Earthbag Workshop in Tasmania

Sorry you missed the workshop. I opened the latest issue of The Owner Builder magazine today and just found out about the earthbag bench workshop in Tasmania, Australia. (Tip: you can post your workshop announcements for free at You can also read about the workshop on the web by visiting the link at the end of this blog post.

“Way back in April or even March, 2011, I was asked whether the Westbury Community Garden, which I help out with, would be a suitable venue to build an earthbag garden seat.

What is earthbag building?
It is a construction method that is based upon materials of warfare. Sandbags and barbed wire. Very stable buildings can be produced at very low materials cost and using very easily learnt techniques. Great for places where labour is plentiful but materials are scarce.

Earthbag buildings have been successfully constructed all around the world. Check out for more information.

Chris Tolley wanted to take the technique and use it for constructing garden seating, walls, or raised garden beds. He was looking for a location where an earthbag seat could be built and where people could be shown it easily. Westbury Community Garden is in the grounds of Westbury Primary School and is always looking for new and exciting projects.

An area surrounded by six raised garden beds was an ideal position. Chris designed a circular seat in two halves with seating front and back. The workshop format was to be a whole weekend where participants would build one half of the seat and render it.”

Source: A Green Tasmanian Renovation
Source: The Owner Builder Magazine
[Note: The most recent issue (#167, October/November, 2011) has a great article about how to build a home wood heating stove with oven for $165. The sides of the stove are wrapped with adobes for thermal mass. The oven on top is made with a steel vault that’s also covered with adobes. I’m going to try to get permission to post a summary on this blog.]

2 thoughts on “Earthbag Workshop in Tasmania”

  1. Thanks for the head’s up about tOB magazine Owen, I’ll pick myself up a copy next time I’m in town. I live in Tasmania but the course was a bit pricey for my budget. Still it’s nice to know that people are blazing the trail down here, as it will set a precedent I can use for leverage when applying for council approval later on down the track.

    • Thanks, David. Every project that’s built makes it easier for those that follow. Those people probably have all sorts of good advice about where to buy bags at the best price, etc.


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