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!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Chicken Coop

Upgrading the Shed

Solar Electricity!

What's Been Happening

I've gotten a lot done lately. Along with that is an anxiety that I'm not getting things done fast enough and that there is a sense of urgency. Which there isn't. It isn't even the solstice yet! Today is a day off. A real day off. I'm friends with a couple who keep Shabbat. They don't do it because of deep religious convictions, but because of its original purpose: to force you to break the week, give you time to spend with family and loved ones and to take a rest and to sit with life. They stay at home, or wherever they happen to be if they're on a trip, and don't drive on Saturdays. I stopped by last week to borrow some tools to set up my solar system and ended up staying for brunch and the entire afternoon. I could sense the strong effect of committing to such a thing in a world where a sense of urgency is so pervasive.