Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mud Houses for Mars

Win the 1980’s, when NASA wanted ideas for how to build on Mars (or the moon), Persian architect Nader Khalili came up with a winning concept. No need to transport much from Earth; just bring woven plastic tubes. On Mars simply fill up the tubes with dirt to create coils that can be built up to form walls, then roofs.

We are not building on Mars or the moon yet, but Khalili is busy building his ‘superadobe’ mud houses here on Earth. This building technique is easily downscaled to become a low-tech housing house-building solution for poorer countries and for emergency housing.

It is also argued to be a sustainable form of construction because much of the material used is from the building site itself, minimizing energy use on transport. It uses a lot of labour and much less of equipment and materials that contain a high amount of ‘embedded’ energy.

More on Khalili's work at

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Kyle and Svet Keeton said...

I would build one of these. That looks like the best of all worlds. Cool in summer and warm in winter. Talk about natural insulation. These are fantastic workers that can make these mud homes.


Roberto said...

The issue of using mud and adobe in building houses never ceases to fascinate me. May I add that these homes are far cooler in hot climates and more comfortable to live in.