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Sandbag Shelters

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Technical Information

  • Award Cycle:
    Status:
    Recipient
    Location:
    Ahwaz, Iran
    Client:
    UNDP/UNHCR Tehran
    Architect:
    Cal-Earth Institute, Nader Khalili
    Size:
    2'200 m²
    Completed:
    1995

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Project Brief:

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Emergency housing for refugees, sponsored by UN agencies and designed by an architect at the Cal-Earth Institute. The arch-shaped adobe houses are seismically safe, impervious to weather conditions, and built using war materials. Sandbags are filled with on-site earth, arranged in layers and lined with strands of barbed wire to act as mortar. Stabilizers like cement, lime and asphalt emulsion are added to the structures, which are fired", turning the mud into a ceramic-like material. Ì_They measure 14 square metres each and, significantly, cost only $4 to construct."