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!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The New Addition

When doing anything it's best to be prepared for the unexpected. That was true of building and held even more true for pregnancy. I had just entered the third trimester, was about to go on vacation, and was trying to figure out how to get the last few things I needed done on the house when boom! Xiomara Nightingale popped out at 24 weeks, on November 13th. Three months early! Could never have prepared myself for that. Luckily we were in California and got transferred to amazing Stanford--which is now my new home for the next 2-3 months as I wait for her to grow. Tiny, tiny, tiny but healthy, beautiful and strong.