“A series of domes constructed of earth, sand and water combine to make a home for Thea Bryant and her family. Dried mud is collected in buckets all around the structure and can be reconstituted by simply adding water. The structure was built using 40-year-old plans developed for the United Nations to build homes in developing nations. The technique uses a mixture of earth, sand and water stuffed into mesh tubes that are then coiled on each other in a circular pattern, creating dome. Small nooks jut out from the main dome and are meant to be used for sleeping and cooking stations. The project has taken nearly three years so far, but it’s near completion and Bryant has plans for a big party in celebration.”
Read the full article at Statesman.com
Maybe some folks in that area would like to lend a hand. And maybe Thea is willing to share her plans and/or publish her floorplan?
3 thoughts on “Woman’s Dream House is Made of Mud”
I’m curious. I live in central Oklahoma and hope to have a place of my own. Earthbag is one of the alternative methods I’m considering. BUT, I’m in my mid 50’s now and will be closer to 60 by the time I can even hope for a place. I can’t be up on a ladder mudding in cracks every year. Which, yes, happens with earth-based plasters. Will papercrete work well on earthbags as a plaster? And do you know if papercrete would need annual/semi-annual maintanance like earth plasters do? I know I will need to put “boots and a good hat” on a place. Also, what about moisture barriers onthe walls? Is condensation on the inside walls a problem in the winter? Sorry, I know these are alot of questions. I have one book on earthbag building, and I’m looking for info on papercrete as well. Anyway, thanks for any info on this.
Papercrete is prone to mold in rainy, humid climates. In fact, it can mold even in dry climates. I don’t like it and don’t recommend it.
I recommend wide roof overhangs so rain can’t hit the walls. Wide overhangs also keep direct sunlight off the walls, which helps keep the house cool. Add porches on the rainy side just in case. With good protection you could use earthen plaster on the exterior. Lime or cement plaster is more durable if you can afford it.
Never use moisture barriers on earthbag walls. Vapor has to be able to pass through the wall.
Condensation is only a problem in rare circumstances (cement plaster on the inside, etc.) and won’t be a problem if you follow the above advice and add plenty of windows for ventilation.