WHAT ARE EARTHBAGS AND WHY AM I BUILDING WITH THEM?

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, July 25, 2012

Mouse-Proofing

This post has been sitting as a draft for quite some time. Back before I insulated I had to mouse-proof the outside. The biggest problem I came up against was the propanel ridges--there's no way to close them off. A friend suggested steel wool--mice can't chew through it. So I stuffed all those cracks with a couple boxes of steel wool and threw some silicone sealant around for good measure. Time will tell.


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