The Mud Home: Earthbag Foundations — 4 Comments

  1. I’m with you on concrete. There is a women who built a large straw bale home in Tuscon and i was amazed at the requirements she had to go through. If i remember right she had to have a huge stem wall built from concrete to meet codes.It sounded very pricey and i don’t see this as being really green. Once more it comes down to building codes.

    • Right. She was probably required to build a foundation the thickness of the bales. That’s why I often recommend a post and beam frame with straw bale infill. That way a typical 8″ foundation will meet code.

      • Owen, I have had a thought on a few occasions that relates to this article and your comment. Would there be an advantage for achieving code compliance and avoiding the moisture-wicking problems of concrete by simply burying the foundation below ground level and placing an additional layer of gravel over top at grade? I hope that this is not a dumb question… :-S

        • That would work, although there’s no guarantee the building inspectors would approve it. Most likely you’d need an engineer’s stamp of approval.

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