Seismic Resistant Gravel Bag Foundations — 5 Comments

  1. This is a great idea for developing countries with a lot of seismic activity. I like the idea of using bamboo since it’s not only natural but flexible and will help absorb and sway with the shocks and aftershocks.

    • The Nevada test that I mentioned was an ASTM test, so yes it would. The trouble with the tests is building officials in each county will require the same test to be repeated. It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a product that’s code approved everywhere. And since there’s no profit in this design (people will build their own because it’s so simple) companies will not invest in the necessary testing. So here’s another example of how building codes fall short and average people get screwed.

  2. Are the rebar and net connected in any way at the bottom, like folded under the bottom bag or something, or are they just tied in, ending at the trench? Also, does this system end at the top of the foundation bags? It would be a huge savings not to have to use the mesh all the way up the wall, at least on single story buildings.

    • There are numerous ways to build it. The mesh could go under the gravel and up the sides. It could also continue over the top of the bond beam. The mesh could wrap around the gravel bags only. The final design depends on the seismic zone rating. Higher risk zones need additional reinforcing.

      If you zoom in you’ll see this drawing shows the bottom of the rebar is tied through the wall with twine.

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