I invite you all to visit my new website Earthbag House Plans. At this point I have 77 earthbag plans in the preliminary design stage. Most are houses, but there are some cabins, shelters, sheds and shops. All are small and made with sustainable materials — earthbags, straw bales, earth floors, earth plaster, sustainably harvested wood from local forests (ala cheap firewood permit), rice hulls, recycled materials and so on. I’ve just started adding elevation drawings and will work hard to get these finished soon.
At this stage, the main thing I’m looking for is reader input. No one else has a large collection of earthbag house plans, and so there’s no way for me to know what people are looking for. If there’s a big interest in domes, for example, I’ll add more dome designs. I look forward to reading your comments!
21 thoughts on “Earthbag House Plans”
I would like to build a domed home semi-sunken into the earth. Four feet maybe. Able to be used as a storm cellar safe room. Thank you.
That can work in desert areas and with careful detailing to prevent moisture problems. Remember water flows downhill and will quickly flood the house during a flash storm.
See our Free Plans page and read the article about How to build earthbag domes at Instructables.com.
I love the fact that you are easily findable online and love that you’ve made these as accessible as you have. Thank you for starting us down the path of green home ownership!
I would LOVE to know where to find someone that can build custom plans that included elec and plumbing. Every plan I see on here is awesome, but just doesn’t quite make it. We have a large family and need a bigger home. If you could point me in the right direction, we would appreciate it.
I already emailed you. Contact Structure1.com if you need to meet code.
Do you mind if I quote a couple of your pots as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog?
My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and
my users would truly benefit from some of the informmation you present here.
Please let me know if this ok with you. Cheers!
Under the Fair Use Provision you don’t need permission to quote short sections from other sources. Just show the source and provide a link.
this month i start to build house whit long earth bag tubes,
i have one question about barbed wired,
in many earth bag houses they use barbed wired, bud i here from some that can use also metal iron rod to put in the middle from the bags vertical,
is this also good ore not?
Both methods work. You can use barbed wire or rebar pins.
Hello first you are so inspiring your designs are wonderful there is just on problem we are a multi generational family of 6 3 adualts 3 children and we need at least 4 bed rooms 1 for husband and I 1 for the other adult 1 for 2 boys and 1 for our only girl and at least 2 baths. husband and i both do not like boxes but it needs to be mainly 1 levle and have a large pantry and an office for my at home business the only one i see come ing close to our dream design is the 6 pod oxitigon version but it is huge. as the one that would need to clean and maintain it i would like a design between 1000 sqft and 2000 square feet. oh and inner court houses for kitchen garden and out door safe play space for the children would be wonderful. we also love some of the castle designs and would love to see more of the floor plans for those that would be more of a communal big family feel then the lots of separate fams working together. I mean my 5 yr old doesn’t need her own kitchen or much living space separate from the rest of us now does she. it also due to health reasons needs to be all one level or use ramps instead of stairs.
My main interest and specialty is ultra low cost housing. For large families, you could combine various small structures. Many clients have done this. They choose their favorite small designs and put them together in innovative ways. One suggestion is to print your favorite designs and try rearranging them on the kitchen table to figure out what works best for you. You can join units next to each other or with breezeways or enclosed walkways.
thank you for your reply yeah that is what me and my husband were thinking we would need to do. it looks like i might get my castle after all lol
This situation appears to be ideal for considering a plan where one can start small, finish a small simple basic structure, and build additions as time and money allow.
This concept has been repeatedly discussed on this blog, but it’s worth repeating. It’s very often the best way to build. Worth considering in the situation you are describing. Whether or not it is the best way to go in your personal situation is obviously up to you.
Hi Owen- my wife and I really appreciate the web sites and the info you share. Due to our wonderful economy, our home plans have changed quite a bit and our clay soil and the sandbags I already have has inspired us. It was a real “duh” experience. We are looking to build a 1500-2000sq ft home, single story with stargazing roof deck, with at least a 30X30 inner courtyard. We are going to build in hot and humid North Fl and our local B and Z guy even suggested rammed earth or adobe style building. We would love to hear your ideas regarding this and if this inspires you. We are ready to work on building plans!!! How shall we contact you?
Hi Tom. My email is at the top of the page under About Us. Contact me any time.
Earthbag, as you’re becoming aware, is sort of a modern day combination of adobe and rammed earth. These ancient methods can last hundreds or even thousands of years as we’ve reported on previously: http://earthbagbuilding.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/ancient-rammed-earth-structures/
No website, but have designed houses all my life, and am very interested in incorporating architectural features into earth-bag design. Features like corbels, pillars, nooks, vaults, arches, half-walls, raised reliefs, etc. Feel that art and home should be synonymous. Also believe that homes today are in serious need of down-sizing. I think it’s possible to offer the feel of luxury in a tiny footprint. Also, Japanese styled houses which are expandable and contractible in terms of interior space, might offer the opportunity to use the house more fully as a large entertainment area, then easily convert back to smaller private functions when needed. Creating partially walled outdoor spaces that could open up to the interior rooms to bring connection with nature is also very appealing to me. People have the idea that self-sustaining is either self-denying or super-expensive, but mostly they connect them with unappealing. Your effort to appeal to a broad range of styles is interesting to me. Thanks for your posting.
Thank you very much. Glad you like our site. What you say is valid and important. But most of my effort goes into simplifying designs as much as possible to keep costs low. I figure most people will add on extras to meet their needs if/when they can afford it. However, this makes for small, simple, minimalistic plans that may turn off some readers. Oh well, I’d rather see millions have a decent place to live.
I liked the summer breeze! It is almost the perfect size. Would it be possible to use that design with 10 ft high walls and perhaps expand the living room area a bit. I currently live almost next door to Cal Earth, but will be moving to northern AZ. When I last spoke with the building dept in Navaho County, they were very receptive to alternative building methods, but would prefer that all plans were engineered.
Will you be offering the plans in complete sets? Engineering? Foundation plans? Elevations and cross sections?
Please tell me a little more about your dome preferences — size, configuration (single dome, multiple, etc.), lofts, etc. How would you modify the Enviro Dome to meet your needs?
The plans look incredible! I will go through and add my amateur comments.
i am interested in domes, thanks for your geat work!
Wow! Great to see someone else running with [sustainable] plans. I’m definitely going to blog on this. I’ve also been really enjoying reading your stuff and getting reaquainted with this very simple construction technique.