This 20’ DIA (314 sq. ft. interior plus pantry)round earthbag shelter for up to 4-5 individuals is designed for survival through disasters, plague, etc. It is low cost, durable and practical. This shelter is designed for DIYers on a tight budget who will do most everything by hand. Instructions include numerous key details not evident on the plan: venting, roof framing, how to reduce excavation by 50%, drainage, water supply, etc. I have not seen a better, more practical survival shelter plan.
More details at Earthbag House Plans.
5 thoughts on “Earthbag Survival Shelter”
How well would a survival shelter like fare if there was some flooding in the area or just massive amounts of rain. I think for protection against water you’d have to use 6mil plastic and wrap the whole structure, but to make it water tight I’m lost. What about wrapping the structure in thick fiberglass and using a blast hatch? For flood prone areas I’m thinking the hatch would be better if it were mounted at the bottom of the structure. Your thoughts?
You’ll need more than 6 mil plastic in rainy areas. Water will leak through every pin hole. It’s common to make tiny holes as you backfill. Water is the number one enemy of buildings no matter how they’re built.
The best is to build on high ground where the grade slopes away from the building in all directions. Use EPDM rubber membrane for durable waterproofing. You can add additional plastic around the sides to divert the bulk of moisture away from the building. Add a French drain if necessary.
I’m interested if you can build a typical earthbag dome instead of flat roof like is depicted in the drawing. I’m completely new to this type of building and interested to see how much weight can be added to the top of an earthbag dome before collapsing. I was thinking of building a home that was mostly earth covered possibly 3 – 6′ of earth cover. Any help will be appreciated.
Josh, domes are one of the strongest forms in nature. Built correctly, you could put 100 truckloads of soil on top. Everything is in compression, and since compacted earth is extremely strong in compression then you can add a lot of weight on top. Look at our earthbag dome with a living roof: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-an-Earthbag-Dome/