What is Earthbag Building?
Earthbag building in a nutshell is earthen building made easy with modern technology. It takes the time honored methods of building with earth like cob, adobe and rammed earth and simplifies them to the extreme. Gone are the long drying times of adobe, the critical mixture requirements of rammed earth and the limited amount of material you can lay in a day like cob. With earthbag building techniques you can build a home out of almost any soil, in any location, using tools that you made on site.
What do you build with?
A earthbag building is built using three ingredients,
The dirt is shoveled into the bags and laid like bricks on a prepared leveled site. The barb wire is then laid on top of the first course of bags and held in place until the second course is laid down. The bard wire acts like a mortar in adobe wall and binds the whole thing together in a cohesive mass. Earthbag building is one of the only building materials where you can make the entire house from the foundations to the roof from the same materials and building method.
Where did it all start?
Earthbag building in its modern form was first pioneered at the Cal Earth Institute and has been put through the rigors by them on everything from fire to earthquake resistance. When done correctly these building have been shown to be very durable and long lasting and have exceeded California's earthquake requirements. Even if building to earthquake standards is not something you need these buildings have been shown to be durable and comfortable in all climates.
I don’t often make book recommendations but in this case there is one definitive text that you need to start on building with earthbags.
Earthbag Building: The Tools, Tricks and Techniques
For more information on living a sustainable life check out other articles on the Green Living Library.
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.