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Green Architecture & Building Products



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SuperAdobe by Cal-Earth

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Superadobe is a tubular sandbag and barbed wire technology that allows for the creation of a large, long adobe. It is a simple adobe that provides an instant and flexible line generator. SuperAdobe integrates traditional earth architecture with contemporary global safety requirements. Long or short sandbags are filled with on-site earth and arranged in layers or long coils (compression) with strands of barbed wire placed between them to act as both mortar and reinforcement (tension). Stabilizers such as cement, lime, or asphalt emulsion may be added. This patented and trademarked (U.S. patent #5,934,027, #3,195,445) technology is offered free to the needy of the world, and licensed for commercial use.

This concept was originally presented by architect Nader Khalili to NASA for building habitats on the moon and Mars, as “Velcro-adobe”.

The structural principles of the timeless forms of arches, domes, vaults, and apses are built with the materials of earth, sandbags and barbed wire using the engineering of single and double curvature compression shell structures, to reach the ultimate in strength, self-help, and aesthetics. In SuperAdobe, the ancient earth architecture of the Middle East using sun-dried mud bricks is fused with its portable nomadic culture of fabrics and tensile elements. Structural design uses modern engineering concepts like base-isolation and post-tensioning. The innovation of barbed wire adds the tensile element to the traditional earthen structures, creating earthquake resistance despite the earth’s low shear strength. The aerodynamic forms resist hurricanes. The innovation of sandbags adds flood resistance, and easy construction, while the earth itself provides insulation and fire-proofing.

The SuperAdobe tubes can be coiled into vaults and domes, the way a potter coils a pot, with barbed wire reinforcement, to build structures that pass California’s earthquake codes. These structures can last for one season before returning to earth, or they can be stabilized, waterproofed, and finished as permanent houses. The system can be used for structural arches, domes and vaults, or conventional rectilinear shapes. The same method can build silos, clinics, schools, landscaping elements, or infrastructure like dams, cisterns, roads, bridges, and for stabilizing shorelines and watercourses.

 

SuperAdobe

SuperAdobe by CalEarth ©2015 Cal-Earth / Jan Berckmans