I want to talk a little bit more about these mesh bags that are used in the hyperadobe system. It’s the hot new development. Let’s take a close look. The open weave allows the soil to dry much faster. They’re lower cost. They’re almost as strong (as poly bags). They’re less expensive. You don’t necessarily need barbed wire between courses, because the soil will go through the mesh and one layer will bond to another. So you can save a lot of time and money on the barbed wire. You pin the corners in the same way with a small stitch. You don’t want a large stitch or you’ll have a recess that you have to fill with plaster. Also, I wanted to talk about the bucket chute we’re using. This is a 3-gallon size. It’s smaller than the other size we’re using (for poly bags). We took a stainless steel bucket, cut the bottom off and filed it to get rid of the sharp edges. Also, we cut the handle off – the attachments for the handle.
Almost everything about these mesh bags is more positive than the white poly sand bags most people use. The mesh is stretchier, so it’s a bit more effort to get it on (the bucket chute), but not much harder. After it is filled and stretches, it’s the exact same size as our other bags (which are standard 18”x30” measured when empty). So you can use them together like we’re doing on our cool pantry. [Example: gravel filled poly bags on lower courses, mesh bags with soil above.] They’re very strong. We tamped this last course very, very hard and there were no tears. So again, we think this is the future of earthbag building possibly, one aspect of it anyway. These are bags that would have been thrown away. We bought them inexpensively – about 6 cents. There are very few alternative uses for these. We bought them at the farmer’s market. So this is about ¼ the cost of white poly bags (polypropylene bags). And they’re just as good if not better. You can also buy this material in a roll and lay down tubes, which is the fastest way. But the bags are good because it’s a recycled product that’s less expensive. So we’re very happy with this. We just did one course on the cool pantry, we’ll show you here, and it’s incredibly strong, very good system. We’re very happy with it. Come to our Earthbag Building Blog and you can read all the details. We’re reporting on this development in a lot of detail, because it’s such a great idea.
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