A Cautionary Tale — 5 Comments

  1. This is a very good warning to have online. I’m so glad that no one was hurt. Earthbag walls rely on wall width for stability, are held together mostly by the barbed wire barbs sunk into the bag fill, and (in hazardous areas) reinforced by ties through the wall attaching mesh embedded in plaster.

    Bags are dangerous filled with dry earth or filled with earth containing too little clay or a weak clay.

    The upper parts of domes, edge bags at openings, and arch bags are all subject to higher stresses. These bags should be especially strong. It is often easy to buy some powdered clay (used for pottery) and add some to the fill used at these key points.

  2. What a bummer, i hadn’t realized the soil consistency made that much of a difference! Must have been scary when it started to collapse. I think the roof will do just fine once its up though.

    Personally I like the roofed earthbag houses better anyway.

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