In 2007 we completed a 57 dome eco-village located on the edge of the Shivapuri National Park in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. This
development was constructed using rammed earth technology pioneered by architect Nader Khalili and is now the home for nearly 100
children and staff.Also we done a few projects in India and Africa( Zimbabwe).
The main building material is simply what’s abundantly available throughout the world — the soil beneath our feet to mold and shape into
an eco-friendly home.
Standard polypropylene sandbags in rolls about 14 to 18 inches (35 to 45 centimeters) in diameter and up to a mile long, are cut to length
and filled with dirt, sand, or clay, using 10 parts of soil to 1 part cement for added longevity, making these ’super adobe’ homes that can
last for decades.A chain is used to mark out the circumference. Numerous domes can be built and conjoined to create one large structure.
The sacks are wound in circular or spiraling forms which are compacted in layers, reinforced and connected together with barbed wire in
between each layer, acting as mortar to provide added stability.
Doorways and windows are worked into the design as the levels of the dome are built up until the outside shell is complete.
The dome is then plastered inside and out with sand and cement for further longevity and endurance .
Thus, a pile of earth is transformed to construct a small home for what’s called ‘eco-domes.’
“The structures make the materials of war — sandbags and barbed wire — into materials of peace.” says Khalili, who founded the
California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture — known as Cal-Earth — in 1991 to focus on housing for the world’s poor.
More than 100 local Nepali workers were employed for the project, which supports 100 children from poor or difficult backgrounds.
It’s estimated that there are about 5,000 street children in Nepal and nearly 1,000 in Kathmandu due to conflict between the government
and Maoists. About 95% of these children have been found sniffing glue.
“Sniffing glue helps us get rid of our hunger.” said Rajan, a 14-year-old boy.
“I forget everything; I won’t feel cold and I can sleep.” said 12-year-old Shyam.
Super Adobe homes are strong, and can be wind and waterproof. Designed to be resistant against extreme environments, they have been
earthquake tested to 6.5 on the Richter scale, complying with the most rigorous earthquake building codes.
The flexibility of earth as a raw material allows the construction of curved surfaces which work with,rather than against seismic forces.
The domes are surprisingly cool inside during hot summer temperatures, maintaining heat to remain warm and cozy in the winter.
This simple evolution in construction design means that unskilled people can build homes for themselves, whether they’ve been displaced
by disaster or simply in need of a home, constructed for less than the cost of tents used for shelter during disasters.
But don’t be fooled by their simplicity — not only do these homes provide economically viable survivalist housing — they also make for
some of the most beautiful living spaces.
“Every man and woman should be able to build a home for their family using the earth under their feet,
integrating some features of modern technology to make their homes resistant to fire, flood, earthquake,
hurricane, and other natural disasters.” Nader Kahlili.