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!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Roof Started!


  1. Just a friendly suggestion. You may want to run a row or two of blocks between the rafters to help keep them from twisting. Should divide the span into 3 equal lengths with the rows. If your spacing is 2ft on center, cut your blocks 22.5 inches long.

  2. Would like to gain more information from you. I can be reached at lehockib@msn.com if that is ok with you of course. Considering relocating to Toas New Mexico and looking for property that is un-deed restricted, allowing me to build my own earthbag home.

    Blondell Lehocki

  3. I am planning to build an earthbag home, and the roof is the part I am most concerned about.