CalEarth SuperAdobe

Nader Khalili and Cal-Earth Institute, engineered by P.J. Vittore

SuperAdobe is a building system traded by CalEarth that uses sandbags filled with moistened earth and arranged in layers or long coils to build walls.

Product description Brand name and product description

SuperAdobe is a building system developed by CalEarth that uses long or short sandbags filled with moistened earth and arranged in layers or long coils to build shelters or landscaping retaining walls. Strands of barbed wire are placed between each layer of sandbag to act as both mortar and reinforcement. The system is free to use for non-commercial construction and the bags are available for purchase.

Target region(s) Target region for distribution/implementation (listed by country if specified)

Global. Most appropriate for use in arid and desert environments but can be built in cold or wet climates with additional considerations. See frequently asked questions.

Distributors/implementing organizations Organization(s) distributing/deploying this product directly to communities/individuals?"

CalEarth has participated in many relief initiatives and their system has been implemented by several organizations including Small EarthKonbit Shelter among others.

Market suggested retail price Price per unit or service price per usage/terms (USD). Subsidies noted.

Super adobe bags cost between USD 990 – 1,035 for 1,000 yard roll depending on width of bag. Barbed wire and other required tools must be obtained separately. 250 and 500 yard rolls are also available.

Competitive landscape Similar products available on the market. May not be a comprehensive listing.

Another source that promotes earthbag construction is, a resource of information provided by Kelly Hart and Dr. Owen Geiger. They share methods from multiple sources but do not sell bags.

SDG targeted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targeted with this product/application/service

Goal 1: End poverty

Goal 11: Affordable shelter

Target user(s) Target user/consumer base (country, income segment)

The product and system can be used by untrained individuals because the construction requires no expensive equipment and is flexible and fast. It is possible to build alone or as a group and for all members of a household to participate.

The @AutodeskFdn blogged about our how-to guide for communities writing proposals for development projects