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Rice Bag

OHF Solution

Rice Bag House

The Rice Bag House (also known as Earthbag House / Sand Bag House) is an ingenious idea.


On 25 April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal and northern India. The earthquake was the worst disaster recorded in Nepal since the 1934 earthquake. According to the UNDP, an estimated 9,000 people lost their lives while another 23,000 were injured. Damages and losses came to a total of almost US$7 billion. 8 million people were affected, with some 500,000 buildings and homes destroyed, and more than 250,000 structures partially damaged across 31 of Nepal’s 75 districts.

Potential Solution

The Rice Bag House is an ideal solution for mountainous areas as the villagers do not have to carry building materials like bricks and concrete to their homes where there is no road access.

How it Works?

It uses rice bags that are filled with soil to form the walls of the house. As soil is readily available, villagers only need to carry empty rice bags (as opposed to bricks). Barbed wires are used at every layer to hold the rice bags together making it very safe. Steel rebars are inserted into the walls at various points to strengthen the structure. The rice bags are covered with chicken wire and plastered with cement/mud. This will prevent rats from biting through the rice bags. Rice Bag Houses have several benefits, including earthquake resistance, construction using affordable and easily accessible materials, fast and simple building process, customization and expansion options, and the ability to maintain a cool interior in summer and a warm interior in winter

Our Experience

OHF has built and trained villagers to build 150 houses to date. Below is a video in Nepali that explains in detail how to build a rice bag house .An instruction manual that lists all the materials needed can be downloaded from our web site,
OHF Rice Bag House Project Beneficiary


This house is nice, nicer than other houses. Other houses can collapse easily, it is temporary. This is built to last a lifetime. The rice bags will not rot.

My whole family is very happy to receive this house