A method which builds on the traditional practices of atakpamé mud construction-- a process of hand packing clay soil to form mud walls which has been used for thousands of years throughout rural communities.
The Earth-Bag building method is a do-it-yourself approach, which enables families to build stronger wall masses that continue to keep them cooler and better protected than conventional methods of sand-crete block construction.
The technique is a variation of rammed earth building known as flexible formed rammed earth and allows walls system to be constructed without the excessive wooden framework necessary for ordinary rammed earth construction.
With this method large polypropylene bags, similar to rice sacks are filled with the common laterite-clay soil used for traditional mud buildings. The bags are sewn closed and then arranged in well laid out wall course and compacted solid thru manually ramming with large iron mallets. Each additional row of sacks is staggered to allow overlapping and lines of barbwire are used to create a scratch bond in between each course that helps prevent slippage as the walls rise. At the lintel level the wall system is structurally reinforced with a continuous concrete bond beam and columns are used where necessary. The completed wall system is then rendered smooth with a final cement based plaster creating a conventional wall finish. >>>The Earth-Bag building technique has been widely studied and seismically tested in the United States.