BIO CONSTRUCTION 2017-11-08T23:27:00+00:00

Project Description


Superadobe can withstand the ferocity of the strongest earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons and other phenomena that can have severe impacts on a home or building. The process offers incredible structural strength, using earth bags stacked on top of each other in the form of a dome, stabilized with barbed wire placed between each bag. This process also provides resistance against fires and floods, while tests conducted in California proved the SuperAdobe method to be impressively resistant to earthquakes.

The ease of construction, availability of materials, and strength of the buildings, make Superadobe construction an excellent option to build homes and shelters in many parts of the world, particularly those prone to the impacts of nature’s most ferocious moments.


Long or short sandbags are filled with moistened earth and arranged in layers or long coils. Strands of barbed wire are placed between each layer of sandbag to act as both mortar and reinforcement. Stabilizers such as cement, lime, or asphalt emulsion may be added. Similar to how a potter stacks coils of clay to make a vessel, builders stack coils of earth for make a structure.

The SuperAdobe building system can be used for structural arches, domes and vaults, or conventional rectilinear shapes. The same method can build silos, landscaping elements, or infrastructure like dams, cisterns, roads, bridges, and for stabilizing shorelines and watercourses.

Basic Materials Needed:

  • Synthetic, low UV (ultra-violet) resistant degradable sand bags
  • Four-point, two strand, galvanized barbed wire
  • Shovels
  • Tampers
  • Soil & Water


The building process is intentionally simple, but the structural integrity of SuperAdobe is the result of years of research. The structural design uses modern engineering concepts like base-isolation and post-tensioning. The long coils of sandbag provide compression (vertical) strength. While the barbed wire adds tensile (horizontal) strength. In addition, the sandbags add flood resistance. The earth itself provides insulation and fire-proofing.


The arch is the strongest form in architecture and has been used in building for thousands of years. A dome is simply an arch rotated 180 degrees. SuperAdobe is extremely well-suited for building arches, domes and vaults, and SuperAdobe domes are extremely strong structures. They have passed California earthquake code tests, and withstood a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Nepal.

Using geometry and a simple compass tool, builders can easily create corbelled dome structures of various heights and up to 22 feet in diameter.


Coconut is a durable fiber that can be transformed into a solid housing structure. The state of Oaxaca has an overabundance of coconut, which makes it the perfect, sustainable material to use for construction.

We are building the foundation of the home with Superadobe (as described above), then applying the framework, and adding a combination of coconut, soil and lime for the walls. The mixture for the walls is made up of approximately:

  • 9 buckets of coconut
  • 2 buckets of soil
  • 2 buckets of lime
  • small amount of cement to help bind the mixture
Juchitán de Zaragoza is an indigenous town in the southeast of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Juchitán is famous for being the first Mexican town to elect a left wing pro-socialist municipal government in the 20th century, when Leopoldo de Gyves won the elections for mayor in 1980 against the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). The region’s progressive politics and strong work ethic have cultivated a tradition of powerful women and an unusual tolerance for alternative gender roles. More…
  • Elevation: 30 m
  • Population: 85,869
  • MunicipalityJuchitán de Zaragoza


Let’s work together in helping rebuild Mexico safely and sustainably.