Weaving Barbed Wire Corners

Weaving barbed wire corners, step 1. (click to enlarge)
Weaving barbed wire corners, step 1. (click to enlarge)

Guest post by Patti Stouter about another low tech way to reinforce corners in earthquake zones. More methods are explained at EarthbagStructures.com:
“Corners are one of the most vulnerable parts of buildings in earthquakes. Straight wall earthbag construction has not yet been tested on a shake table or in a severe quake. It may absorb vibrations, but we don’t know for sure yet. Builders need to exercise all caution and build well to save lives.

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Barbed Wire Details in Seismic Areas

An engineer of note gave us some suggestions on how to improve earthbag corners in seismic areas. The engineer is concerned the barbed wire could shift in a quake. He felt that wire mesh anchors (4- 5 with 1″ long teeth, bent so it stands up nicely) would better secure barbed wire at corners. He … Read more

Seismic Resistant Gravel Bag Foundations

Yesterday’s post was about the earthquake resistance of earthbags. Today’s post illustrates what an earthquake resistant gravel bag foundation looks like and explains why this design is so effective. Gravel is an ideal material for this application because it’s durable, reasonably inexpensive, readily available in most areas, has high bearing strength and prevents wicking of … Read more

Reinforcing Steel Recommended Instead of Buttresses

This is another major announcement courtesy of Structure1.com. Instead of building buttresses, which tend to be time consuming and difficult to design correctly for earthquake zones, they recommend using the same specifications we reported earlier for reinforced earthbag walls in seismic regions. The comments below are from the latest email exchange with Structure1.com. Refer to: … Read more

Attaching Shear Walls to Earthbag Walls

The specifications for reinforced earthbag walls in seismic regions from Structure1.com describe how to attach shear walls to earthbag walls. Properly built shear walls add a great deal of strength to earthbag structures, but are seldom discussed. I thought a detailed drawing of this feature would be helpful. The drawing below illustrates the key concepts. … Read more

Reinforced Earthbag Specifications

I am extremely happy to announce another major first for earthbag building. Precision Engineering has generously provided drawings and specifications for building earthbag structures in seismic areas to meet code. The documents have been combined into one 6-page PDF and are now available online. Reinforced Earthbag Specifications is a 6-page PDF describing in drawings and … Read more