“Our earthbag hut is located in a place called El Nido which is in Palawan, Philippines.
The structure is 4 feet below ground level. It’s made of 25kg flour sacks filled with mostly clay-soil.
The top layer of sacks have a concrete bond beam on which the roof rafters/trusses are fastened with dyna-bolts, leading up to a compressing ring and cupola up top.
On top of the trusses/rafters we nailed 1/4″ ply-board to keep the bugs out followed by 0.6mm tarpaulin to keep the rain out followed by what’s known locally as Pawid (a type of palm), which is the grass / reed finishing on the roof.
The exterior and interior wall finishing was done with a mixture of clay-soil, rice hulls and Portland for stabilization purposes.
Four months since completion and no cracks so quite pleased, although next time will add more vents and leave more clearance between roof-top and cupola as exhaust not great.
All told, this cost us around the $9,000-$9,500 mark, fully inclusive of furnishings, bathroom suite, gas oven etc. For the build only, maybe a little over $8,000 I guess. Most of that cost was labour!!
It’s 7.5m across on the inside and circumference is approximately 24m. (Area = 44.2 sq.m or 476 sq.ft.) It’s pretty good value I think and when it’s 35C outside its 25C inside. So very pleased your writings inspired me to give it a go.”
Owen: A big thank you to Zak for sharing his project. This is just a guess but I would say only 1% or so of earthbag projects are publicly documented. This is very unfortunate because we can learn a lot from other’s experiences. Just imagine how great this blog would be with a steady stream of unique content like this. So please document your project and share with others.
9 thoughts on “Zak’s Earthbag Hut in the Philippines”
The humidity doesn’t cause any issues? I read on the department of energy’s site that humidity is an issue
The earthen fill in the earthbags is not adversely affected by humidity; in fact earthen materials can handle humidity better than many standard building materials.
how did it hold up in the typhons ??????just would like to know and the flooding how did it do with that and bugs allso think you David Terry
I have no way of contacting Zak so I can’t tell you.
what is your remedy for termites?
Note how we can publish people’s projects without disclosing last names, exact location, etc. You can still remain anonymous if you want. Again, it’s important for this blog and for the larger natural building movement to get more projects documented and published. Start your own blog if you want. Just get the info out to a larger audience.
What an amazing project, Zak! A timely and inspiring read for me, since I am getting discouraged scouting for land close to my work place that’s not code restrictive.
Looks great. Any more photos and details on the build available? A website or slide show somewhere? A downloadable PDF file? Curious how the kitchen is used as the layout is unusual.
I published everything he sent except a close up of the door. It would be interesting to see some construction photos. He said he may build more of these earthbag huts if they can tweak the design and get the cost down. Cutting costs is one of my favorite subjects and I have numerous blog posts about this. Ideas include using raschel mesh tubes which are less expensive than polypropylene tubes, and a bag filling machine like this:
Other related ideas: https://naturalbuildingblog.siterubix.com/earthbag-production-rate-1x-2x-3x-4x/