Rubble Trench Foundations


  • Was used by famous American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the design of low cost earthquake proof foundations.
  • Is commonly used for railway track construction.
  • Gravel and Recycled brick / rubble is sourced from dumpsites, cleaned and sorted to use in rubble trench foundations.


  • Is a use of local “free” material.
  • Can contribute to environmental clean-ups, as building rubble is often dumped illegally.
  • Helps to reduce landfill at municipal waste sites.
  • Helps in creating addition work on site.
  • This construction method eliminates min 75% of concrete typically used in foundation design. Note that:
  • Concrete production is harmful to the environment and is said to be responsible for between 5 -8% of greenhouse gases.
  • Concrete is a costly material.

Technical information:

  • The rubble trench is filled with smaller rubble/gravel around a filtering drain pipe at the bottom of the foundation, followed with larger pieces packed firmly ready to form the base of the wall.
  • Is suitable for a wide variety of soils including clay soils, but its use would still be subject to the specific design and on-site conditions.
  • Once one has sourced and cleaned the rubble, it is a very fast way to construct ones foundations.

Company Track record/examples of work:

  • House Mendel, Hout Bay, Cape Town, 2021
  • Staff houses, Stanford Valley Farm, Western Cape, 2008
  • Upgrade of Nieuwoudtville Caravan Park, Namaqualand, 2004-2007, which won Silver 2005 in the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction in the Africa Middle East region
  • House Perry 2007 - in Masipumalele informal settlement, Cape Town