Natural Building Workshop With Earth Bag Superadobe

Share Article

Alderleaf Wilderness College offers a hands-on workshop in natural building and creates a functional root cellar using superadobe technology.

Building an Earth Bag Superadobe Structure

“Superadobe is an adobe that is stretched from history into the new century. It is like an umbilical cord connecting the traditional with the future adobe world.” –Nader Khalili

Alderleaf Wilderness College ( will be hosting Natural Building with Earth Bag, a 5 day, hands-on workshop during which participants will learn about superadobe and construct a root cellar at the Alderleaf campus in Monroe. Taught by experienced natural builder Eli Adadow, the workshop will include lessons in design, foundations, walls, framing, roof systems and the use of local, abundant materials. Participants will also learn about aspects of superadobe such as thermal performance, strength and integrity, cost effectiveness, empowering community and practicing sustainability.

Superadobe or earth bag construction is a simple, but ingenious method of construction developed by innovator, architect and humanitarian Nader Khalili. It involves filling long bags full of on-site earth, then arranging them into coils and stabilizing them with a coil of barbed wire between each layer. These layers then are shaped into various types of structural shapes such as: domes, arches, apses and vaults. For permanent structures, the exterior can be plastered over. These techniques can be used to build a wide variety of structures including homes, emergency shelters, tool, bike, and garden sheds, playhouses and many more.

Once completed, these buildings have been shown to be resistant to fire, hurricanes, floods and earth quakes. They are both, structurally sound and beautiful to behold. This recently developed technique is based on much older techniques of cob and adobe structures.

“Superadobe is an adobe that is stretched from history into the new century. It is like an umbilical cord connecting the traditional with the future adobe world.” –Nader Khalili

Building using earth bag techniques can be done quickly and for very low cost. It is an effective means of creating emergency shelters within a few days. This technology has already been used to create long-lasting shelters at UN refugee camps. Superadobe construction has been used in many different countries, including Costa Rica, Chile, Iran, Siberia, Thailand, Mali, Brazil, Canada and the USA.

It will be great to see the results of knowledge of superadobe and many hands coming together to create something new, functional and inspiring. This is transformative, sustainable, community-based technology in action.

Alderleaf Wilderness College is a nature education center and wilderness survival school. Alderleaf offers innovative permaculture, wildlife tracking, nature education, sustainable living, and wilderness survival courses in the Pacific Northwest. Led by a staff of seasoned professionals, our wilderness courses provide training in valuable nature skills. For more event details:


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jason Knight
Visit website