Magnesium Cement for Roofs and Plaster

There is a whole class of cement that was very popular in the days before the invention and manufacture of Portland cement quickly replaced its use. Generally classified as magnesium-based cement, this material was used in historic times in Europe, India, and China, among other countries.  It is unfortunate that Portland cement has replaced the … Read more

Reciprocal Roofs

Ziggy has the best info I’ve found on reciprocal roofs at his Year of Mud website. See: How to Build a Reciprocal Roof Frame A reciprocal roof is a simple self-supporting structure made of poles or dimensional lumber that are arranged in a spiral pattern. No center support is needed. They are perfect for round … Read more

Cold Climate Earthbag Yurts

There’s great, untapped potential for superinsulated earthbag buildings in cold climates. Here’s a way to combine the best features of earthbags and yurts. The basic idea is to combine earthbag walls filled with lightweight insulation such as scoria (lava rock), with a traditional yurt roof frame that’s insulated with perlite or vermiculite. Yurts (ghers) have … Read more

Pallet Roofs

I found another great way to build gable and vaulted roofs — with pallets: Pallet Pavilions The site referenced above shows how pallets can be used for walls and roofs. This is exciting because free pallets are usually quite easy to get in most countries and they’re very strong. Many are made of hardwood such … Read more

Dome Roofs

Tim Merritt, earthbag enthusiast and reader of our blog, sent us this roof idea from GardenDome.com. Tim is considering using these domes on top of earthbag walls to create more interesting shapes and save labor on the roof. The GardenDome.com website showcases over 60 domes of all different sizes and shapes. You can order their … Read more

Ferrocement Roofs for Earthbag Structures

Ferrocement is an excellent, well tested building system used throughout the world.  This post explores two earthbag structures on our Projects pages that have ferrocement roofs. For small projects, simple curved shapes of ferrocement make a good roof. See EarthDome House.  In this project they used rebar and mesh for the roof and recycled polystyrene … Read more