Some Incredible Facts about Earthbag Building

Every day we hear good news about earthbag building and other types of sustainable building – new projects, new companies getting involved, and on and on. If you’re new to this site (both this site and my Earthbag House Plans site are experiencing record traffic), please browse through the information we’ve compiled. I think you’ll be surprised. The uninformed tend to dismiss earthbag as just bags piled on top of each other, which simply isn’t true. Even frequent readers of our sites (which include all the most popular sites on earthbag building) are sometimes amazed. Yes, major projects are in the works. Stay tuned.

Here are just a few quick facts.
– Successful completion of an earthbag/strawbale shake table test in Nevada applied forces that surpassed that of the Northridge quake in California
– Seismic tests in California showed zero deflection on earthbag domes with forces that maxed out the testing equipment
– Engineer and code approved earthbag designs are now available for seismic and non-seismic areas
– A master’s degree thesis showed earthbag walls have 10 times the bearing capacity of stud framed walls
– Sand bags are the material of choice for storing ammunition in war zones due to their ability to absorb blasts
– Around a dozen earthbag projects are taking off in Haiti – some of which have been completed and the groups involved have decided to build more earthbag structures
– Earthbag is comparable to rammed earth, which can last for thousands of years
– Earthbag consists of compacted earth, which has now been shown to be resistant to 50 caliber bullets
– There are various ways of stabilizing earthbags and/or filling lower courses with gravel to make them extremely resistant to water damage, including floods
– For cold climates, bags can be filled with insulation or earthbags can be covered with a layer of insulation
– A Federal Highway Administration report estimates the half life of polypropylene bags (sand bags) may exceed 500 years in benign environments
– Earthbag is faster and more efficient than building with adobe, cob, rammed tires and rammed earth
– Building with sand bags is around 250 years old if you include the original burlap structures built by militaries
– Countless millions of poly sand bags are used every year to hold back floodwaters because they’re simple to use and effective

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2 thoughts on “Some Incredible Facts about Earthbag Building”

  1. In need of knowledgable assistance;

    I am regrading my backyard by hand, and would like to build a retaining wall on two of my four perimeters. I have a chain link along my neighbors line. I would like to use my excavated soil in bags, secured by barbed wire to the fence on either side for support; then backfill my neighbors yard . Will this work, and what would be the best final facade, cement? Thanks


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