Sandbag Construction

Research was undertaken with Cambridge University and Roz Barr Architects looking at the structural stability of free standing sandbag walls.

The catalyst for the research was Roz Barr Architect’s proposals for an installation at the Venice Biennale 2013. Building on Roz’s work at the London Festival of Architecture in 2012, the Venice project sees the construction of a sandbag piazza enclosed by a 2.5m free standing sandbag wall. The build will require 17,000 sandbags.

Initial desk study research proved fruitless in providing reliable or relevant design data for the design of the sandbag wall for both impact loading and general crowd loading. The only thing to do was build a full scale test panel and try to push it over!

The Masters degree students at Cambridge Architecture department helped with the build and testing which incorporated acceleration measurements to gauge the dynamic loading response.

Download the research paper : Sandbag Wall Load Testing