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Vanuatu Update: Experience is everything — 3 Comments

  1. Other advantages of earthbag homes are that the walls are so substantial that they are severe weather and natural disaster resistant including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and even bullets. Architect Nader Khalili under supervision of the International Conference of Building Officials tested earthbag structures simulating seismic, wind and snow loads, and the tests surpassed the rigorous 1991 Uniform Building Code requirements by 200 percent. Earthbags use local natural materials so are non-toxic and do not offgas fumes or use tremendous amounts of energy transporting building materials. They do not burn or attract vermin. They provide great thermal mass for solar energy when filled with soil, or great insulation when filled with light weight materials like perlite, vermiculite, rice hulls, or crushed volcanic rock, or even gravel for non-wicking foundations. The bags can be stacked in unusual shapes and do not require cutting down forests or using steel for structure. The bags do need to be covered with some material, usually plaster, to protect them from ultraviolet rays and water breakdown.

    • Good points. And they’re very affordable, more so than other housing methods that are earthquake and hurricane resistant. That’s why locals in Vanuatu are so excited about earthbag building. Liz is getting deluged with requests for earthbag houses.

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