Insulating Earthbag Walls with Tube Sandbags

My earlier post about Earthbag Building in Cold Climates on January 17, 2009 piqued some interest. Since energy performance on most buildings can be improved with insulation, including those made of earth — adobe, earthbag, etc. — I decided to pursue this idea further. So here’s another method for insulating earthbag buildings using tube sandbags, … Read more

Earthbag Building in Cold Climates

Most earth structures such as adobe are located in hot, dry climates. But what if you live in a cold climate and want the benefits of low-cost earth building techniques? Earthbag building has the unique advantage of providing either thermal mass or insulation, and therefore can be adapted for cold climates with an insulated fill … Read more

Earthbag Building in the Humid Tropics

Earthbag Building in the Humid Tropics: Simple Instructions by Patti Stouter is a 27-page, step-by-step PDF guide to building with earthbags in these demanding climates. It is well thought out, quite informative, and useful as a basic introduction to the concept of building with earthbags. She begins with a general introduction, and then moves on … Read more

Shaping Buildings for the Humid Tropics

Shaping Buildings for the Humid Tropics: Cultures, Climate, and Materials by Patti Stouter, 2008, is a 28 page PDF document that describes how to use ventilation, shading, plantings and insulation to provide comfort in hot humid climates. It includes some discussion of the use of earthbags in achieving these goals. This is one of the … Read more

Building with Unbonded Pumice

Owen Geiger and I have just found that a book published in 1990 in Germany, Building with Pumice, written by Klaus Grasser and Gernot Minke, describes experiments done in the 1970’s at the Research Laboratory for Experimental Building at Kassel Polytechnic College in Germany that have considerable bearing on the history of earthbag building. Most … Read more

Using Earthbags as Ceiling Insulation

Owen and I have collaborated on a new article posted at earthbagbuilding.com that describes how to use earthbags filled with various natural insulating materials to insulate ceilings or roofs. There seems to be a general lack of interesting ceiling options using sustainable building materials. For instance, when touring otherwise beautiful straw bale homes one often … Read more