A couple in Alberta, Canada have built what appears to be a very nice little dome sauna with earthbags. They say that they have only spent about $125 (mostly on bag material), with the rest of the materials either dug from their property or gleaned from dumps, etc. The bags were first covered with a layer of cob, then finished with an earthen plaster.
One thing that is different than most earthbag projects that I have seen, is that they used a clear plastic tubing material, instead of the usual woven polypropylene. My guess is that this was 6 mil polyethylene, which is not breathable. I wonder if the damp sand/clay mix inside the tubing will ever dry out. They say that the compacted material is about as hard as concrete, so in this little sauna, it may not matter. With all of the steam created inside, ordinary bags would allow the fill to become moist anyway. They built a rocket stove to heat the space, so I’m sure it gets plenty hot in there.
You can read more about how they built this at earthbagbuilding.com.
6 thoughts on “An Earthbag Sauna”
I don’t know if you know anything about FIR saunas, but do you think they could be built using earthbags – besides the heaters, etc. I’ve seen them built with cedar wood and carbon ceramic heaters. Do you think the wood part could be replaced with the earthbags?
Yes, but mold will probably grow on cement plaster and I’m not sure how lime plaster would hold up in a sauna. Consider wood cladding on the earthbags. (Recent blog post.)
You say consider wood cladding on the earthbags…could you expand on this? I’m not sure I understand what you mean here. A sauna for my old sick Dad would be a great starter project for me before I start building a house, so long as it would be cost effective and hold up over time. Of course I suppose it could always just be converted to a storage shed if it didn’t work out right.
This is covered in previous blog posts. Type wood cladding in the search engine that’s in the right column of this blog. You can also search wood siding.
Very cool…thank you!! :D
Love the sauna, never seen one of those before;)