ECHO Asia’s Earthbag Seed Bank — 4 Comments

  1. EMI has been recommending earthbag in some different projects lately!

    I’d like to hear a little more about the burnt rice hulls. I’ve been concerned about rice hull insulation being invaded by mice. Rice hulls are naturally more mold resistant than most natural insulators, but when burnt are they more so?

  2. Very clever idea. This has lots of potential.

    To keep the house cool inside it will really help to build in the shade as much as possible and build the roof so the sun never shines directly on the earthbags (which will soak up the heat and radiate into the house).

    Add plastic sheeting under the floor (tamped earth?) to prevent wicking of moisture. Use gravel bags in lower courses to prevent wicking of moisture. Build on high ground to reduce risk of flooding. You can add borax to the soil to deter termites and/or vetiver/clay in the bags.

    Vetiver Network International has info about termite resistance of vetiver:
    Plus, vetiver would provide additional insulation. It’s worth testing.

    I’m interested to see how the seed bank compares to our earthbag roundhouse that’s 8 degrees C or 15 degrees F cooler inside than outside on the hottest days.

    • Owen, you were very helpful in getting us set up. James the intern (pictured) who provided most of the effort to construct the house was in touch with you months ago.

      The data loggers are logging away. I stepped into the structure recently on a near 40 degree day and found the inside refreshingly cool.

      The burnt husks seem to be working well and no mice (yet). But the bamboo inside wasn’t treated and did get termites. So in handsite, borate treatment would have been good.

      I like your suggestion about the plastic sheet.

      We’ll be reporting on the recorded temp/humidity data in early 2013.

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