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!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Friend's Pictures

Me plastering.

The moat and the house from the east.

House from the back.

Winter garden--straw bales and plexiglass--in the foreground.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Today's my day off. Probably the first day off that I am not figuring out something on the house or buying supplies (though I am going to swing by Home Depot) in memory. So, I was pretty determined that I wasn't going to blog either. I've needed a bit of space from my house, in the same way that if you spend 180 days straight with the love of your life you might want to go for a walk by yourself or, god forbid, spend the whole day apart. That would be the reason I've just been posting pictures lately and not writing much, if at all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Roof Progress

Earthbags as blocking along the edges and 2x6 wood blocking between.

Some very basic and unifinished stairs.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Curiosity...if someone could leave me a comment with the answer. I can see where the web traffic for this blog comes from and a lot comes from facebook. Who's facebook page has a link to my blog?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Roof Beams up and Strapped Down

Raymond in front of the in-place roof beams

Wavy Roof!

Polypropylene Strapping

Poly Strapping over the 1/2" plywood sill

Hurricane ties between the beams and the plywood

The roof beams are up! I did something miraculous--I've hired someone, Raymond who is a god-send, to help me finish and might hire a second person next week. It's cold! and I need to move in. I've committed to moving in next Saturday regardless of the state of the house so I better get it done as much as possible. The weather has gotten kinda crappy so we haven't gotten as much done as I would have liked but come Monday we'll be back in full swing with some serious blue skies. It frosted last night for the first time. I must admit the snow on the mountains looks quite beautiful next to the red and yellow of the fall-changing Aspens.