411 Home Repair
 

411homerepair.com

Latest Articles

Things You Should Monitor in Your Home

As a homeowner, it is vital that you are monitoring your home for things such as black mold, methane gas, carbon monoxide, and radon gas. To ensure...

on Dec 5, 2016

Cleaning Up After a Big Paint Job? Here's How to Clean Your Paint Brush the Right Way!

Have you recently moved into a new house or apartment that you want to give a fresh look? Have you picked out all your paint colors and bought new...

on Dec 4, 2016

5 Fun Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen

Is your kitchen starting to look a bit old and tired? The kitchen is a work area and can quickly go from that lived-in look to a worn-out look if...

on Dec 1, 2016

5 Must Have Pieces of Equipment for Your Workout Room

There are many advantages to having a gym or workout room at home. It is convenient, there is no waiting and once you have the right equipment in...

on Dec 1, 2016

Mold Removal Tips: How to Successfully Remove Mold for Good

Mold is a fungus that enters your home or premises as simple tiny spores. When these spores get moisture, they start to grow and fully develop into...

on Dec 1, 2016

Earthbag Building Expands Worldwide (sandbag building)

by Guest on Jul 6, 2010

Earthbag building (sometimes called sandbag building) started about one hundred years ago providing safe, bulletproof and bomb resistant shelters for the military. They proved to be fast, simple to construct and durable. The same qualities that make earthbags useful for military and flood control purposes apply to building houses. Now people all over the world are using the same basic process of filling and stacking bags to build their dream homes, home offices, shops and other commercial buildings.

No one knows for sure how many earthbag buildings have been built. My best estimate is somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500. Although this is just an estimate, it is based on hundreds of hours searching for earthbag projects on the web and reading everything available on the subject.

Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of building with bags is their adaptability. Besides buildings, earthbags can be used to create furniture, privacy and retaining walls, planters and many other uses in a wide range of climates. For example, earthbags work just as well for domes as they do for structures with vertical walls. They also excel at creating free-form, curving structures.

The following projects highlight the incredible creativity of earthbag builders as well as illustrate the diversity of uses for this amazing building method.

Alison Kennedy’s house in Moab, Utah: This 1,000 square foot home is the first permitted earthbag house in Utah. It uses earthbags as in-fill between concrete and wood posts. The earth and lime plastered walls are decorated with strikingly colorful designs made with clay paint.

Rum Cay Sand Castle in Rum Cay, Bahamas: Steve Kemble and Carol Escott decided to build with earthbags so their house would withstand tropical storms. This innovative house uses bags filled with crushed coral and sand from the dredging operation of a nearby marina. So far, after being hit by several hurricanes, there has been no substantial damage.

Kelly and Rosana Hart’s earthbag and papercrete house, Crestone, Colorado: The Hart’s house is world famous in the sustainable building movement, having been featured in at least 10 books and magazines. Their double-dome earthbag home has a connected space for their bath, laundry, hot tub, office and grow bed. The bags have been filled with volcanic rock to insulate against the extreme Rocky Mountain winters.

EarthDome House at Terrasante Village, Tucson, Arizona: This 12 foot circular structure is built 3 feet below grade to moderate harsh desert temperatures. It has a ferrocement roof made of rebar and diamond lath, which is coated with cement/lime plaster. The roof is insulated with recycled polystyrene, an abundant material in their area. Inside temperatures remain comfortable. Total cost: about $1,000.

As people discover the advantages of building homes with earthbags (sustainable, safe, quiet, durable, low-cost, nontoxic, fire and flood resistant, rodent proof, bullet resistant, etc.), they are also building commercial structures. Examples include: La Casa de Tierra, a vacation rental in Costa Rica; earthbag schools and a clinic have been built in the Philippines; there is a ranger station in Bluff, Utah, an orphanage in Honduras, and a large spiritual temple called the Om Dome in Thailand. These are but a few examples.

In addition, builders, NGOs, research institutes, and governments are discovering the potential for using earthbags in affordable housing and emergency shelters. Requiring just a few simple materials such as recycled grain bags filled with soil or gravel, and ordinary tools such as shovels and buckets, a small dome or shelter can be built for as little as $100. This makes earthbag building one of the lowest cost sustainable building systems in the world. No doubt all these advantages are behind the current surge in earthbag building.

Owen Geiger (Director of the Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building at GRISB.org) and Kelly Hart (owner/author of GreenHomeBuilding.com) have teamed up to create EarthbagBuilding.com to better focus and keep track of the rapid growth of this novel building method. And for all the latest news, building tips and innovations, visit our earthbag building blog at Earthbag Building Blog

Most Recent Articles

Sponsored Articles

Random Articles

How to Seal Chimney Flashing

Old houses often develop cracks between the chimney and the roof is a perpetual maintenance issue and should be checked every few years....

Roofing / Gutters

Is Your Overhead Garage Door Safe?

Do you trust your overhead garage door? The truth is that some people completely ignore the dangers and some others step away every time they hear...

Doors / Garages

How to Keep Your Carpets Looking Immaculate Long Term

Buying a new home with brand new carpets can almost seem like an omen for disaster. Carpets look great on the surface, until something happens to...

Cleaning / Maintenance

Kitchen Remodeling: Latest 2014 Trends and Techniques

Whenever it comes to remodelling or renovating the house, kitchens are considered as the most important and crucial part of home improvement. As...

Kitchen / Bathrooms

How Much a Remodeling Project Costs

How much a kitchen renovation costs? That depends on the scope of the renovation. A small scale remodel of an outmoded 200 Sq Ft kitchen costs as...

Improvements / Remodeling

Actions

Contact Us | Submit Article | RSS | 411homerepair © 2016