Recycled Concrete in Rubble Trenches

From time to time we answer reader’s questions. Zafra: We’re researching the possibility of acquiring cheap recycled concrete rather than having to pay for gravel for our foundation, but we’re concerned because we’ve read that concrete can wick water upwards to the earth walls. Owen: Good question. Recycled concrete will work fine if you break … Read more

Hyper-Wattle on Rubble Bags

Here’s Patti Stouter’s entry for the $300 House design competition. Rubble bags on lower walls provide a solid, flood resistant wall. Hyper-wattle provides lightweight insulating upper walls made of mesh tubes. Thin walls conserve space and materials, and take less labor. Her design is one of only a few in this competition that could actually … Read more

Kay Hybrid

Like many other designers, architects and engineers who are working to help rebuild Haiti, we’re constantly trying to create new house designs and improve previous efforts. This new hybrid design for Haiti is based on our Transitional L Kay design. The Kay is the most common house style in their country. Both versions provide immediate … Read more

Rubble Bags

I’ve been scouring the Internet looking at photos and videos of concrete rubble in Haiti. As you probably know, much of the concrete there was reduced to rubble in the earthquake (largely due to poor quality construction). But what is less apparent is a great deal of the concrete was pulverized. There is a tremendous … Read more

Confined Earthbag

Sometimes incremental changes are the most effective. People are naturally resistant to major changes, but they’ll more readily grasp and utilize small changes. That’s the thinking behind this confined masonry/earthbag system. Confined masonry is one of the most common building systems in the world, with millions of structures built this way. Confined masonry construction consists … Read more