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!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

That's a Wrap

Whoo! Finally a moment to catch my breath, catch up and actually update the blog. In addition to the physical and emotional turmoil of being pregnant, I've been working like a maniac trying to get the house finished up *enough* to give birth in it in February, and getting it winterized before I leave...left today.

I've been wanting to go into a lot more detail about some of the work that I've done, so will do some separate posts on the earthen floor etc. I've also wanted to update on some of the other little bits and put some pics up. I was going to take some final pictures last night, but it was too dark by the time I got out of there! I do have some from a few days ago though.

So what in the world have I been doing? I hired a wonderful plasterer named Tim to do what remained (almost all) of the inside of my house. If you're in the Taos area and need an efficient, reliable, quality plasterer and jack-of-all-trades, contact me for his contact info. I finished the bedroom floor--more about that in a separate post. Put in the stone bathroom floor. Got the plumbing hooked up into the bathroom--more about both of those also. Got kitchen cabinets from a friend, and a propane fridge that worked but now doesn't. Built a covered area above the front door and concreted in a rock entryway. Had Tim hang my doors properly!  Mudded in tile in the entryway, dining and kitchen area--more on that. Put down an earthen floor in the living room--oiled it yesterday! Weather-proofed, though not mouse-proofed, the shed and put a door on it. Finished back-filling around the cistern and built an access box around the outlet. Put in an overflow from the cistern--more about that too. Fixed/strengthened my gutters. Finished the insulation and boxed in an exit for the stovepipe for the woodstove I'll be bringing back with me. Got a cord of wood delivered and had my brother stack it at the door. Filled holes and patched some exterior mud. Cleaned up all around my house for the first time. Turned the pallets and scrap wood into kindling. Ate zucchini and watermelon from my unwatered plants. Ate the first egg from my chickens. Drained my plumbing, turned off the propane, and disconnected the electric. Thank god for the second trimester!

Finished Bedroom Floor

Bathroom Stone Floor

First Layer of Living Room Floor

Filling in the Cracks in the Living Room


Entryway/Dining Area


1 comment:

  1. Wow! You have gotten so much done since we came out a few months ago. It looks great!