Shear Strength Wall Test Report

Test description: Shear strength of plastered 4′ x 4’/ 1.2 x 1.2 m bag wall (15″ / 38 cm thick) of weak cohesive soil with barbed wire; Materials: solid poly bags, tamped subsoils of silt and clay, lime and earthen plaster Abstract: Earthbag is a growing sustainable building technique that is increasingly desired in the … Read more

Earthbag Tests in Comparison to NZ Tests

More testing info from Patti Stouter: What’s so important about New Zealand’s earth building standards? Well, no one else has based earth building guidelines on so much testing. And recently earthquakes in New Zealand (including a magnitude 7.1) proved how well these standards keep buildings safe. Engineers visited 14 adobe and rammed earth buildings to … Read more

Revised Earthbag Testing Page

With  the help of Patti Stouter, I have revised the index page for available test data and reports at Instead of just links to half a dozen existing test reports that are specific to earthbags, there are now references and links to over three dozen such reports, many of which relate to other types … Read more

Bullet Resistance of Gravel

What’s the most effective way to provide bullet resistance for your home? Here’s a field trial test of Joel Skousen’s gravel wall system. Compare the bullet resistance of this system to: Sand bags Compressed earth Impact testing compressed earth by black powder cannon

Hyper-wattle Wall Test

Patti Stouter just tested her hyper-wattle wall system that’s she’s building at her home in New York. She’s published the results on her Hyper-wattle proposal at the $300 House design competition. She’s been in the top three consistently and there’s a very good chance she’ll win first place. I believe her project is the best … Read more

Impact Testing Earthco Megablocks with Blackpowder Cannon

“We fired fence posts and bricks from a blackpowder cannon into an EarthCo Megablock wall made from local earth and water. These walls were produced from highly shrinking-swelling clay subsoil which produces a very low quality wall, however our goal was to show that even a low quality EarthCo Megablock wall has the structural integrity … Read more