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, May 14, 2012

I'm Collecting Water!

So, I've been quite bad about blogging. I find that whenever I'm actually doing things I don't have time to write about it, and when I do have time to write it means I'm not doing much and thus don't have much to write about. It took me a little bit of time to get back into the groove of things--finally, helping a couple friends on their projects helped me get started on my own. I worked pretty hard for a week, got my catchment set up and then left to visit family. It began raining right after I finished, so when I return I should have a happy amount of water waiting for me. I cannot even imagine how that will change my life.

The start of the gutters.

Cistern and pipe-run hole.

The slitted 4" hdpe pipe.

Finished gutters.

The hanging tape for connecting the gutters.
Milla backfilling around the cistern.

Almost done connecting the downspouts!

Connected downspouts!

Milla is the champion of silicone!

Water catchment!

Connecting the PEX to the cistern.

Backfilling the pipe trench.

Eventual box around water on/off switch from cistern.

PEX hooked up to cistern outlet.