Cooperative Building

One way of acquiring affordable housing is working together with other people. Let’s say six groups of three workers agree to build their homes together. They could divide into teams based on interests and skill level. Team 1: Site preparation and excavation Team 2: Earthbag foundation Team 3: Lower walls Team 4: Upper walls Team … Read more

Sustainable Earthbag Design Features

Earthbag structures are sustainable because they are safe (fire and mold resistant, structurally sound, nontoxic), durable, code approved, easy to maintain by homeowners, low cost ($10/sq.ft. is possible with small, simple designs), site specific, maximize solar gain, resistant to natural disasters such as floods, low embodied energy materials, use locally available resources, reduce energy consumption … Read more

The Most Bang for the Buck? Part 1

What’s the most efficient, cost-effective way to build with earthbags? How can you enclose the most space with the least time, effort and money? Well, it depends in part on climate, individual skills and preferences as far as styles/building types. (Other factors will be covered in a future post.) In general, round shapes are the … Read more

Specifics of Nabil Taha’s Engineered Earthbag Designs

I just posted the recent news about gaining engineering approval for earthbag construction through PSE, Nabil Taha’s engineering firm in Oregon. He is licensed in 27 states and has developed an earthbag building system to meet international building codes. This is a major step forward for gaining widespread acceptance of earthbag building and we are … Read more

How to Build a House That Will Self Destruct and Burn Like Crazy

We spend a lot of time here explaining how to build strong, safe houses. Let’s look at conventional code-approved building materials and see how they compare to earthbag building. Because building codes were written by big industries to favor themselves, including the timber industry, the end result is farcical, although deadly serious when you consider … Read more

Desert Submarine

This unique 241 square foot all solar design qualifies as a zero energy home. It’s for desert regions only. The home is cooled with water trickling over the metal roofing using the same evaporative cooling principle as found in the original Desert Submarine. It’s a simple yet proven technology. Solar panels power the water pumps, … Read more