Enactus Cairo University builds low-cost, sustainable earth-bag buildings that provide an alternative solution for the housing problem. The main goal is to form suitable houses for the homeless people, utilizing earth-bags due to economic, environmental and social advantages. Additionally to provide shelter for the homeless, we are also aiming to decrease the unemployment rate by teaching the Bedouin youth the craft of building earth bags houses.
The technical aspect to construct a fully functioning house using sandbags is quite simple Environmental material is extracted from the earth underneath our feet, saving a lot of money spent in building a normal reinforced concrete house, reducing the pollution by using environmental materials, also saving time by finishing the house in almost 15 days.
Earth bags (sandbags) is both an old and a new idea. Sandbags have long been used particularly by the military for creating strong, protective barriers, or for flood control. The same reasons that make them useful for these applications carry over to creating housing. Since the walls are so substantial, they resist all kinds of severe weather (or even bullets) and also stand up to natural calamities such as earthquakes and floods.
Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East and the third-most populous on the African continent (after Nigeria and Ethiopia).
Small communities spread throughout the desert regions of Egypt are clustered around oases and historic trade and transportation routes. The proportion of the population living in rural areas has continued to decrease as people move to the cities in search of employment and a higher standard of living.
However, there is not always a match between the supply of labor from the rural areas and the demand for work in the urban centers. This mismatch leads to unemployment, consequently to poverty and in many cases also to homelessness. Enactus Cairo University therefore builds sandbag houses in the urban area of Arish, Sinai, Egypt.
Earthbag houses are affordable in the Egyptian sales market compared to other housing compounds; we aim to provide something useful at low cost.
Despite the low cost of sandbags we are working on capacity building for the residents of Sinai and empowering them to become young entrepreneurs by engaging them in the building process to be aware of the process in order to become our future stakeholders at this location.
Facts about Earthbags:
CO2 emission of one earth-bag wall is less by more than 95% compared to a conventional brick wall.
The absolute low-cost housing can save more than 65% by applying all earth-bag features.
Time is money; earth-bag system has the advantage of very rapid construction rate.
The earth-bag system exhibits tremendous thermal stability; the occupant will be kept cool in summer and warm in winter.Earthquake resistance is very high in earth-bag houses.
Plastered earth-bag walls are fire resistant.
Construction techniques can be learned easily in a few days.
The weight of the sandbag is almost 7 kg, which is very light compared to conventional bricks.