We are always pleased to hear from people around the world about their building projects. I recently received this email, along with several photos:

“Dear Kelly I have seen your inspiring works with earthbags and am happy to inform you that I am also into green building here in Kenya. I have done a demo house using earthbags and will be going for the next level of building as an eco-friendly training school using this method. We would want to include off grid power eventually, but that is for the future.  Regards, Barry Kungu”

Filling the earthbags

Filling the earthbags

Sewing the ends of the bags.

Sewing the ends of the bags.

Moving the bags from borrow pit.

Moving the bags from borrow pit.

Placing the barbed wire on bags with my house in the background.

Placing the barbed wire on bags with my house in the background.

Fixing corner rebar for reinforcement.

Fixing corner rebar for reinforcement.

Positioning the windows.

Positioning the windows.

More earthbag single dwellings in the neighborhood.

More earthbag single dwellings in the neighborhood.


Comments

Earthbag Building in Kenya — 16 Comments

  1. I am interested in this technology. How can i get someone to get it done.

    I would like to get the house done probably a two or 3 bedroomed house.

  2. Earthbag building is the most cost effective tropical climate friemdly Concrete. I hope any one who lives in Kenya and appreciate traditional architecture that combines history and modernity and building. I am an earthbag builder and can be reached at dgkungucenter@gmail.com

  3. Thank you so much and I really appreciate it.
    This house are outstanding , special and very strong..How long does it take to complete the everything require.This seemed so interesting and how long the house spend standing with any damage. ?

  4. Good work guys,i am doing my final year project on earth bag housing ,focusing on their structural behavior at the University of Nairobi and would very much like to visit the earth bag building site of this project in Kenya,kindly send me the address.

  5. I liked the use of smaller bags filled with earth down on the ground and then placed in position – it sounds a lot more practical than filling them on top of the wall.
    However, do you lose stability with the smaller bags? I’m not sure that if I went this direction I wouldn’t want to use much more rebar along the wall.

    • Standard bags are 18″ wide when empty. That creates 15″ wide earthbag walls after tamping. Tamp the sides of the wall somewhat to even out the irregularities. Add plaster and the finished wall is about 18″.

      It’s good to use wider bags for certain applications that have to resist a lot of force such as earth sheltered designs. 24″ wide bags are common for this.

      Smaller bags will be less stable, but can still work with sufficient reinforcement. A lot depends on the design. Long straight walls are not as stable as curved walls. Try adding external pinning. Search our blog for this phrase. There’s a detailed explanation in the blog post.

  6. Thanks for sending us information on this project. As well as good photos, it’s always good to hear the final cost, how long it took, over all dimensions, how many workers, etc. These are things everybody wants to know.

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