Earthbag Project Dedicated to Owen Geiger

My name is Phillip Freiberg. I have been in e-mail communication with Dr. Geiger over a couple of years regarding building an earthbag house. He advised me to start with a small project. After his death in 2018, I finally made up my mind on the starter project I wanted to put my theoretical knowledge into. Dr. Geiger is no longer there to answer my e-mails, but his legacy is alive. Hopefully, people will be inspired by my experience and build their own structures.

I decided to build a round structure that could have several practical uses: shower room/bathroom/storage and rest area while constructing the actual house in the future. I like round shape because it is natural, strong and forgives mistakes. I rigorously followed the advice Dr. Geiger’s book and video gave on how to make the structure solid, but here and there I made mistakes that I intend to avoid on the more expensive actual house. After that, I plan to use it as a sauna.

Actual bag laying was done by myself with the help of 2 local farmers. Plastering and metal work is done by local professionals. I used the soil dug from a nearby mountain. The building is in the village of Mackok, subdistrict Pasang, Province Lamphun of Thailand. The interesting fact about this place: from my structure I can see the temple that John Rembo was building. I saw the movie in 1988 and never thought that I’d be there building my own house.  18°28’9.32″N  98°55’6.89″E

The lower part area is 10m2. The upper is 8m2. Total price (materials and labor): bag structure, plastering, the roof is close to $5k. In the next structure-the house I will take mistakes into consideration and reduce the price per square meter.

Lessons: the building is VERY labor intensive and can be ruined by the weather. Be sure to think about every little detail of the project and how much it will cost, how much time it will take. 2.5 people in heat 60 bags per day max, 40 normal

If anyone is in Northern Thailand and would like to visit my project, feel free to contact me via email: 50300iccmru AT

2 thoughts on “Earthbag Project Dedicated to Owen Geiger”

  1. Thank you for sharing. I want to make a round pond for aquaculture, shbrimp 23 yd circumference. Any experience and advice out there?


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