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


The stairs going into my house have been treacherous ever since I put them in last fall to avoid having to jump down three feet into the house. I had considered finishing them with mud, but a friend of mine suggested that I make them out of wood and hinge the stairs for storage space. Great idea! They're not finished because I think I might like to shorten their width so that there's more floor space on the left-hand side by those red bags. Meanwhile, I'm waiting to see before I make them permanent by sheathing the sides, bottom and back with wood. 


  1. You could make them permanite, and have drawers under the risers. I'll bet you could fill them with shoes. The bottom one would hold a lot.

    1. Hey Lou,
      Thanks for the great idea. I had planned on hinges which never seemed quite right but the drawers sound excellent. I'll put pictures up when I come to that. Thanks!