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.


  1. Great blog and tracking of your progress...We will be following your blog.
    We have a place in the SW TX area, 20 miles from Frann and Desert Rose...but we only visit there now and then, unfortunately.
    Thanks for the great blog and earthbag home info.
    "mydichotomouslife.com" is our blog.

  2. Sweet! Thanks for visiting! I will check out your blog soon.

  3. Aly,

    I'd say you are worlds ahead of us in terms of design. When you get everything at your house figured out, why don't you swing by Haiti and work with us on new ideas?

  4. Wow- look at you! I haven't been keeping up on anyone's progress for months now and am seriously impressed with the amount of work you've done. Good for you. You must be feeling pretty satisfied with the results. :)

  5. Thanx. I'm pretty impressed with your cement mixing skills. :-)

  6. It's no surprise why many people amazed and inspired by your work. It's because your house may be built using inexpensive materials, but there certainly isn’t any compromise when it comes to strength and aesthetic quality. Isolated yet peaceful to live in, your house is indeed captivating.

    Colby Moore

  7. It’s amazing that, even if you don’t have building experience, you did all the work, including building, designing, and maintaining the house. And even without the usual tools and materials used in construction, your house certainly looks sturdy and functional. You clearly did a great job with everything!

    @Kevin Noel

  8. You did great work in building everything in your home. It is amazing that you designed and built this all on your own. It has come a long way. I like that you built a moat around it too! It’s not common to see a house in the middle of a moat at these times anymore.

    Concepcion Gusman