Instant Earthbag Building Blocks

Jerry Collette of is planning to use prepackaged rice hulls that come in 50 lb. polypropylene bags to build an earthbag tipi at the Pine Ridge Reservation. (See


He says that they cost about $6 US each, so it is not exactly dirt cheap, but there are definite advantages. Rice Hulls make excellent insulation, so this tipi should be very cozy year round. Each block can be used immediately without the need to even fill it, so the process of building should go very quickly.

Each bag measures about  11″ x 20″ x 30″ so they are quite large, again adding to the speed of construction and mitigating the cost of the blocks.

I think this is a very interesting idea that may appeal to many people, especially in areas where these bags of rice hulls are available. The block pictured comes from Jonesboro, Arkansas.

3 thoughts on “Instant Earthbag Building Blocks”

    • I think it’s $6 a bag. Check with them to be sure.

      Loose rice hulls are dirt cheap or free and so it would obviously pay to figure out viable alternatives. Search our blog for other articles on rice hulls. One guy, for instance, built an earthbag house with bags of rice hulls in Thailand. Other people have used rice hulls inside cavity walls and as roof insulation. Rice hulls meet US building codes as insulation without any extra processing or treatment.

  1. Supplier information:

    They come from Riceland foods.

    Sherry Brantley, at or call 1-870-673-5314.

    They come 768 blocks to a truckload, 16 on a pallet, 48 pallets. Cost is $6 each, FOB Jonesboro AR.

    The bags are somewhat slick. I’d suggest pallet netting be wrapped around them before plastering. It comes in 20 inch wide rolls. We tried hay bale netting, but it’s too wide.

    Here are some links for pallet netting.

    Send us links of pics.




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