Straw Bale Emergency Shelter Cold Weather Upgrades

An airlock improves energy efficiency on the straw bale shelter.
An airlock improves energy efficiency on the straw bale shelter.

Suggestions from one of our readers on how to make the straw bale emergency shelter more comfortable in cold climates. This amazing shelter can be built in just a few hours.

“I just found your website as I am on a quest to ‘put a roof over my head’ as cheaply as possible. I have just started to browse through your website and I read a comment from a lady who had ‘survived’ very cold weather and snow in the Emergency Straw Bale shelter, so I looked and found the post about this shelter.

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More Choices for Insulated Earthbag Houses

There are lots of options for building insulated earthbag houses. At this time, scoria and pumice are my favorite. These materials are fireproof, rot proof, easy to work with, don’t attract pests, lightweight, etc. Kelly Hart pioneered the use of scoria bags in his dome home and carriage house in Colorado, and in my opinion … Read more

Lightweight Hyperadobe

As reported in a previous blog post just recently, low cost raschel mesh tube material is now available. (Thanks again to Patti Stouter for tracking this down.) Affordable mesh tubing means hyperadobe is now a more realistic option for many earthbaggers. A growing number of people think hyperadobe is the fastest, easiest earthbag method currently … Read more

Evolution of the Pit House

I’ll never forget the Native American museum exhibit of a pit house in Anchorage, Alaska. I couldn’t stop staring at it. Pit houses are so simple and yet so effective that people lived in structures like this for thousands of years with relatively minimal environmental harm. This building method and lifestyle really captures my imagination … Read more

Mesh Bags of Recycled Foam

Patti Stouter has been experimenting with all sorts of things, including using mesh bags of recycled foam. She wants to build a Nubian vault with these bags of foam on a rebar frame. Scrap materials are often large enough to fit well in cheaper open weave vexar mesh tubes. This stretchy plastic tubing is used … Read more

Instructable: Insulated Bamboo Walls

This Instructable describes an innovative way to build walls using bamboo or wood saplings and bags of insulation. We’ll be using bamboo for this Instructable since it is rapidly renewable, low cost and readily available in many parts of the world. Let’s start with some background information to better understand what is involved. People often … Read more