Catalyst House

Superadobe Live in Kolhapur India!

superadobe in india

……………(Click image to enlarge)

– Repost Via: Scott Kafora Gandhi Worldwide

To commemorate Gandhi’s first civil resistance 120th anniversary we are happy to make the following exciting announcement…

After three years of intensive research, architectural programming, design, development and budgeting by GWEI and AVANI (see Catalyst House October 22 2012 and January 5 2013) the first two of up to 16 Superadobe earthen-based dome structures take shape on a five acre plot of rural farmland just south of Kolhapur, India.

The Times of India (The largest English language newspaper) featured an article on our work on Saturday, June 1, 2013.

A group of four volunteers specialists in both permaculture and Superadobe construction techniques have spent the past six months educating, training and constructing the new landscape and dome structures.

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Earthbag Revolution: A Video by Sierra

This video was inspired by a RV Adventure road trip back in 2007.  Sierra’s love of traveling, ancient architecture, and nature was the motivating factor in becoming a full time solo RV explorer.  During her adventures on the road she came across many ancient settlements and was fascinated by the agelessness and simplicity of Earthen Architecture. She started researching all types of Natural Building techniques and decided to focus on Earthbag Building and the timeless genius of the Cal-Earth SuperAdobe earthbag method. She  is currently involved in a large dome earthbag project in Canada.

Cal-Earth Apprentices Arrive in Kolhapur India

Whitey at Cal-Earth

Excerpt from Whitey Flagg’s ShelterSpace blog

In September I returned to Southern California to begin my long-term apprenticeship at Cal-Earth.

– See also: Amazing SuperAdobe

I learned Super-adobe and many different types of foundations, flooring, plastering, waterproofing, and much more. I have been studying Permaculture for some time but was also able to participate in a PDC course and finally receive my certificate. As a bonus, this course ended with an unexpected visit from Geoff and Nadia Lawton who gave a one day lecture on “Greening the Mojave Desert”.

While I was teaching a workshop on how to build an emergency sandbag shelter, we received a visit from Lynnea Bylund of Catalyst House, a strategic alliance  consultancy, and her guest, Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of the Mahatma. Lynnea and Tushar sit on the Board of Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, a benefactor of the AVANI Organization, which provides child labor rescue and women’s advocacy in India. Together, the two organizations are building a residence for children and an educational facility near the town of Kolhapur.

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The Amazing Cal-Earth SuperAdobe Building Method

Nader Khalili invented SuperAdobe

Nader Khalili – visionary, architect, teacher extraordinaire, humanitarian, super-adobe inventor, Rumi scholar.

I have had the pleasure of three visits to the incredible Cal-Earth Institute, in Hesperia California, in recent months.  Our visits have set the stage for Cal-Earth indigenous earth-bag building techniques to be utilized by the Gandhi Worldwide / AVANI Center in Kolhapur India.  The Cal-Earth story and that of its founder’s revolutionary building techniques deserve no small mention and appreciation.

The global need for housing includes millions refugees and displaced persons – victims of natural disasters and wars. Iranian architect, author, visionary and Rumi-Scholar Nader Khalili (1936-2008) believed that this need can be addressed only by using the potential of indigenous earth construction.

Khalili SuperAdobe renderingAfter extensive research into vernacular earth building methods in Iran, followed by detailed prototyping, Khalili developed the sandbag or ‘superadobe’ system.  The basic construction technique involves filling sandbags with indigenous (to a given area) earth and laying them in courses in a circular plan. The circular courses are corbelled near the top to form a dome. Barbed wire is laid between courses (creates a ‘velcro’ effect) to prevent the sandbags from shifting and to provide earthquake resistance. Hence the materials typically found of war – sandbags and barbed wire – are used for peaceful ends, integrating traditional earth architecture with contemporary global safety requirements in an organically aesthetic fashion.

Starting in 1982, Nader Khalili developed and tested the Superadobe prototype in California. In 1991 he founded the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture (Cal-Earth), a non-profit research and educational organization that covers everything from construction on the moon and on Mars to housing design and development for the world’s homeless for the United Nations.

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