Vanuatu Earthbag Project Report — 12 Comments

  1. Hi Owen. Just to let you know that we are back in Vanuatu for two weeks. We have done one hell of a bond beam and we are putting the roof on. The house is great and looks like it will last a hundred years. It’s a little heavy on the use of concrete so it’s not so Eco now but the women are very happy with it and planning their work centre. All the best. Liz

    • Thanks for the update. Glad to hear things are moving along. Take good quality photos and please keep us posted.

  2. so insppiring! we can! here I am making 3 little domes, one with another workshop from Erik Ven, locals getting enthusiastic and helping. My money has run out, we are continuing with beer and food! Even here in 50 miles west of Las Vegas and money pouring in, with fun tourists, those here in the desert, managing to create their homes on little money. here is another option,for comfortable, simple, as you have shared with us. Here these are under permited, 10ft,11ft or 12ft. we can! we can learn and share! thank you so much for sharing with us! jehane

  3. This is inspirational.

    A couple of questions though:
    1. Do you really need a damp course between gravel bags (in this case dead coral instead of stone)and earth bags. Surely it will be pierced by the barbed wire?
    2. I have seen in Kenyan a thatch roof with a plastic damp course between thatch layers. The top layer needs frequent replacement but is totally waterproof. Also villagers sometimes sprinkle the thatch roof with ash to avoid fire risk. A clay/lime finish on top of thatch should render it both water and fire proof. Any suggestions?

    • A moisture barrier/damp course isn’t needed, although I believe they have strong blowing rain and so some sort of protection is necessary — wide roof overhangs, plantings, privacy wall, etc.

      Thatch methods vary widely from area to area. Follow best local practice.

    • They’re probably describing ferrocement on top of thatch roofing. I watched a video that showed the process on a small simple house, but can’t find it now on YouTube. They made the thatch roof, then covered it with plaster mesh and then troweled on cement. I’d love to have more details as far as durability. Please leave a comment if you know more about this.

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