Recycled Polystyrene Insulation — 18 Comments

  1. thats a great idea! thanks SO your suggesting NO dirt in the bags at all and just styrofoam only? how do you feel about soil/styrofoam mixture? I already have some clay silt and gravel here on site. Would it just be more efficient to use only styrofoam?

  2. ok i am building an earthbag music studio in North Pole alaska. Furniture retail stores are great places to get FREE styrofoam the throw away loads of it. I am considering just breaking it down with my hands down to about half the size of my fist and just mixing it in my bags. Any thoughts? It might work well. Id like some educated input im very young and inexperienced

    • Build a post and beam structure that carries all of the loads and use bags of crushed styrofoam (smaller pieces the better) as ‘infill’ insulation. There are various ways to secure the bags. For instance, you could tie saplings between the poles and tie the bags to the saplings. Plaster everything.

      Wear a mask when crushing the styrofoam. Try various methods to see what’s fastest. Maybe chop it up with a knife?

  3. Do you know what kind of suppliers would give polystyrene away for free? Or any place to get it in large quantities free or not?

  4. What about simply shredding the polystyrene foam (by rubbing it through 3/8″ hardware screen) and mixing it with wood sawdust to fill the tiny spaces between the foam particles- and just filling the mixture into plastic bags (even free used shopping bags)- inserting the bags between wall studs for new construction and also burried in the ground next to concrete foundation.

    I’ve never seen any safety rules against using flamable polystyrene board in walls.
    Are there safety rules against this flamable mixture in walls? If so, maybe there is a cheap flame retardant that must be mixed with it.

    Anyone want to comment?. If so, please email me also.


  5. Any idea where Hideo (Japanese name) is based? I’m in Japan and am hoping I’ll be able to buy some land and start something in a couple of years time, but don’t really know anyone doing earthbag houses here (actually, there are at least two people I know of who have both had work featured on this site that I have yet to contact…) and I have a few doubts about coping with the variable climate (hot, humid, wet, cool dry, cold/freezing… 5 seasons) and even more about planning permission in a place with a lot of seismic activity.

  6. Hi Owen, it’s me again! Lol. Just had an idea and want to know what you think? Could that superglue be sprayed on with a garden sprayer or some other device in layers as it dries?? I’ve never worked with it but think it may be easier and less time intensive??

    • A strawbale roundhouse on gravel bags sounds good. You might want to use gravel bags for the lower 2 feet or so. Scoria bags make a good insulated foundation.

      Please send drawings or pics when available.

    • We’re working on an earth-sheltered design for Canada and other extremely cold, windy areas. Bales are not recommended below grade. The plans will be published over the next 2-3 days in several blog posts.

      Bales are great above grade, but we wanted an earth-sheltered design for the harshest areas of the Far North.

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