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 is adobe?
Adobe in its simplest form is a sun dried brick of clay, sand and other earthen materials. It has been around for around at least since 3800 bc in Egypt and may extend even farther back in history than that. It has been around so long because when done correctly adobe is a strong building material that is suitable for many climates even rainy ones.
Origin of the word adobe can be traced back to the Egyptians and it transformed only a little bit over the intervening 5000 + years. It was given it current spelling and usage when the word was assimilated from Arabic to Spanish and then the English language just co opted it from there.
Earth sheltering is an ancient and time honored technique for moderating the temperature of a house or other structure without any external energy. It has been used for thousands of years across many cultures starting all the way back with humans who lived in caves. To the right can see a picture of sod houses built in Iceland by some of the early settlers. They not only needed to build out of sod due to the climate of Iceland but also because it was one of the few available resources to build with.
They work off of the very simple fact that the soil maintains a certain temperature year round despite how cold or warm the air outside. This can offer you tremendous advantages when it comes to keeping your home comfortable for no extra cost in money or energy.
The diagram below illustrates what I am talking about about the soil maintaining a steady temperature. Not only do you get the climate control benefits but having a earth sheltered house can protect your home from storms and other forces that nature can throw at you. You home will also be quieter and burying your home in the earth could be a great way to escape city noise.
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.