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Earth Bag Homes

05/03/12 08:55:48PM


Earth bag homes are just that, they are homes that are built with a building material that this great mother earth has given to us thats right under our feet for free! (((DIRT))) You arebasicallybuilding an adobe home with dirt but are using the bags as your forms for the building blocks so they can set up in place without having to wait for blocks to dry or having to make perfectly shaped blocks to fit together. You simply lay your filled bags in an off set position (like bricks on a brick wall) and you use barbed wire between your rows to lock everything together. Some people have also usedre-barpounded through the rows in conjunction with thebarbedwire for a stronger hold. These buildings (even without the re-bar) are 2X's stronger than what the majority of codes call for in earthquake sensitive areas. Earth bag homes only cost penny's compared to the average homes that are built here in America.

This style of building uses a 10:1:2 ratio (10 parts Dirt, 1 part cement, 2 parts water) as its main buildingcomponentof the home system. Its possible this ratio might need to change depending on your soil type so please use this write up as an intro to this style of building only and research your projectthoroughlybefore you start your own home or structure. Once mixture is mixed scoop mixture into your earth bag and lay in place and tamp. The videos I have seen fill their first 2 rows with gravel that have been dug partly into the earth as its foundation so water doesn't wick up into your walls, barbwire your rows then cover the structure with screen or chicken wire and plaster it with cob/or clay sealed with oil, or any other water proofing/protecting layer you choose to use.

I plan to use thisdiscussionthread here to document my own journey as I will be building some earth bag structures of my own. This will be a work in progress as I have yet to get to my land but plan to be on site this summer sometime. Until then I will add some videos and websites if any of you are interested in this earth friendly style of building. Videos and links are at bottom of this page :)


This pic shows the plastering process, I'd do my roof a bit different though, not enough pitch here IMO.

This interior is awesome, you get out of it what you put in. Don't cut corners on your planning stage :)

You can alsocompletelydome these puppies up, videos will teach you proper pitches so it doesn't collapse. They are earthquake resistant too!

Websites: (this link has links to building materials)


(some videos have continued parts, be sure ot watch if they do) (How to Cal earth video This video series is where you should start) start here with part one then continue through to part 5

(another step by step intro he has many other vids too)

(really nice step by step tutorial)

(time lapse)

(time lapse)

(One of the best I've seen)

This should get you on your way. Hope you enjoy this earth friendly home building style :)


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