'The $300 House' Challenge

Bring affordable housing to the world’s poor. $25,000 prize pool

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earthbag community

iLINES
iLINES
2. Rank8.21 Rating473 Ratings267 Comments29931 ViewsSubmitted on Apr 24, 2011
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Description

House community made of bags filled with local materials.

COST REPORT:

dimensions of the building:
community building: 12,5 m x 12,5 m = 156,25 sq.m
atrium: 6 m x 6 m = 36 sq. m

120,25 sq.m minus space for walls = 100 sq.m living space for 7 living quarters

altogether walls: 100 m (length) x 2,5 m (height)

dimensions of the bags:
filled compressed bag: 0,5 m (length) x 0,15 m (height)

How many bags will we need:
Height: 2,5 m : 0,15 m = 16 rows of bags
Length: 100 m : 0,50 m = 200 bags per row

16 x 200 = 3200 bags

The bags usually come in bales of 1,000 ($ 100,- + $ 40,- shipping)
$ 0,14/bag (incl. shipping) = $ 448,- for 3200 bags

Earth / sand / soil to fill the bags:
free local materials (see below)

Barbed wire to prevent shifting:
average cost for a 400 m roll of 4-point barbed wire is $ 50,-

16 rows x 100 m = 1600 m
1600 m : 400 m = 4 rolls of wire
4 x $ 50,- = $ 200,-

The roof:
bamboo/wood/metall for roof timbering
e.g. 60 bamboo poles (lenght 4 m) at $ 4,-/pole = $ 240,-

120 m hemp rope to fix the bamboo poles = $ 10,-

100 sq. m cardboard (for insulation) at $ 0,5/sq. m = $ 50,-

100 sq. m trapezoidal sheet or corrugated sheet metal at $ 5,-/sq. m = $ 500,-


Finish plasters:
free local materials: adobe earth, straw, clay, papercrete with optional lime plaster anchored to chicken wire

500 sq. m chicken wire at $ 0,8/sq. m = $ 400,-

Total:
3200 polypropylene bags: $ 448,-
1600m barbed wire: $ 200,-
60 bamboo poles: $ 240,-
120 m hemp rope: $ 10,-
100 sq. m cardboard:  $ 50,-
100 sq. m trapezoidal sheet:  $ 500,-
500 sq. m chicken wire: $ 400,-

= $ 1848,00 for 7 living quarters

$ 1848,00 : 7 = $ 264,00 /living quarter



Other cost considerations:

foundation: rammed earth, rubble trench, bags filled with stone, rammed plant fibers mixed with earth etc.
doors: old doors (junkyard) or old wood
windows: removable wooden windows instead of glass

Temporary wooden boxes (during building process) for windows and doors are reusable components that can be used for multiple projects.

Earth/soil to fill the bags:
If a new village is created, it makes sense to provide a sewer and a storm water catch basin (lake). The earth can then be used to fill the bags.

There is a cost report of earthbag buildings in this book:
http://www.amazon.de/Earthbag-Building-Tricks-Techniques-Natural/dp/0865715076
(pages 233-235)

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