I recently visited an incredible earthbag project in the Philippines. The earthbag houses are in Barangay Lajala, a coastal barangay near Coron that was devastated by super Typhoon Yolanda last year. About 90 percent of the houses in Barangay Lajala were completely destroyed while the other 10 percent were partly damaged. This is the largest earthbag project of its kind and so I will be posting numerous stories to document as many details as possible. They use a different earthbag method than anyone else. See below for details.
The Tamayo Foundation is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) organization of DDT Construction, a construction company in Manila that is funding 100% of the project.
Project management: Data Land, Inc.
Architects: Ronald Relos and Leo Montenegro
Currently they’re building 21 houses. Ten houses were finished in 2 months by 5 teams (6 workers per team). They build 5 houses at a time.
Target: 100 earthbag houses
Total workers: 88
Workers are paid, and they receive paid training while learning.
Floor area: 28.89 sq. meters with one bedroom, one living room. Cooking is outdoors as is typical in SE Asia.
Cost of materials: P100,000 ($2,225)
Labor: P50,000 ($1,112)
Total: P150,000 ($3,337) not including the solar electric system
Specially made earthbags: gusseted corners, two slits on top of bag (in a ‘plus sign’ shape) for insertion of soil
Earthbags are made in a wooden form, tamped solid then immediately set on the wall where they receive final tamping and shaping.
Soil: excavated from site, rocks screened out, then stabilized 7:1 soil to cement
Same number of buckets in each bag to insure each bag is the same size
No foundation: stabilized earthbags sit directly on the ground in 45cm deep trench
Wall reinforcing: opposing rebar on the interior and exterior surface of the earthbags tied together with doubled galvanized wire every 3 courses. This rebar is later covered with split bamboo.
Two strands of thick 4-point barbed wire between all courses
Entrance: Bags turned 90 degrees to form buttresses
Doors and windows: treated bamboo with frames anchored to earthbags with rebar pins
Bamboo treatment process done locally by 6 persons (one of the building teams): soak in sea water one week, dry, clean and sand off green coating, varnish.
Bamboo bond beam secured with 12” rebar pins inserted at an angle to resist uplift
Roof frame: treated bamboo tied together with strong fishing line (1/16” thickness)
60cm roof overhang
Roofing: nipa thatch panels
Electrical: conduit attached to the surface
Plaster: owners will do later
Workers work under tarps
Previous story: Earthbag Houses in Coron