Here’s a breaking news update from Brazil. We owe a big thanks to Paula, one of our readers who tracked down these details, and to Andre Ferreira and Fernando Pacheco, who are building with hyperadobe in Brazil for this latest update.
Andre Ferreira said that he has already built a rounded house using hyperadobe but not a dome, and that he doesn’t know about any domes built with this technique. He built this house after seeing photos of the technique and without taking any courses. [Ed.: This is what I’ve been saying. Do the basic research and then build a small test structure. You don’t need to spend a fortune on training.]
He bought the bags from Citropack. And there you can see the difference between the meshes. The image telapreta50 (shown above) is the one used in hyperadobe in Brazil. And here you can see the difference between the fruits and veggies bags.
He said that Citropack is not making these bags if it is not for a big order. Andre doesn’t know about anybody else that uses this technique in his region (Espirito Santo) apart from Fernando Pacheco. [Ed.: The photo above confirms they are using the same type of bags we have been discussing lately. That means there are plenty of other mesh bag and tube suppliers.]
Fernando Soneghet Pacheco, the original developer of hyperadobe, said he has improved the superadobe technique because after having done a course he realized that there were a few problems. The hyperadobe bag or tube is narrower, so it needs less soil and it’s cheaper. And you can also save money with doors and windows bucks (rough frames) as they don’t need to be so wide. The mesh of hyperadobe bags help for stability and remove the use of barbed wire. Also, plaster bonds more readily to the mesh.
Fernando said he hasn’t built many structures himself using hyperadobe, but he knows that his students have built all around Brazil. It has been 5 years that he has developed this technique so he imagines that it has probably spread quite a lot, even though he is not aware of it in other countries. He has a little book about hyperadobe but it hasn’t been published yet. The bag from Citropack has been developed with his help. He thinks that 35cm wide for the bag is the best after the tests he has done. He thinks domes with less curvature (steeper sides) could work with no problems.
Thanks again to Paula, Andre and Fernando for sharing and caring. Because of the large and growing interest in earthbag building, these types of improvements will likely help hundreds or even thousands build more efficiently. And as the scale continues to tip in favor of this building method, it will likely grow much faster.