Q: What's Earthbag Technology?
A: Earthbag construction is an inexpensive, sustainable and eco-friendly method for building strong permanent structures that utilize onsite subsoil to fill polypropylene bags that are staggered like masonry and tamped solid.
Q: What are the benefits of Earthbag building?
A: The benefits of Earthbag building are: inexpensive, eco-friendly, easy to learn and build, durable, earthquake and flood resistant.
Q: What's an Earthbag?
A. An Earthbag is a polypropylene bag filled with ordinary sub-soil obtained from a nearby field or back yard and tamped solid.
Q. Are Earthbag buildings earthquake-resistant?
A. Yes. Of over thirty Earthbag structures built in Nepal, every single one survived the magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Earthbag buildings are also flood and weather-resistant, and rodent-proof.
Q: How is Earthbag technology different from other, more conventional building techniques?
A. Earthbag technology relies primarily on locally obtained soil. Building with Earthbags is far cheaper, easier and more eco-friendly than using conventional building materials and methods. Earthbag construction can also be employed at DIY capacity unlike most other construction methods.
Q. How long will an Earthbag building last?
A. Built and maintained properly, an Earthbag building should stand for centuries.
Q. How much does it cost to build an Earthbag house?
A. Our first Earthbag house, that uses Level D Earthbag reinforcement techniques, costed about $14.7 per square foot. We expect our next Earthbag project to be considerably less expensive.
Q. Are Earthbag buildings more or less expensive than conventional buildings, and why?
A. Building with Earthbags costs much less than building with conventional materials. Using a minimum of cement, steel and wood means material, fuel and transportation expenses are greatly reduced, and ease of construction results in substantially reduced lower labor costs.
Q. How long does it take to build an Earthbag house?
A. Kamala's house, built during monsoon season, took 8 weeks. Future builds will proceed much faster.
Q. How does Earthbag construction affect the environment?
A. Earthbag technology is extremely eco-friendly. No factory is required to manufacture the primary construction material used, nor are vehicles or fuel required to transport it.
Q. Who can build an Earthbag house or school?
A. At a typical Earthbag build you might find an engineer who drafts blueprints, takes soil samples and supervises the construction, skilled builders who lay the Earthbags and install doors, windows and roofs, and laborers to stuff and carry the Earthbags.
Q. What tools and equipment are used?
A. Earthbag technology requires only the simplest of tools and equipment-buckets, shovels, hammers, chisels, etc.
Q. What do Earthbag buildings look like?
A. Earthbag structures come in all sorts of styles and designs, and are custom-built in accordance with a community's needs and desires. We build only after extensive consultation with community leaders, and in strict accordance with Nepali cultural norms and values.
Q. Must an Earthbag building have a domed roof?
A. Absolutely not. In fact, nearly all Earthbag structures currently being built or planned in Nepal employ conventional flat or sloping roofs and are square shaped.
Q. Can Nepal Earthbag design and construction techniques be employed by other counties and in other parts of the world?
A. Earthbag technology is perfectly suited to a wide variety of terrains, cultures and environments and is not restricted to countries with limited resources, infrastructure and training. Good Earth Nepal is committed to promoting its use worldwide.