7 thoughts on “Earthbag Dome Build in Grass Valley, CA 2012”

  1. Interestingly the first video shows them using only one length of wire between the tubes. Being in Grass Valley, it’s hard to imagine that you could get by with doing that. Every area of California is regulated with codes. Do you know if it was engineered or had a permit?

    Nice work on the dome construction, good compaction and level courses. Just wonder how it will do with only one barb wire during the next shaker.

    The tests at Cal Earth, while not totally exhaustive, were done with domes stabilized with concrete and two rows of barb wire between courses.

    • I don’t know the specifics on their project. We always recommend two strands of 4-point barbed wire between courses for domes. One strand is usually sufficient on vertical walls in non-seismic areas (unless required by code), but you don’t want to skimp on domes where barbed wire is more critical.

  2. Owen,
    I would like to build an Earthbag 2 bedroom roundhouse home from your plans in a rural area of central Texas. I would like to start this project in the next 2 months. Do you provide engineering services for your plans or do you know who is certified in Texas to sign off on the plan for my area? Have you talked to anyone who has built an Earthbag home under the Texas Codes that might be able to help us understand the permit and approval process? Would appreciate any advice you can offer. I have not yet purchased the plan because I want to make sure it is feasible to do.


    • Some areas of Texas don’t have codes. That can save you many thousands of dollars. Building to code is way more than just paying for a permit. Everything will skyrocket in price.

      Structure1.com is the only engineer doing earthbag houses at this time. They can get my plans approved.

      Lots of people are building with earthbags in Texas. Read our sites about building in hot, humid climates and using passive cooling strategies to stay cool. No air conditioning required. Google those terms plus the word ‘earthbag‘ or search/browse our sites.

        • Straw bale has pretty much been mainstreamed. Build a post and beam frame to carry the loads and stack bales on a concrete foundation and you’ll get a permit most anywhere.

          Here are the straw bale codes from a few years ago:
          Austin, Texas Straw Bale Code
          Boulder, Colorado Straw Bale Code
          1995 California Straw Bale Code
          2002 Proposed California Straw Bale Code
          Cortez, Colorado Straw Bale Code
          Nevada Straw Bale Code
          New Mexico Straw Bale Code
          Tucson/Pima County, Arizona Straw Bale Code


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