Earthbags

From every perspective, we are dedicated to projects that serve communities in a sustainable and holistic manner. In fact we are dedicated to the system at work that brings about higher rates of education for girls and women. That means that the school building isn’t the only thing that we are working on.

We examine the baseline of where a community is starting from. Where it wants to go. What programs will help it get there. What infrastructure needs it has. How invested it is. And more. If and when a school building is determined to be needed, we work with a wide network of architects and engineers to implement initiatives in the most eco-friendly and cost-effective way possible.

In 2011, we discovered that a community we planned to support in Nepal’s Solukhumbu (Everest) Region lacked access to an adequate supply of stone, which is the traditional building material in the region. Tasked with finding a new solution, we teamed up our in-house experts with several professional Architecture for Humanity chapters across the US in order to research alternative building methods appropriate for the region.

Earthbag construction is a masonry-based form of construction that utilizes bags filled with dirt and soil as the primary building block. Essentially these rectangular shaped bags are like giant bricks. There are many reasons for using earthbag construction in a region like the Solukhumbu. Earthbag buildings are known for their earthquake resistant properties, and the Solukhumbu Region has a lot of seismic activity. In fact, earthbag construction is permitted under the State of California’s building code. And after the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015 we discovered that the 6 structures that we’ve supported being built are all still standing and undamaged.

Also, in Nepal, we source 80 percent of the building materials necessary for earthbag construction locally on site, which is a tremendous benefit considering that most external building supplies must be carried in on foot.

For more information on our earthbag projects or to inquire about enlisting one of our earthbag experts in your next project, please send us an email at info@edgeofseven.org.