Earthbag houses have the ability to significantly reduce the cost of construction for decent shelters in Kenya. They have thick walls which take up floor space. To make maximum utility out of a small restricted space, earthbag buildings can be storeyed into 2 levels.
This building, designed by MMA Architects of South Africa, has 2 storeys and is made of earthbags.
A wooden truss with blockboard surface can then be fitted to create the 1st floor surface.
Hardcore on the foundation trenches help reduce foundation costs and make the building much stronger for the much needed support.
Barbed wire is introduced in between the bags to hold the bags together for a much stronger wall.
Round shaped walls are naturally structurally stronger than straight walls.
The roof structure is laid on a thick wall plate to spread the weight evenly along the wall.
Internal wall plaster can be done with decorative patterns to increase aesthetic appeal.
Earthbags also have the advantage of being easily dismantled and reconstructed in a different location, like prefab panel buildings. Earthbag buildings tremendously save the environment with their low carbon footprint .
In hotel resort projects, where uniqueness of a building matters most, earthbags can enable use of curvilinear structures which usually come out more unique than the regular rectilinear buildings we are all used to seeing.
Earthbag buildings can also be easily converted into live green buildings.
Hardcore foundations well raised above ground level will go a long way in keeping moisture from the walls.