College - Author 1

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 1

Construction Management Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Construction Management



Primary Advisor/Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Scott Kelting, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Construction Management Department


The science behind creating an adobe house has been around for thousands of years; the primitive mixture contains only dirt, water, and straw. Left to cure in bricks or as a single cast-in-place system, the structure will provide long-lasting protection from the elements. Science has taken this a step further with the introduction of cementitious admixtures and reinforcement. The result is an adobe structure with exemplary thermo-retentive properties and load-bearing capabilities. This project provides an analysis on the “SuperAdobe” earthbag system that has been put into practice by independent contractors and housing-relief initiatives. The goal of the project was to estimate a disaster-relief style structure as a template for future application. The aim of the estimate was to conclude that this structure would be cost-effective and relevant to disaster relief efforts. The project was estimated in the Otay Ranch area of San Diego and found that the total estimated cost of the structure was just above $1,700,000 for 100 units—a unit cost of $17,000 per home, complying with all permitting and development requirements. The analysis highlighted many points of optimism for future expansion of this technology, with many possibilities for housing efforts that will address key issues in the modern world.

Earthbag Architecture (1).pdf (7062 kB)
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