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Sandbag Dome Building Workshop

April 29, 2017 @ 9:00 am - April 30, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

$2 – $295.

“A renewable material for a sustainable future”

About the workshop

This workshop is for those who are interested in alternative sustainable low cost shelters and structures. Sand if often abundant in our surroundings and used in bags makes an excellent construction material that is cheap, sound proof, well insulated, and energy efficient. Structures, when rendered, they can look sensational and can last a very long time. Earthbag or Sandbag dome construction is a great way to build a dome easily and cheaply. Earth bag domes can be built with any type of soil and is a highly sustainable form of construction. Earthbag domes are used as structures in India, Africa, the middle east and other countries and are known for their strength, structural ability and their durability during earthquakes.

This workshop is for those who wish to design and build sandbag structures for their home, farm or community and become more self-reliant, energy efficient and sustainable.

Sandbag buildings can be used in many ways at your home or other environments. They are a renewable, environmentally friendly and sustainable. Sandbag structures can be used as:

  • Animal shelters – as they are cool and noise proof;
  • Landscaping – to create curves in walls or retaining walls;
  • Earthberms – to control water flow and
  • Buildings such as studios, car ports, tool sheds, fire bunkers or even homes.

As part of this hands-on workshop you will get your hands dirty building an earthbag dome while learning the basics.

Workshop Project

Over the weekend you will learn how to make a sandbag dome structure that will be used as a home for noisy turkeys. From scratch, you will learn how to design, prepare and construct the structure from footings to completion. Once built you will then render the shelter to its completed state. The project demonstrates an array of techniques used in sandbag construction and provides participants with the knowledge and skills of sandbag building confidently and to be able to build their own structures. It will be fun packed, informative, hands on and very practical. Don’t miss it!

The workshop is a great opportunity to learn about alternative building techniques with like-minded people. The workshop caters for all level of skill and age groups and no prior experience is required.

Workshop Outcomes

This practical hands-on workshop will cover the practical aspects of building with sandbags. It covers all the important basics you need to know including

About the Trainer

Munir Vahanvati

portrait_MunirMunir is an architect and co-founder of Giant Grass with more than 9 years of experience in sandbag dome construction. He has worked on sandbag projects in India and is passionate about using the natural form to create beautiful structures. Since then his main focus has been on design innovation, creating designs that are efficient and attractive and minimise labour input to maximise productivity. He has designed many and constructed many structures and likes to get others involved in the hands-on process. Munir has facilitated community workshops and short courses at the universities of NSW, Adelaide and Canberra. He is a fabulous trainer.


For more information on Munir & Mittul’s work and projects please visit the Giant Grass website: www.giantgrassdesign.com

Workshop Program

The workshop program is largely practical (constructing a sand bag dome structure), providing hands-on experience, skills and confidence. Classroom sessions will also provide information and theory and will cover the following topics of:

  • Design process for sandbag construction (project, brief & design)
  • How to maintain sandbag constructions
  • Effective joinery
  • Required tools for sandbag construction
  • Sandbag books and resources
  • Evening slides, displays and discussion
  • Principles of building with sandbags
  • Various types of bamboo connections including bolting, lashing, etc
  • Various sandbag building techniques
  • Design, layout and setting out the dome
  • Foundation and water proof course
  • Making doors and windows from earth-bags
  • Rendering the dome with lime and cement

Accommodation & meals:

A range of on-site accommodation at “Bandusia” is available for all budgets for the Friday and or Saturday evenings. The morning breakfasts and evening dinners are also included in the accommodation fee. Click here for options.

What to Bring:

Design or photos of your place to discuss your sandbag project ideas; work shoes; gloves; hat; sun glasses; insect repellant; camera; water bottle. All other materials will be provided and included in the workshop fee. If you are staying at Bandusia, you may wish to bring some refreshments to supplement those available locally but in limited supply at the St Albans café and pub.


April 29, 2017 @ 9:00 am
April 30, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
$2 – $295.
Event Categories:
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Bandusia Country Retreat
1056 Upper Macdonald Rd
Upper MacDonald (St Albans), NSW Australia
+ Google Map
(02) 4568 2036


Munir Vahanvati
Design or photos of your place to discuss your sandbag project ideas; work shoes; gloves; hat; sun glasses; insect repellant; camera; water bottle.
Click here for details
all course notes and materials, organic lunches and morning and afternoon teas.