Owen’s Earthbag Book

The Book

by Owen GeigerThe Earthbag Building Guide is a $20 e-book that will be sent to you via email within 24 hours after purchasing it, which makes it easily available anywhere in the world. Chapter titles give you a good idea of what it covers: Dirt Cheap Shelter, Choosing a Plan, Tools, Supplies, Foundations, Bag Walls, Tube Walls, Openings and Details, Lintels and Bond Beams, Insulated Walls, Roofs, Plaster, Finishing Details, and First Projects. See the complete table of contents  just a little further down on this page.

Much has been learned about earthbag building over the last few decades through research, trial and error, and sharing of information. It is becoming increasingly clear what works best and why. This book pulls the most practical ideas together and will help take this movement to the next level.

This builder’s guide does that by providing simple, clear explanations of each step of construction, from earthbag foundations that don’t require concrete, to complete information on tools and supplies, as well as tips, tricks and advanced earthbag techniques.

All major aspects of building earthbag houses with vertical walls are covered: Planning; Dirt cheap building techniques; Building code issues; Electrical and Plumbing; Cost estimating; Insulation; Landscaping options. It is profusely illustrated with about 185 color photos and detail drawings.

Here is one of the favorable reviews the book received:

“I have built with earthbags for over twenty years, having helped develop the concept with Nader Khalili in the early 1990′s. Of all the texts on earthbag building that exist (including mine), I have to say that Owen Geiger’s Earthbag Building Guide is by far the most thorough, detailed and technically useful book on the subject yet to emerge. I will be referring to it often in my own projects and look forward with keen interest to forthcoming titles from this talented researcher.” — Joseph F. Kennedy, editor The Art of Natural Building and Building Without Borders

You can read more reviews here. (Scroll down on that page.)

A link to download the  Earthbag Building Guide will be sent to you within 24 hours of your purchase.

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PDF of Earthbag Building Guide



120 thoughts on “Owen’s Earthbag Book”

  1. Hi Dr. Geiger
    Bought your book and DVD what seems like a million years ago. Time does fly. I have 4 questions. One is can you use full cement bags if you have the money to build your home and still properly insulate it if you live in a northern snowy and cold wintery part of America? Is building this way foolish and not truly cost effective? Two which is cheaper to use sheets of insulation or sprayed on or insulation in the bags? And lastly, is one better than another in these harsh conditions if using this cement bag method or the standard earthbag build way?
    I have between 800 to 1000 books and yours is in view always and the DVD is as well. Yeah. I like what you’ve done and continue to do. I wish you all well.

    • I am sorry to report that Owen died a few years ago, but I have continued to maintain this blog.
      There is often good reason to use cement-stabilized soil as fill for earthbags, but I would say using just mixed concrete would be overkill.
      I cannot say which type of insulation is cheaper because there are too many variables in costs. I built my earthbags house using scoria to fill the bags for insulation and that worked out well.

      • Thank you Kelly Hart and I’m saddened to learn that Owen Geiger passed away. That just knocked the wind out of my sails. Wow! I was NOT expecting that. Phew! Ok, moving on. I live up in Washington state and we get lots of snow and wind in the mountains so, it gets very cold at times. I don’t know where you built but scoria is what I had thought about but when I saw cement bags stacked to be used as a retaining wall and all you added was water, it got me to thinking. But, as you said even mixed cement would be overkill and so would the cost in reality. What have you heard with scoria being used in an environment like mine? Thanks very much. I’ll probably call on you for advise in the future as well. I look forward to hearing back with your answer/s.

  2. I live in Israel. Amazon stated that the DVD cannot be delivered here. Is there a way to download the dvd? I am ready to start building and could really use your guidance. I will also buy the book, but I need both.

  3. I just bought the book. How are your going to send it to me? You don’t have my email. I don’t like putting my email in a public forum either. I also found the purchase went through in an unusual way. It went through my paypal account which then directly took it from my personal checking account. I have a paypal account which has plenty of credit and none of my prior paypal purchases took it directly from my personal banking account. I can’t find any customer service contact information on the home page or the about us section either. Please note the email I am using to post in this forum is not going to be my real email but is a disposable one so I will have to check back later on this forum to find my answer.

    • Hi Bob… I am sorry for the trouble with this. As you may know, Owen Geiger, the author of that book and co-creator of this blog, died a few months ago. When you ordered the book through Payloadz, it was supposed to be sent to you via email as a download I believe. If you send me an email to kellyhart AT greenhomebuilding.com I can send you a link to the book.

  4. hi Owen,

    I’m from Spain and i’d really like to build a dome as my life project, but i’d like to ask you about how much can cost to build a 1000 square feet dome in materials, not labour included.


    • There is a lot more that goes into building a functional house than just the bag material and supplies for the walls. I built an earthbag dome complex about that size (see at http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/hart.htm) nearly two decades ago for about $35,000 US. This cost included all of the window, doors, electrical and plumbing parts, and other essentials. How good you are at finding good deals for supplies can make a difference.

  5. Hello and thank you for all your effort to educate us newbies.
    I want to do an earthship but using bags instead of tires. I know the wall needs to be leaning back, may need rebar or buttress etc. However, I have not encountered how to calculate all that or who can figure out those engineering aspects of the build. Do you have any suggesting on where or whom could help me out?
    Thank you for your time.

    • I know Structure1.com can do the calcs. Also check previous stories of earthbag earthships here on our blog. One of the latest stories talks about an engineer who did one of the jobs. In summary, it’s best to get professional advice for your particular design, climate, soil, etc.

  6. I enjoyed your Earthbag Building Guide book. In this book you mentioned the earthbag design guide as a companion book. Where can i find it? Should I have gotten it with my download?

  7. Hi Owen,
    I have been following your work for quite some time now and would like more info. I know you make your living doing this so a small bit of money would be OK. I wish TO BUILD 1 AND 2 BEDROOM UNITS FOR TROUBLED AND HOMELESS US Veterans. At the moment I am confused about what to do.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Rev. Bob Whitley

  8. Hi Owen,

    I live in Gold Coast and I want to build a huge 3 story about 8 bedroom sandbag house. I want to have a modern house with latest appliances .Can you please tell me what could be my challenges? Will you be able to guide me ? Do I need special permissions from council. How much would it cost roughly? I really appreciate it

    • You can do it. Lots of people build their own houses. Just keep reading and learning. Start with a small project such as a tool shed to learn the basics. Get some strong workers. You may want to hire someone with building experience to oversee things.

    • If you read the reply below, a second story in earthbag is possible but abnormal, you should build a post and beam, fill the walls with bags, and then frame the 2nd story with store-bought lumber or timber frame.

  9. Sir Owen
    my name is Nikhil I am from India Maharashtra state.

    I want to know that can I build 2 story building/house of earthbag building.

    and does your eBook and DVD consist of tricks & tips on 2 story earthbag building.

    • Yes, if you add a bond beam on the top of each story. The challenge though is moving all that heavy soil high in the air. Consider using lightweight materials like wood for the 2nd story.

  10. I also have an eBook. I have it on Payhip, which is a very simple platform.

    Dropbox is a great internet tool. I think it’s better than Google Docs, but similar.

    The problem with eBooks is Amazon keeps almost all the money. With my book, they put it in the lending library and I never sold one book.

    It’s really hard to market it yourself and very expensive to let others do it. What to do?

    Good luck with your book. We need 2-3 story homes here in Changunarayan. Any suggestions are most appreciated.

    • My book sells because we’ve developed a fairly large readership with our websites. It takes years to build up that many readers…

      Multi-story homes: Use locally available materials. Use strong materials like earthbags on the first story and lightweight materials on the upper stories.

  11. I am purchasing your book, but I am not sure my issue is addressed by letter 35. We are building our earthbag house on a limestone slab which is too difficult to dig into with any consistency. The long east facing wall of the house abuts a rock wall. Can we avoid putting in Swales or French drain? We could pour a low concrete foundation (how tall?)reinforced with rebar then how often should we insert vertical re-bar to tie into the earth bags and upward into how many rows? We could coat the foundation to repell water but are curious what other options we might have.
    Thanks for the assistance,

    • This is probably in the book. Solid rocky ground is optimum for building on. It has maximum bearing capacity. Remove loose soil and start laying gravel bags directly on top of the rocks. Adjust each course of gravel bags somewhat until you reach level after about 3 courses. Then you can start laying regular earthbags. All this assumes no building codes of course. Just make sure the ground is sloping away from the building in all directions or water will stream right under your house.

  12. I live in a village in the KTM Valley where the land is too valuable for farming to build a home on. They need to build 2-3 story so they can keep the homes small. Is there any possibility to build 2-3 story with this technology, maybe combine it with re-bar and concrete technology?

    I have a newly registered NGO, Kay Garnay for Nepal. We have already built over 25 aluminum shelters for the people in the Changunarayan/Bhaktapur area. But aluminum shelters are no substitute for a real home. We hope to start on a permanent home project in the spring.

    • I recommend one story earthbag structures in earthquake zones. Use wood, steel or bamboo for upper stories. Realize that taller buildings are at much greater risk of seismic damage. Contact Good Earth Nepal.org who has taken over my training in Nepal. They can get you all of my training materials. Hope to go back in the spring.

  13. I live in the Northern section of middle Alabama in the foothills of the Appalachian, we have avg of 53 plus inches of rain, my property is on a ridge, soil is mostly red clay. The only weather we are concerned with are tornadoes generally from the west or southwest. I am looking to build my home that low solar gain (Normal Temp 95-100 F) and low heat loss (Normal Temp 28-34 on occasion well drop into the 12-15 for maybe 72-80 hours a year) humidity is another issue 60 to 80% on average, certain times of year 85-100% for several days. I work in Plumbing, Heating, A/C, Electrical Industry, I plan on using Solar Water Heating and infloor radiant Heating, backup with tankless water heater for both, title floors throughout. Wood burning heater as backup heat, I hope to use as little refrigeration A/C as possible (maybe mini-split ductless for zone cooling). I plan using spray foam in the roofing area. I am hoping you can make some suggestions on Construction

    • Our earthbag roundhouse is in a similar climate minus the tornadoes, so typical earthbag construction will work great. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-an-Earthbag-Roundhouse/

      Make some test bags to test your soil. I would use gravel bags plus buy a roll of raschel mesh tubing. Use appropriate sized roof overhangs to shade the walls. Use strong hurricane ties on the roof. Search our blog for two articles called Passive Cooling Strategies and incorporate about 10 or so of those low tech methods into your home so you don’t need AC.

  14. Owen,

    I’m from Nepal and part of the One Stop Portal team to identify resources to aid in Nepal’s recovery. Your blogs and instructables to build earthbag buildings has caught our attention. Have you considered the possibility of translating this book/manual into Nepali so that builder in Nepal can use it?

    One Stop Portal team

    • The book was translated into Spanish and through that I learned how much work is involved. I’d suggest using the shorter Step-by-Step Instructable and translating that if somebody thinks it will be helpful.

  15. hello owen,
    love the information displayed on your blog, howeveri did love to get information on how i could get the ecobeams and sandbags in nigeria.

    • Thanks. As far as the ecobeams, you’ll have to contact the manufacturer. For sandbags, search online for poly bag suppliers in Nigeria. The same woven poly bags are used for rice and many other things.

  16. Are there plans to purchase for structure that is displayed on the top of the website? Yellow one with green living roof? Is this one able to be fully bermed?

  17. Hi,
    I am a young Italian architect interested in the construction “superadobe”. Where can I learn the technique?
    In Italy construction is firm and this technique would recover but a big problem is the law. They were made of the test? I live in Abruzzo and this region is highly seismic. How to proceed with the structural calculation?
    I look forward to your response

    • There are several similar building methods — superadobe, earthbag and hyperadobe. Our websites provide almost 3,000 pages of free information on these and related building techniques. One good place to start is our Testing page at our main website Earthbag Building.com.

      If you go the superadobe route, you’ll have to pay Cal-earth for their proprietary plans. Most people find a way around this by developing their own plans to save money.

  18. Little confused, book is $20 ebook? DVD come with? Or, I see DVD is $28 plus shipping. Which do I need to build a home? Can use one without the other? Is there a published book,dvd combo?
    Thanks, JV

    • They’re separate. The ebook is $20. The DVD has to be ordered through Amazon for $28. The book is the most important of the two, although visual learners will really like the DVD.

  19. First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing.
    I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Kudos!

    • I use a spontaneous writing method where I get my thoughts written down quickly without worrying about order, flow, etc. Also, I usually have a dozen or more blog posts in the works and gradually improve them over time.

  20. hi Owen,
    i’m trying to build a earthbag house in Azores, Portugal, but i need “proves”, certificates our tests done to a similar structure, so i can show to the Building Official that this kind of structure is safe to build.
    how do I get it?

    thank you


  21. Hi Owen,

    My name is Lyn and I’ve been doing a bit of research on these earthbag houses. I hate the idea of conventional homes that would have us locked into 30 years of debt, and in every way it seems that earthbagging is the only option that would allow my family to live economically and environmentally responsible. I love the freedom it represents!

    However, I have a question or two –

    We’re looking to live in the tristate area in the US (we currently live in NJ). Do you know anyone who had successfully built their earthbag home in a residential area like that? This might be a stretch, but would you know how I could contact them if you DO know someone who has employed your methods for building their dream home in the states?

    Is it possible for these homes to be modernized? Similar to how Cal-Earth has been building their structures in California?

    Thank you so much for response in advance! :) If it’s easier, I can be reached via email lynannerosenthal@Gmail.com

    • Actually, earthbag is just one of many natural building methods. The ‘best’ one is what’s most practical for you in the area you live in. You live in a densely populated area with strict building codes and so you won’t save any money by the time you meet codes. The savings come from building in rural areas with few or no codes.

  22. I have used Owen’s dvd and his book. Each is presented clearly, is presented in a step by step fashion, with auxiliary information on things like testing soils for suitability for building with earthbags. Owen passes along from his experiences little tips about how/why the plaster might crack if not applied carefully, as the outside structure of the house. Jerry

  23. Hello!!!!
    Your Texts and videos are very good! Thank you!
    (I dont read your book, yet)

    Could you help me on two questions, by your experience ?

    I am a Geologist and came to work in the Cerrado of Brazil , under savanna climate.
    I have experience in small and simple houses made of superadobe / earthbag , to community halls , with external and apparent electrical wiring .

    I started a home ( community center ) , whose central circular dome has 4.20 meters ( 165 inches) in radius. The other rooms that will come out of it , are square and smaller than 3 or 4 meters ( but straight ) . The internal walls I will make adobe bricks , local production.

    I realized the foundation with 1 meter deep ( 3.2 feet ) , filled with gravel (and the last layer of foundation with cement ) . Is it enough ?

    The soil here is deep , very pure , with 75 % sand and 15 % clay.

    I am also having difficulty in making the electrical part .

    In Brazil is common to make the electrical install after the home is complete .
    And the government requires in this way. In superadobe , it must be planned during construction ? Or I can ” break the walls ” after plastering (reboco) ?

    Yout book would allow me to install electricity? We dont’ have expert here…

    • The foundation should be plenty deep enough.

      Wiring: Search our blog for keyword ‘electrical’ to learn the basics. My book goes into a little more detail. It’s very simple. Most people run the wire in the recesses between bags after the walls are finished. It’s easy to chisel/chop a little if necessary. Some use conduit buried between courses. Also, my blog posts shows how to anchor electrical boxes with 1/4″ rebar pins.

  24. Hello Owen,

    I have spoken with you before. Can you tell me which has more information your DVD or your book. I interested in building a project myself (have constructional experience),which of the 2 would you recommend or are they basically the same?

    Thanks regards Ian

    • The book is more important. It provides the most condensed explanation of what you need to know. You could watch most of the videos for free on my YouTube channel (step-by-step earthbag). YouTube is not as convenient as watching a DVD, but it’s free.

  25. Amazon.fr doesn’t sell it and Amazon.com doesn’t send to France.

    And unfortunately, I have not even an acquaintance in the US currently… Have you a download link ?

    Full extensive video on earthbag building are difficult to find.

  26. I live in central ms and want to build a earthbag house. what is largest size u can build without insurance and building fees. i am building in the rural hills of carroll county. would like to be able to add another bedroom. what would be best.dome style or spanish.

    • You’ll have to talk to your building officials and check the regulations in your county. Roofed structures are more durable than domes in many climates, so Spanish style is best.

  27. I would like to send a copy of your book to my daughter and son-in-law, but they do not have access to the internet, and I don’t have a printer to print the PDF for them. Is there a way that you could send them a printed version of your ebook, if I pay for it?

    • No, sorry. It’s an ebook. Maybe you could mail them a copy of the book on a flash drive (thumb drive) and then they could print it.

  28. Hi Owen,

    I just bought your DVD. I wanted to buy the ebook as well, but the link is not working. Could you please give me an alternative link?

    Thank you so much!

  29. Hi Owen,

    I have just been looking through your various websites and you are an inspiration in cultivating change, so thank you. We are a group of three families who have recently bought land in boddington in Western Australia. Yurts are appealing to us but would like a more permanent structure than fabrics would allow. It is hot and dry most of the time in Western Australia and the soil’s very sandy.

    I would like to buy your book but can’t find a link for it. I am contemplating on a course in building and construction for this project in mind. Any advise and link would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your contribution to humanity. It is very hopeful to stumble across inspirational endeavours such so yours.

    Best maureen

    • Thanks. The link to my earthbag ebook is on this same page. Click on the blue link in the first sentence.

      We have a list of Workshop providers at Earthbag Building.com: http://earthbagbuilding.com/workshops.htm

      There have been several earthbag workshops in Australia.

      Sandy soils can be stabilized in several different ways. Almost everything you need to know is in my book and on our websites.

  30. I tried to purchase the dvd but I was unable to recalculate the quantity. When you click the link
    “directly from the manufacturer, Createspace” which is bolded but not underlined, it takes you to a page where two dvds are already listed on the order form. I went back to see if the other dvd was on that page but it wasnt. The website is confusing and somewhere I saw the other dvd called something like “how we made our experimental bag and paper crete house” but when I went back to the pay page to get only the basic step dvd, by then it said I wanted two basic step dvds and one of the other ones, and the clicking the button recalculate quantities did not work.

  31. Just a couple of questions. I like earthbag houses but Im having a hard time deciding what style. I would like something spainish with courtyard. Is this feasible wiyh a conventional roof. I also would like concrete footers and headers. Is this better or unnessary. I live in south MS. It is very hot and humid. what is the best way to insulate the earth bags to keep it cool.

    Thank you,

    • You can make any style you want. Spanish style is one of the easiest due to the history of thick adobe walls and buttresses. Lots of Spanish houses have traditional gable roofs.

      Search our blog for ‘passive cooling strategies’ to learn dozens of ways to keep your house cool without mechanical equipment besides a ceiling fan. There’s no need to insulate a house in MS. Focus on cooling strategies and ventilation.

      • Time to link together yesterday’s blog post…

        with todays comment here.

        I suggested yesterday that Education was probably the most effective intervention to the World’s Housing Problem.

        I see Kelly and Owen’s websites as part of that effort to educate people. I see Owen’s book as part of the Education Intervention.

        There are other good books too. Joseph Jenkins’ Humanure Handbook. Several Permaculture books. The list goes on.

        How many websites and books are available to people who speak languages other than English?

        I suggest one more small step in improving the World’s Housing Problems is to get as many educational resources available in as many languages as possible.

        French, Portuguese, German, Russian, Chinese, etc, etc, etc.

        How many readers of this blog might be willing to assist in translating a book into one of those languages? This might be a great way for someone who is not capable of traveling to a poverty stricken or disaster stricken part of the world to help those people build their own home. Help translate the educational tools that can teach them how to do it themselves.

        How many multilingual natural builders would be willing to write captions translating how-to videos on YouTube to as many languages as possible?

        Yesterday’s blog post included a photo of a Shanty structure from Jakarta Indonesia.
        Seems appropriate to find a way to translate as many of these educational materials into Indonesian.

        I don’t know how practical it might be to publish hard copies in all those languages, but perhaps ebooks? I don’t know how those decisions are made, but I at least encourage thought on the topic.

        For that matter, when a natural builder is building in a country that speaks another language, what about recording how-to videos with a local native speaker narrating and explaining things directly into the video?

        Owen? What about a series of Earthbag how-to videos in Thai?
        How many friends live around you that speak other languages that might be willing to “host” and narrate a series of videos?

        Imagine building a single structure, and filming the same instructions and explanations using several different speakers in several different languages? Create a multilingual library that can educate the World.

        I cannot speak for Owen or Kelly, but I encourage anyone that speaks both English and another language, and is willing to help translate a natural building book to contact them and offer to help.

        Ideally there would be one primary translator and several more volunteers to double check each translation and proofread it.

        Imagine how many lives might be impacted. Imagine how many families might get a roof over their heads simply because you helped translate the instructions how they could build it for themselves.

        • Good ideas. I would also point out the importance of choosing books that emphasize hands-on skills. Some books wax poetically about all the benefits and generalities (history, etc.) and only peripherally talk about building details. In my opinion, simple to understand builder manuals would be much more practical. The benefits and history can be summarized in a few pages. Most of the book should focus on how-to information described in simple language in an easy to read format. Lots of drawings and images are preferred.

          Everyone is free to translate my ebook into any language they choose as long as the text, title and credits are unchanged. Currently, it’s only available in English and Spanish.

          Everyone is free to translate my YouTube videos (audio and subtitles) into any language they choose as long as the credits are unchanged. http://www.youtube.com/user/naturalhouses

          Please send a brief email to me if you make the book or videos available in other languages.

          It’s easy to print ebooks at quality print shops. Use thicker paper for the cover. I made some copies this way that are almost indistinguishable from regular books. You might want to do this at a print shop in your home country rather than some developing country with questionable printing equipment. Make a few extra at home and pass out to those who seem most likely to utilize and benefit from the information. Consider giving a free copy to universities and libraries.

          Also consider translating my Step-by-Step Earthbag Building Instructable. This short document covers the main steps and would be much faster and easier than translating a whole book.

  32. Just to make sure I understand you. I can use the beach sand and use salt water. Which would be beter to use the lime or the cement? I would like it to be as strong as possible but would I have to rush more getting the bags in place and tamped before cement would set up.

    • Do NOT use salt water with cement and lime. They’re usually not needed anyway. But you also do not want to use 100% sand or the walls will slump and probably fall over. Use clay mixed with sand to prevent this.

  33. Since I would need water to mix with the dirt in the earthbags and I will be short walking distance to the ocean can I use salt water without any problems? Since beach sand is on my property can I use it instead of dirt?

  34. My wife and I are now planning to move to northern Belize in about 4 years and are now going to purchase ocean front property. I think I may build an Earthbag home on the beach. I hope It will pass their building regulations. Do you or any one out there happen to have any knowledge on Belize and there regulations.

    • You’ll have to check locally. Show them my book (print it out). Explain it as rammed earth in bags. And tell them US engineers can provide approved plans if needed, although that will cost an extra $2,000 or so more than my basic plans. You can get those through Structure1.com.

      Earthbag Testing: http://www.earthbagbuilding.com/testing.htm
      Print this page so they can look up all the tests and reports.

  35. Dear Owen,

    I was interested in using this method to build a cellar to store food from my garden and canned food. Our water table is very near the surface and I would have to dig down a little ways to start the earthbag cellar and then cover it with dirt. Would this work with this building method? I see that water is an issue. If I put in a french drain in the floor and cover with dirt, is the water still an issue? Pleas reply. Thank you.

    • How close is the water table to the surface after frequent rains? Are there rootcellars in your area? Do they flood? In some places they’re not practical.

  36. Hi Owen

    I have recently bought both your Ebook and DVD through my friends, Diana and Bharat Patel of California as the DVD can be hand delivered to me. My local Kenyan customs office are notorious for losing DVDs!

    I have bought land and wish to build a small eco project using your designs. I want to discuss the project and potential customisation of your plans with you.

    What email address can I use.


    Tony Simpson

  37. Dear Owen
    I am planning on moving to New Zealand and was wondering which of your plans would be better suited to the earthquake prone environment? I am very interested in building an earth sheltered dome home – would this be suitable? Do you know anyone in New Zealand who would be able to help in the building process?

    Many thanks

  38. hi
    i m from india,state kerala i just want know is it possible to build a earthbag house here as we r having 6 months heavy rainy season,can earthbag house withstand the rainy climate plse advise

    • Yes you can. Just be sure to build wide roof overhangs so the walls never get wet, build on high ground to prevent flooding, use gravel bag foundations or stone or concrete foundation raised above flood level.

  39. Dear Owen,

    We are interested in your work, and will be ordering your ebook and DVD later today or tomorrow.

    We currently have some ecodomes in our botanic garden, and are now thinking about building two classrooms that would resemble the photo on the front of your book.

    Question: Since we would actually be building into a hillside, we would want to construct a two-storey structure. Beneath would be gardening equipment storage, and above the classrooms, opening onto a children’s garden and play space.

    Is that possible?

    We’d be delighted to hear your thoughts.

    Best regards,


    • Yes, that’s possible. Just be careful not to dig too far into the hillside. Soil exerts tremendous horizontal thrust that your walls have to resist. Plus, this area will be prone to water problems unless you build correctly (two or more swales, French drain, 2-3 layers of moisture barriers), sloping soil away from the house in all directions, gutters on the roof, adequate roof overhangs. The wall against the hillside will likely need at least some extra reinforcement. Hire a local engineer to work out the details.

  40. Dear Owen,

    Above, there is one customer who want to order the DVD but doesn’t have paypal account. You gave him one email address, so he can contact with you. The problem is that the email that you gave him doesn’t exist:

    Owen Geiger says:
    June 4, 2012 at 5:15 PM
    You can send a check or wire money to my bank. Email me at yahoo [at] yahoo.com

    So, this email: yahoo [at] yahoo.com
    It doesn’t exist.
    If you don’t give one existing and working email address he cannot ask you for information.

    Sorry to bother you, just wanted to help him, since he seems to really have interest on buying your great DVD.

    Best Wishes!

    Alexandre Lago

  41. Hi there, I am so excited about earth bag building. I am looking forward to buying one of your house plans from your dream green homes site (just as soon as my husband and I can decide which one, and stop arguing about it LOL). All of your designs are simple, yet very beautiful. I just wanted to thank you for doing so much towards sustainable architecture and inspiring everyday Joe’s (and Jane’s) to build themselves, and make more enlightened choices. We decided to order this video from you before deciding which plan to choose in order to gauge what we would realistically be capable of finishing.
    Could you send me instructions for buying without a paypal account? I read on here someone mentioned paying via Western Union.
    Also for people that want on-site access: There are technologies now that are free (I think it’s called DVD shrink) for changing the format to ipod, ipad etc. I personally like to have the dvd in my hand though : ) It would be a shame for people not to follow through with the urge to buy and learn more for something so trivial.

    • Thank you. You can use credit cards, etc. to order the video from Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/326032

      Western Union may not work (check their payment options to be sure). The video has to be ordered through Createspace. They burn the DVD, mail it and handle the payment processing.

      There are now a large number of publishing platforms for all types of digital devices. It’s not practical to put a micro niche product such as an earthbag building book or DVD on all these platforms.

  42. hi sir,

    I want to order but I don’t have any paypal account. Is there any other payment option available?

    Thank you.

  43. I just noticed that Amazon sells a downloadable version of the DVD for a couple of dollars cheaper. However the stated run time seems to be much shorter. I ordered the DVD.

  44. Hi Owen
    I was wondering if you will be offering a download version of the video in the future. I have purchased a number of downloadable art tutorials and have found them cheaper, quicker and easier to store on my tiny Nextbook pad where I can refer to them during the process on site. To have access to the video during the build (without having to take a computer along) would be very helpful.


      • I would also like to see a downloadable version and/or having it mailed to me on a thumb drive.

        A lot of Netbooks and computers such as my MacBook Air don’t have a built in DVD drive.

        It would also be really neat to see the book and the videos as iPhone/iPad apps.

        There are a lot of pretty cheap and easy options for making the video downloadable.

        If that is something you would like to do I can offer technical assistance.


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