Building with earthbags is essentially building with adobe bricks without going through the lengthy process of making them. You take polypropylene sandbags, fill them with a moist mix of sand and clay, tamp them down hard and connect the layers with 4 point barbed wire. Then, you cover them over with an earthen plaster.

In reality, I didn't use polypropylene bags. Some Brasilians started a type of construction they call hyperadobe which uses mesh bags, or continuous tubing, made from the same material as the onion or potato bags in the grocery store. They don't require barbed wire, though otherwise the process is just about the same.

As I talk about in the blog posts, my design has been guided by simplicity and efficiency. More than anything, what's been most important to me is to live in a house that I myself, with no building experience whatsoever, can design, build and maintain. A natural extension of that has been the desire to live in a peaceful space. For me that means a home that's in tune with nature, thus limiting the use of imported materials for construction, in addition to those that will be needed later on, such as for heating. Please enjoy reading, ask me any questions, get inspired, and come help and learn!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Wall is Done!

Placing the last wall bag

Kevin tamping the last bag

Finished Walls!


Since I have such a large door opening, in addition to many windows on the south side, I wanted to give some additional support for the weight of the roof. I decided to go with two vigas on either side of the entrance with a horizontal beam running across them. This will take the brunt of the roof beam weight for that 5.5' span. I was a little scared because I had never used cement before but it was easy! Had a bit left over so decided to use the leftovers for this tamper I've been meaning to make since April!

All That Rain...

 So I moved into the shed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rain! Rain!

There's been rain. My road turned into a pond in ten minutes flat. The main road had a a serious pond for two days and it's still wet. Saturday was the heaviest but it's been keeping up ever since. There were beautiful lightning storms right above me--luckily I got my steak and broccoli cooked and my butt in the car before it all started.

Bits and Pieces

Kevin went out of town about a week ago for two and a half weeks so I've been taking this time to tie up all sorts of loose ends. Sawhorses were in desperate need. Oh yeah, so was a shed. So I constructed one out of some of my scrap wood. Looks like a little red barn to me. All said and done it took less than 4 days and needs one more to finish it off. There's going to be a metal roof but I'm waiting to find some cheap scrap pieces to throw on there instead of buying new. I think. For now I have a tarp on top. Also, I need a bit more 1x4 to finish the sides, in addition to a door that I'll either need to find or make.