“A couple weekends ago, a couple guys from my church and I trekked over to Patti Stouter’s house to learn from her how to build with dirt and bags and barbed wire. We want to provide permanent shelter for Haitians in a sustainable, affordable, culturally appropriate, disaster resistant manner and she has already designed and seen constructed a few buildings in post-earthquake Haiti. She has a website, Simple Earth Structures, which has a page for training workshops at her house. Her classes are not just for relief minded people such as myself, though she has had much interest from ex-patriot Haitians who want to go back and do something for their friends and family. There are Americans who want to build additions or entire domiciles out of earthbags for themselves, in the USA. One such couple was also in our class.
The class was great. We worked on rubble bags for the first rows of the foundation. Then we mixed dirt to the right mixture of clay and sand and moisture and added them to bags to lay on the foundation, and made sure two lines of barbed wired were between each layer. We tamped the bags and shifted them around so our walls stayed vertical. We looked at an earthbag that had been re-opened after tamping and marveled at how solid it had become. We learned how to determine if the local soil needs modification before use. Patti is a great teacher. I appreciated her scientific approach to this building method. She has multiple experiments in progress around her property and in her basement. She answered our questions, not as a salesperson, she is not selling bags, but as a friend.”
Full review at UmBlog
Note: She may be moving soon. We’ll keep you posted if she has more workshops in the future.