blog

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Summary of Earthquake Resistant Earthbag Building Methods

Earthbag corners reinforced with strong plastic mesh and external rebar pins

Earthbag corners reinforced with strong plastic mesh and external rebar pins


We’ve posted quite a few blog posts over the years about how to reinforce earthbag buildings. Due to the earthquake in Nepal, we’re getting lots of questions about reinforced earthbag methods for earthquake regions. The following list will save people lots of time searching our blog and websites. Watch for more news on this topic in the future.

Reinforced mesh corners
Structural mesh
External pinning
Earthbag benches for reinforcing doors
Earthbag buttresses
Building in the round
Confined earthbag
Integrated bond beam and lintels
Rebar reinforcement at openings, buttresses, etc.
Wall bracing overview

Summary of Earthquake Resistant Earthbag Building Methods is a post from: Natural Building Blog

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Natural Building Trainer Needed for Circle Pines Summer Camp

Hello Earth Builders!
Circle Pines Summer Camp is seeking a dedicated work project leader for construction. The construction leader will plan, oversee, and assist teams of counselors and campers in small, sustainable building projects throughout the summer. Ideally, campers who participate in these projects will gain skills in design and tool safety while seeing a building project through from start to finish.

The construction leader should reside on site during camp. S/he will be asked to help out with maintenance tasks around the grounds when work projects are not in session.

DURATION
June 17 – August 5, 2015

Please email summer camp@circlepinescenter.net for more details.
Thank you for the work that you do, natural builders!

Natural Building Trainer Needed for Circle Pines Summer Camp is a post from: Natural Building Blog

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$500 Building Code Regulation

Ron, one of our readers, posted this news at Counties with Few or No Codes.

Navaho county, Arizona has a new regulation that allows unpermitted structures that cost less than $500. The norm is 120 sq. ft. before needing a permit, which is rather limiting. Use local natural materials such as poles, earth, etc. to keep costs low and you can build larger.

$500 Building Code Regulation is a post from: Natural Building Blog

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UN Promoting Green Homes in Nepal

GREEN HOMES – PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE HOUSING IN NEPAL
“This three year (2013-1015) project funded by the European Union aims at promoting sustainable housing technologies and services to contribute towards mitigating climate change and reducing poverty through creation of green jobs and moving towards a green economy. Green Homes or Sustainable Housing is an approach that includes household systems that reduce pressure on natural
resources and carbon emissions, thus resulting in human wellbeing, social equity, and green economy. Besides energy efficient buildings, it also includes ecofriendly practices for water and waste management systems such as rainwater harvesting, and waste/ wastewater recycling.”

UN Habitat
Thanks to Jennifer for this tip. She’s one of several people who have been my eyes and ears in Nepal.

Note how earthbag building addresses multiple concerns on the UN Habitat list: risk reduction, green building, green jobs, housing and slum upgrading, poverty reduction, millennium goals, social inequality, etc.

I’ve talked about this stuff for years and so far it hasn’t done much good at the upper level of the UN and big NGOs. Maybe this disaster will highlight the advantages of earthbag and bring about more rapid change. This could very well happen if say 25-50 NGOs build earthbag projects. This would shine a light on the whole situation and show this is what people want.

UN Promoting Green Homes in Nepal is a post from: Natural Building Blog

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