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Global Housing Partners provides a simple and economical STACK-A-SACK (SAS) SYSTEM™ that is low-tech and low-cost, and can be utilized by local village populations, to satisfy the need for a “do-it-yourself” method, to build rugged climate and earthquake resilient homes.
The STACK-A-SACK (SAS) SYSTEM™ is briefly presented as follows:Discrete structural construction units comprising porous burlap or polypropylene sacks containing a dry premixed fill of aggregate, sand and cement are prepared in sufficient quantity required for the construction of the walls of the home.
A building structure is constructed by excavating suitable trenches for the foundation; filling the trenches to ground level with concrete and reinforcing steel to form foundation beams; arranging at least one course of the pre-filled sacks on the outer beams of the foundation; wetting the sacks of this course to set up; pouring a concrete slab floor within the confines of the outer foundation beam using the first course of sacks as a form; laying successive courses of sacks with staggered joints; wetting the sacks to set up; driving reinforcing steel through two levels of sacks on two foot intervals, continuing this process to complete the structural height of the walls of the building; incorporating door, window frames and utilities, at the appropriate locations in the walls as they are constructed; troweling or spraying a cement skin on the surfaces of the walls and adding a conventional roof.
The object of this SYSTEM therefore, is the elimination of the requirement for the high cost of skilled labor, wood forming and motorized construction equipment, which is normally required in the construction of building code compliant, reinforced concrete structures.Global Housing Partners will select local, in-country partners who have the capability to supervise the willing participants, in the construction of their own home.
Global Housing Partners will provide to the selected partner, all of the assistance required for this effort in the form of drawings, DVDs, financing and onsite training by members of the GHP staff, if requested.
It is expected that the participants selected by the partner, will provide their own labor as “sweat equity”, in the construction and ownership, of their own home.
The STACK-A-SACK (SAS) SYSTEM™ provides the following:
A simple construction process that can be followed utilizing the skill sets of the local villagers, allowing them to participate in the construction of their
own earthquake resilient home, thereby providing “sweat equity”.
All materials can be locally obtained. There are no requirements for any off-
site manufacturing of components with the exception of doors and
This is not a prefabricated look-alike panelized box form of construction,
nor is it a “cookie-cutter” architectural type of construction where “one size
fits all”, nor is it a reinforced concrete frame with masonry infill
construction requiring high costs and a long construction time.
This SYSTEM can be adapted to most any type of architectural design,
thereby creating an individuality and attractiveness to the villages, to suit
individual tastes. This system truly lends itself to custom construction.
Construction costs, using local labor and materials, have proven to be as
much as 30% to 60% less than any locally competing system.
Four local laborers with average construction skills can build a home ready for occupancy in 30 days or less.
All local villagers can be employed in the building operations of any number
of homes thereby relieving unemployment problems, and adding income to
Provides a positive community involvement and a heightened sense of self-
esteem for the villagers in the knowledge that they have built their own
climate, and earthquake resilient homes.
This SYSTEM allows the local villagers, with government funding and minor
technical expertise, to rebuild their villages to today’s earthquake standards
at a fraction of the conventional costs. A win-win situation for all
Rapid response in the event of an earthquake, In that after the initial damage and rubble is cleared, construction can begin immediately with
earthquake resilient homes coming on line within 30 days.
Workmen trained in this SYSTEM can travel to other villages and train
others in the building of homes for the homeless, or rebuilding of damaged
- Funding for this SYSTEM could be as much as 60% less than conventional projects thereby allowing for a wider implementation of the program for the available funding.
International Conference of Building Officials(I.C.B.O.) No. 2381-P.
Southern Building Code Conference No. 7288-74.
National Building Research Institute Counsil for scientific and Industrial Research of the Republic of South Africa.
Eligibility for FHA mortgage insurance as evidenced by Structural Bulletin No. 491. Housing and Urban Development.
- Wall panels built according to this system were laboratory tested in accordance with ASTM E-72. The test results indicated that it was readily apparent that structures suitable for human habitation, which meet or exceed even the most stringent building code requirements for hurricane and earthquake areas may be constructed in accordance with this system.