Earthbag Fence Columns

Earthbag Fence Columns (click to enlarge)
Earthbag Fence Columns (click to enlarge)

From Ginger at I’d Rather Be… Pursuing an Off-Grid Life:

“We are planning to build a fence at the new place. I had an idea for an earthbag/sheet metal fence, and an earthbag/conduit fence. I want to consider earthbag pillars with corrugated sheet metal in between the pillars where privacy is needed. I want to consider earthbag pillars with conduit in areas where there needs to be transparency. Ideas for securing the metal and conduit to the bag pillars would be helpful.”

Owen: A tall column of earthbags without reinforcement will fall over, especially with sheets of metal roofing to catch the wind.

I suggest reinforcing the earthbags like this: pour 18″x18″ concrete footers and embed four pieces of ½” rebar, one per side, to make an earthbag column approximately 15″x15″x4′ high. Stack gravel bags inside the rebar, which is inset about 1-1/2″ from each edge. Stitch or pin the ends closed. Joining the opposing rebar with a few ties will add additional strength. Bend and overlap the rebar on top, and weld or secure with tie wire. This creates a rebar ‘cage’ around the bags. Embed recycled conduit, etc. fence rails between courses as you build the columns. Embed anchors if you want to use metal roofing between columns. Plaster as soon as possible so the bags don’t deteriorate. The biggest challenge in your environment (Big Bend country) may be getting sufficiently deep footers so livestock can’t push over the fence. Note: there’s no need for earthbags all along the bottom of the fence as shown in your drawing.

1 thought on “Earthbag Fence Columns”

  1. I am also building a fence around my house in the city. I am going to imulate the fence in front of the “Dallas TV show” mansion. It has a kind of squared off zig zag about 4 feet high with planters on both sides for the front of our yard and on the sides I am thinking about a 6 foot high fence with two rows of bags a foot or so apart with cross over bags at 4 to 6 feet and the space in the middle filled with dirt and planted with roses and berries, sort of like a natural barbed wire. We live in a not so good neiborhood and have had trouble with people stealing things from the yard. I am also thinking about using wire as a tie between the two rows so the bags dont push out. Our area is huricane prone so the extra wieght I hope will keep our fence up during a storm.


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