Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on May 12, 2008
A new house often means relying on your friends. Friends can help you pack, they can loan you their pickup and/or help you move your belongings. Sometimes they can just be there to provide moral support while you get settled.
But if you’re looking at moving into one of Calearth’s Sand Bag Homes, your friends can be helpful in an altogether different way: they can actually help you build it.
Originally conceived as emergency shelters, sand bag homes use local earth-filled Superadobe coils (comprised of sandbags and barbed wire), which are stacked into your desired shape. It can be built quickly at a low cost and using the skills of ordinary humans. No construction workers required. As a relief shelter, architect Nader Khalili claims the structure is cheaper in materials than erecting a tent. (And it’s obviously more durable.)
To make it a more permanent home, you simply apply mortar and waterproof it. Okay, so the completed Sand Bag Home looks like something out of a low budget production of “Hansel and Gretel”, but the company claims the houses are so strong they comply with the most rigid earthquake codes.
Depending on your local housing restrictions, the structures can be built as a large open room or divided into different sections. And as your need for space grows, so can your home — either by adding another structure and connecting it or by building more next door and forming a series of courtyard houses. And according to Calearth’s website, the home is “designed with the sun, shade and wind in mind for passive cooling and heating” and “solar energy and radiant heating may be incorporated.”
Gives a cool new meaning to the term “starter home”, doesn’t it?
The best news? The kit for an approximately 400 square foot single unit will only $2,400 ($3,200 for a double unit) and that includes shipping. So, all you need to do is entice 3 or 4 friends to come over and together you can build yourself a house.
For more information, check out Calearth’s website.