Wood or Metal Shingles? — 5 Comments

  1. Ours is a series of domes, but originally we thought about a roof. The plan was to use all the metal from appliances at the dump. Most are white and contain a lot of good enamalized metal. I was going to make a template and cut them all with a nibbler. Dumps near us contain mountains of old stoves, fridges, etc.

  2. I also like the dome. But It needs to be roofed. The real ugly idea was to just create a cement hat, but not all the way down. And have a brim to protect the walls and be able to collect water.

    My other idea was to not build a dome but a vault. A vault can be roofed with a flat metal sheet. There might be some kinks that I have not tough of here. But to build a earthbag vault you need a frame to support the process until you put in the last bag. My idea was not to build one vault but to build a large series of vaults and create cheep housing(dorm) for students near universities or other needing shelter. But this is a far far far away idea.

    But what about thatch roofing. It will still create bad water since its treated. hmm.

    • Earthbag vaults are very difficult to build. More than about 6′ wide and you’ll run into stability problems. Build a rebar frame first and then you have more possibilities.

    • Cal Earth has a vaulted house. I have seen it and it is pretty impressive. The bags are stacked about 5 ft -6ft high. The vault is built on top. All of the fill material is stabilized with cement. I forget the sq footage, but it is pretty big. I am thinking each vault was around 10-12 ft across and perhaps 20 ft long. They are all connected on the ends. If you go to the Cal Earth website, they have a few pictures.

      The vault was a problem to build. They were hoping to build it entirely out of bags. That really didn’t work out. What they did do was construct a form. Set it up between the walls. They then put 6×6 mesh and rebar over the form and sprayed or poured stabilized earth/cement over it. When I was last there they had most of the rough house built. It is now completely finished. They used to offer plans for that house for sale. Later I noticed another company was contracting to build the house. I thought maybe Cal Earth had sold the plans to one of their students and they were going to develop it into a business. I don’t know what happened after that. I did notice from their website that they use the house and it’s prints for study, but it looks like the plans are not for sale.

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