Strong as an Army Bunker

Our roundhouse is nearly finished and so I wanted to share some results. The main impression is one of incredible fortresslike strength — massive walls with no sway. Our roundhouse and dome are probably the two strongest buildings I’ve ever worked on. Our earthbag dome, for instance, never budged as about 15 truckloads of soil … Read more

Interior Views of Our Roundhouse

As promised, I’m posting more pics of our roundhouse as I get time. I’ve started to upload some of these pics to my new Picasa web album. Floor: We opted for a concrete floor colored with natural iron oxide pigment. The pigment is sprinkled by hand and troweled into the top ¼” as the concrete … Read more

Post and Beam Designs

In many cases, buttresses are not the optimum solution for bracing earthbag walls. Post and beam designs are often preferable and have many advantages. Besides being less obtrusive, post and beam designs are suitable for wider range of styles, require less plastering, take up less space, and are faster and easier to build in many … Read more

Mobile Housing Can Circumvent Codes Legally

Restrictive building codes are forcing people to look for alternative housing. Building a portable trailer is one of the best tricks for bypassing building codes legally. No permanent foundation and no utility hookups typically mean very few codes. There’s a wealth of free information on trailer houses and tiny houses on the Internet. But it … Read more

Tampers from Building Supply Centers

It’s relatively easy to make your own earthbag tampers, but some may decide it’s simpler and more expedient to just purchase them. Here’s one tamper I came across after a quick search on the Internet: Ames True Temper 8″ x 8″ Tamper, 42 inch hardwood handle, $24.98, available from Lowe’s building supply centers.

Zero Energy Housing

I’ve just unveiled my first zero energy house — Zero Energy One — at Earthbag House Plans. Unlike most zero energy houses that cost a small fortune (around $250,000), Zero Energy One earthbag house can be built for about $10/sq. ft. exclusive of the energy systems. This design minimizes net energy use, embodied energy in … Read more