The California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture "Cal-Earth" in Hesperia continues to teach people worldwide how to build sustainable "super adobe" buildings with earth, sandbags and barbed wire.


"Cal-Earth is a nonprofit educational institute dedicated to teaching and empowering people, men women old or young, to be able to build homes for themselves using the earth under their feet," founder Nader Khalili's son, Dastan Khalili said.


The "super adobe" system is used to build fire, earthquake, hurricane and cyclone proof vaults and domes, which are "in harmony with nature" using natural non-toxic materials that leave a "minimum carbon footprint," he said.


In its Hesperia location since 1991, Dastan Khalili estimates up to 1,500 people visit Cal-Earth each year from every country and continent.


After their father's death in 2008, son Dastan Khalili and daughter Sheefteh, as well as previous students carried on work at the institute, according to Dastan Khalili.


"The most important thing for him was that the poor of the world be housed in shelters that gives them dignity, protection and works in harmony with nature and is sustainable and that ultimately everybody understands that they have the power to do that for themselves and the opportunity," Khalili said of his father's vision.


People from Europe and North Africa now study at the Cal-Earth institute in Spain, which started last year, as well as long distance workshops around the world. The interest in people learning how to build the homes continues to grow exponentially, according to Dastan Khalili, with the how-to knowledge of building the "super adobe" empowering people, giving them dignity that regardless of the situation a shelter can be provided for them and their families.


Cal-Earth houses expand beyond the United States, including Canada, Sudan, New Zealand, Australia, Morocco and Mexico, according to Khalili.


"We're specifically focused on training people and teaching people, as far as projects go, the people we train do go out into the world and with our support do projects both domestically and internationally all over the world," said Khalili, with current building projects in the Philippines after the devastating "super cyclone" last year.


And Cal-Earth has local success as well.


Recently, San Bernardino County approved two sets of "stock plans," which means one can move, go through the training course, purchase the plans, and for county property the plans can be taken in, stamped, approved and building can begin, Khali said. It's a "major accomplishment" because it's publicly available, not "fringe architecture" and planning department accepted, he said.


Cal-Earth is located at 10177 Baldy Lane and has an open house the first Saturday of every month, excluding August.


"They get a full tour of the site and learn about our history, about the technology, the basics of how it works and all of the opportunities available to them if they wish to delve deeper," said Khalili. Workshops are offered varying from two days up to six months.


For more information, visit www.CalEarth.Org or call 760-956-7533.