I am pleased to report that there are some new earthbag projects happening in Haiti. In fact, there is a small mountain community, Leogane, where two unrelated projects are under way! Both of these projects have lively blogs where you can follow their activities almost daily.
At blog.konbitshelter.org you can see how this group’s first structure, a community center for the Mango Grower’s Association and the village, will also be a hurricane and flood shelter. The building of this center is also functioning as a workshop, or a skill-share to introduce local builders and residents to earthbag building techniques. Some of the participants have been trained at CalEarth using the long tubes. It is an interesting design that incorporates several integrated domes.
The other project is an orphanage and school and you can follow their activities at howsitgoinginhaiti.blogspot.com. Co-blogger Owen Geiger and Patti Stouter have been heavily engaged in this project for several weeks, creating specific plans to build from. We have actually introduced the two groups together and you can see from their blogs that they have now met and are sharing information and resources. We have also connected them with a visiting engineer, Bill Druc, who happened to be in the area and wanted to learn more about earthbag building and lend them advise about their projects.
I’m sure that we will be posting more information about these exciting projects as they evolve.
16 thoughts on “Earthbag Building in Leogane, Haiti”
I want to build a small (approx. 500 sq.ft.) eco friendly house on a small lot in Haiti. I already have a small food garden on the lot and would like to build around it. I contacted Owen Geiger and he suggested that I come in contact with a group like this one that is constructing with Earthbag. I can’t handle this project alone. I will need help from a group of experienced people to put it together with me once we are in Haiti. That’s in addition to locals who will be hired to work. Is it possible to recruit a group here to help me with this project? And how much money does a small 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, kitchen, living/dining room integrated enviro earthbag dome will cost? I need a list and quantity of materials to get an idea. An estimated figure will be helpful. I will appreciate a response very much.
They probably won’t see your comment. It’s best to contact the groups directly through their websites. Here’s the biggest project that we know of in Bangnol: https://naturalbuildingblog.siterubix.com/new-earthbag-houses-in-bangnol-haiti/
Here’s a list of other projects in Haiti: https://naturalbuildingblog.siterubix.com/earthbag-projects-in-haiti/
This is the good blog with good images and good details. Please keep on posting the more stuff. I will like to hear more from you.
Owen, about four years ago I came up with an idea for building round homes in the southwest similar to the hogan. What made my idea unique I believe is an iron fire place that was not only the center of attention in the home but the center support for the roof. This would allow larger round homes to be built. It would also be more energy efficient because the opening at the top would be smoke stack from the fireplace/stove.
I use something similar on some of my designs. I’m currently creating a custom version of my Spiral House that will have a center column. http://earthbagplans.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/spiral-earthbag-house-2/
Native Spirit http://earthbagplans.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/native-spirit-2/
What I imagined was a stove/fire place/centerpiece of the round house that was the middle support column. The smoke stack would have an insulated ridge at roof height that would accept the rafters.
This would allow for much larger round houses because the spans would be cut in half. It would also follow the hogan tradition of having the fire the center of the home.
These could be manufactured and then installed during construction.
Keep in mind I’m the guy that came up with the idea of having water storage in the walls of a home. It would keep the rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I just couldn’t get through the difficulty of doing this without using plastic for the tanks…….
Yes, that’s what I’m doing with the two designs I mentioned, except I’m suggesting use of stone, CEBs or adobe.
I’m an inventor and out of the box thinker outside of Dallas TX.
I’m working on a concept of using recycled plastic bottles instead of dirt bags. The idea is the same Plastic bottles are compressed into bales about the size of standard adobe bricks. They are used to build using tie wires and support wire similar to the dirt bag with barbwire construction.
There are a couple of advantages to this system as I see it. The most important one is the removing of plastics from the environment. Almost as important is the financial incentives potential for removing the plastic from the environment. It seems that in places like Haiti the plastic industry would be glad to see their pollution converted to permanent housing.
If anyone is interested I would be more than happy to share everything I know and have about this with them.
I suggest starting a free blog or maybe a website to promote your ideas. Make samples, drawings, take photos and clearly explain your system.
Owen I’ve put everything I have at this time on my website (click on my name).
I will try to build the model for the press this week if possible. I work for a living and even though I’m self employed, maybe because I’m self employed, I have to do paying work too.
Playing some numbers this morning and I figure that a twelve foot square room with seven foot high walls built out of bottle bricks will remove approximately 180,00 (one hundred and eighty thousand) empty bottle carcases from the landscape and or landfill.
Very interesting. Here’s the link for those who are interested: http://www.harveylacey.com
Please email me so we can discuss this further.
strawhouses [at] yahoo.com
I would like to connect with Harvey to discuss this project. I built an earthbag house in the area that is next to the entrance sign “welcome to Leogane”. I still need to finish the floor and some part of the interior. I would like to connect with the other builder in the area. By the way I got a small L shape house plan from Owen Geiger site. I brought the plan with me to Haiti, hired teens to fill the bags and local adults with some experience in construction to work on it. The house was done in three months.
Thanks for the news. Please document your project and send me the details and photo of finished house.
Harvey can be hard to get hold of.
INTERESTED IN THIS AS THE ORGANIZATION I WORK WITH ALSO HAS AN ORPHANAGE THERE I HITI!! I HAD TRIED TO INTEREST THE FOUNDATIONS DIRECTOR IN USING THIS TECHNIQUE TO ADD BETTER QUILDINGS SUCH AS A CHILDREN’S CLINIC OR FOOD PANTRY STORAGE
BUT SO FAR THEY ARE NOT WILLING TO TRY IT!!I EVEN OFFERED TO GO OVER AND SPEND SOME TIME EXPERIMENTINGWITH THE IDEA AND ASSIST SOME LOCALS IN TRYING IT!!STILL NO INTEREST!!
I believe it’s the rainy season now in Haiti. I hope they keep the dome covered. Or maybe they’re stabilizing the soil, and so moisture damage would be less likely.