By Asmaa Bahadi
By Asmaa Bahadi
Rabat – Domed houses are something we very rarely see, as this type of structure is usually used for large public buildings, such as mosques or cathedrals. However, this style of geometry has inspired a new Moroccan company to normalize it on an ecological level.
This project was started by a company from the Hassania School of Public Works in Rabat. Eco-dome Morocco is a startup founded by Mustapha Bahraoui,a hydraulic engineer, and Younes Ouazri, a civil engineer.
This construction company builds dome-shaped housing. The structures are made from bags filled with a mixture of earth and cement which is used as a binder. The bags are stacked and secured, then the structure is coated with a mixture of hydrated lime and straw..
The concept behind Eco-domes iwas inspired by the work of the Iranian architect Nader Khalili who used sandbags known as “super adobe” in the 80s.
“We have adapted this concept to a Moroccan context and the local materials. Concerning the construction, we have considered the geotechnical effects of each type of land,” says Younes Ouazri, co-founder of Morocco Eco-Dome.
Both the startup’ s promoters aim to develop their product by targeting investors in the tourism sector.
The materials used will ensure acoustic (soundproofing) and thermal insulation. The housing’s construction is up to two times faster than that of a conventional house. The mixture used in the bags is 90% earth and 10 % cement. This composition allows the structure to have a certain stability. Moreover, these aesthetically authentic structures are also resistant to earthquakes.The cost per square meter of an Eco- Dome is 2,000 dirhams. But the price may vary depending on the coating, tiling and the interior.
Currently, the startup is on its third project. The first prototype is still in the Hassania School of Public Work. While the second is a 72 m² home that has been built by Morocco Eco-dome team in Sidi Allal Bahraoui in the region of Rabat, and is currently inhabited by a family of five.
The third Eco-Dome that is 250 m² is currently under construction and will house a cultural center in Agouim, near Ouarzazate and includes 150 covered domes. The “Eco- domes ” require special permission to be built from the authorities. Since the material used is earth-based, engineers have to submit a file of the structure stability guarantees.
Edited by Anna Hill