Roundwood Braces

One way to save money and reduce your impact on the environment is to use unmilled roundwood when building your home. Wood in the round is much stronger than standard dimension lumber and requires less processing. In our case it enables us to use local, sustainably grown wood instead of wood shipped hundreds of miles. … Read more

24” Earthbag Modules

Using a standard-sized module can simplify the building design process. An even two foot module, for instance, is easy to plot on graph paper. This makes it easier to draw plans and calculate materials and costs. Another benefit of 24” earthbag modules is increased overlap between courses. Many earthbag builders just fold over the ends … Read more

Closing Ends of Earthbags

From time to time we’ll post answers to reader’s questions. Q: What methods can be used to close the ends of earthbags? A: Most people fold the bag ends over and then butt the folded end tight against the previous bag. (This keeps the contents intact and prevents spillage.) That’s the fastest way. If money … Read more

Earthquake-resistant Earthbag Houses

It deeply saddens me to see one disaster after another occurring around the world, especially since much of the tragedy could be prevented by building earthquake-resistant earthbag houses. The recent earthquake in Haiti is but one more example of this. Theo (Father Marc Boisvert) runs a project for the poor in Haiti. Their earthbag Sun … Read more

Call for Greater Earthbag Sharing/Testing

We can all learn a lot from each other, and so I’m encouraging everyone to send us their earthbag building experiences (favorable or unfavorable) so we can share the information with other readers. Earthbag builders are regularly experimenting with new ideas and techniques. If you have learned something interesting and think it can benefit others, … Read more

Wood Siding on Earthbag Houses

There’s a plethora of building options not covered in the current earthbag literature, one of which is using wood siding on earthbag houses. Plaster is by far the most common wall finish, but it’s always good to know about other options. For instance, you may have access to a portable sawmill and low cost timber … Read more