Report from Pisco — 6 Comments

  1. Thank you for your comments. I appreciate the support we consistently receive from this site.
    This community center was our first Earthbag project in Pisco, and we welcome any suggestions people may have that will help us improve our technique. The plaster that we use to render the walls is very expensive and anything we can do to keep down the cost is beneficial.
    We are currently turning the bags inside out and then securing one end with 2 nails. This is also cost prohibitive. If anyone has any suggestions on how to bring these costs down, please do chime in.

  2. I thought those bags looked a little “rotund” and not very brick-like. Thanks for the tips; it is your willingness to so freely share your knowledge that keeps me coming back here! Thank you.

  3. Notice the large curves on bag ends and the large recesses between. This creates a lot of extra plaster work, including time, labor and materials. Details like this will not win over builders who have to do the work. The builders may very well think “this is not practical and efficient”.

    A better method is to pin the corners just slightly. We use galvanized wire to pin the bottom corners about 1″-2″ back. Tops of bags can be sewn shut with wire to create smaller recesses between bags. Also, I recommend tamping the sides of bags after they have been tamped flat and level. Do this before the soil hardens. Both steps combined will reduce plaster work by around 50%-100%.

  4. Great article with lots of good points. The cultural barrier and resistance to change is obviously a big hurdle to overcome.

    One possible solution: I suggest working with local builders and providing specialized training using information such as this seismic report: and this information on reinforced earthbag: Maybe if you win over the builders with sound construction principles by showing and explaining how it works then maybe they will help persuade the rest of the community.

    Correction: Earthbag building is earthquake resistant if built correctly. No building method is truly “earthquake proof.”

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