Why we chose Earthbag Domes for our Desert Retreat

Sustainable Buildings Rock!

Earthbag Buildings ever heard of them?

In 2014, I was scrolling through YouTube as you do, when I came across this video.

I was totally engrossed, what a beautiful place the energy just flows and there’s something harmonious about the way the curves of the building replicates the curves of the human form.

I’ve always felt that angular homes and rooms aren’t natural living spaces for people as no other creatures live in square or rectangular habitats.


I was guided to find out more about dome like homes and led to the ultimate find Earthbag Domes. I absolutely love them.

The origins of Earthbag Domes

Earthbag Domes Marsa Alam Desert Retreat
Nader Khalili’s Earthbag design taken directly from his website

Earthbag Domes were first developed by Nader Khalili an Iranian architect and founder of the CalEarth Institute in California. He was tasked with designing a shelter for living on the moon (of all places).

His ingenuity led him to create beautiful and sustainable Domes that were made from polypropylene bags filled with earth and built into beehive shaped Domes.

Whilst some elements of the idea had been around since the 1970’s the dome shape made his idea groundbreaking and revolutionary.

Other examples of Earthbag designs


More examples of Earthbag Domes

Eco-Domes have since been used in disaster areas after hurricanes and war because they are cheap to build and extremely resilient, to the extent that they can withstand hurricanes and earthquakes.

Perfect for healing

On a more positive note Eco-Domes are also used for recreational activities like camping and holiday resorts .

We have chosen to use Earthbag Domes for our Healing Centre and Guest Chalets at our retreat .

They are natural and in harmony with our environment and look so mystical in the desert.

Domes are perfect for healing because they are grounding and accentuating for energy. Think of how the dome shape has been used historically in Churches, Temples and Mosques.

Domes behave like a Leyden Jar the earliest form of a capacitor, they store up energy generated and remain charged for some time.

This energy may be discharged to a body that is in a dome. Domes store energy so to use them for healing is perfect with the Healer as the conductor of energy.

Domes can be made from various materials but in Egypt they traditionally use a Coptic Dome which is made of Adobe type bricks, they’re extremely attractive and evoke exotic and spiritual emotions.

Our Earthbag Domes

We have however chosen to sculpt our Domes from the earth and to use bags filled with earth from the site. We’ll use earthen plaster to cover the inside and outside which is both cooling and naturally beautiful.

Visualise being cocooned in a womb like structure made from the earth that is in perfect harmony with the natural curves of your body. Feel the energy around you flowing without obstruction of corners where negative energy collects and can cause imbalances

Earthbag Buildings have excellent thermal mass, they stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Five  Reasons why Earthbag Buildings are beneficial for you and the environment

1. They’re naturally insulated, cool in the summer warm in the winter no need for Air-Con!

2. Healthy and free from irritants that may cause or aggravate allergies.

3. Earthen construction actually breathes through its tiny pores and keeps the air fresh and clean. The earth itself acts as a natural filter.

(Source: permaculturenews.org)

4. Earth buildings have a low carbon footprint

5. Earthbag construction naturally have noise reduction, which give a sense of peace and tranquility, excellent for meditation

Even our bricks are Eco-Friendly!

Our service buildings; the Restaurant, Reception etc are also made from sustainable resources, the bricks are manufactured locally and made from gravel sourced from the desert which is bound together by a mix of soil and concrete.

The result is a light brick that has an excellent thermal mass and seems to filter the air.

Marsa Alam Desert Retreat Bricks

Our bricks are made locally

Check out this video to see Earthbag Domes around the world when we finish ours we’ll make a video for you to watch until you come to visit.

If you’re interested in looking at Nader Khalili’s work his website is below above Steve Areen’s.



The Top Ten Benefits of Taking A Desert Retreat

15 Comments Add yours

  1. I too am very attracted to these organic dome homes with the natural materials and evocative shapes. Your healing center sounds nice. Thanks for following my blog, Brad

    1. Thanks Brad your welcome.

  2. I would love to see your project while you are working on it. It is great to see more earth bag buildings popping up round the world.

    1. I am charting our progress of the building of our desert retreat on this blog so you can see our efforts in future posts. Earth buildings – the way of the future!

      1. Yes indeed!

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