‘The $300 House’ Challenge



iLINES almost 3 years ago


House community made of bags filled with local materials.


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,-

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:
(pages 233-235)

For illustrations visit: https://www.jovoto.com/projects/300house/ideas/12132


Een gedachte over “‘The $300 House’ Challenge

  1. http://www.amazon.de/Earthbag-Building-Tricks-Techniques-Natural/dp/0865715076

    Earthbag Building: The Tools, Tricks and Techniques: The Tool, Tricks and Techniques (Natural Building)

    Over 70 percent of Americans cannot afford to own a code-enforced, contractor-built home. This has led to widespread interest in using natural materials-straw, cob, and earth-for building homes and other buildings that are inexpensive, and that rely largely on labor rather than expensive and often environmentally-damaging outsourced materials. Earthbag Building is the first comprehensive guide to all the tools, tricks, and techniques for building with bags filled with earth-or earthbags. Having been introduced to sandbag construction by the renowned Nader Khalili in 1993, the authors developed this “Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique” over the last decade. A reliable method for constructing homes, outbuildings, garden walls and much more, this enduring, tree-free architecture can also be used to create arched and domed structures of great beauty-in any region, and at home, in developing countries, or in emergency relief work. This profusely illustrated guide first discusses the many merits of earthbag construction, and then leads the reader through the key elements of an earthbag building: Special design considerations Foundations, walls and floors Electrical, plumbing and shelving Lintels, windows and door installations Roofs, arches and domes Exterior and interior plasters. With dedicated sections on costs, making your own specialized tools, and building code considerations, as well as a complete resources guide, Earthbag Building is the long-awaited, definitive guide to this uniquely pleasing construction style. Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer have been involved in the construction industry for the last 20 years, specializing in affordable, low-tech, low-impact building methods that are as natural as possible. They developed the “Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique” of building affordably with earthbags and have taught the subject and contributed their expertise to several books and journals on natural building.

Geef een reactie

Vul je gegevens in of klik op een icoon om in te loggen.

WordPress.com logo

Je reageert onder je WordPress.com account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Google+ photo

Je reageert onder je Google+ account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )


Je reageert onder je Twitter account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Facebook foto

Je reageert onder je Facebook account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )


Verbinden met %s