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    Earthbag building

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    mudra

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    Earthbag building

    Post  mudra on Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:13 am

    Earthbag building

    http://www.earthbagbuilding.com/



    Building with earthbags (sometimes called sandbags) is both old and new. Sandbags have long been used, particularly by the military, for creating strong, protective barriers, or for flood control. The same reasons that make them useful for these applications carry over to creating housing. Since the walls are so substantial, they resist all kinds of severe weather (or even bullets) and also stand up to natural calamities such as earthquakes and floods. They can be erected simply and quickly with readily available components, for very little money.

    Earthbag building fills a unique niche in the quest for sustainable architecture. The bags can be filled with local, natural materials, which lowers the embodied energy commonly associated with the manufacture and transportation of building materials. The fill material is generally of mineral composition and is not subject to decomposition (even when damp), attractive to vermin, or burnable...in other word it is extremely durable. The fill material is generally completely non-toxic and will not offgas noxious fumes into the building.

    Earthbags have the tremendous advantage of providing either thermal mass or insulation, depending on what the bags are filled with. When filled with soil they provide thermal mass, but when filled with lighter weight materials, such as crushed volcanic stone, perlite, vermiculite, or rice hulls, they provide insulation. The bags can even act as natural non-wicking, somewhat insulated foundations when they are filled with gravel.




    Because the earthbags can be stacked in a wide variety of shapes, including domes, they have the potential to virtually eliminate the need for common tensile materials in the structure, especially the wood and steel often used for roofs. This not only saves more energy (and pollution), but also helps save our forests, which are increasingly necessary for sequestering carbon.

    Another aspect of sustainability is found in the economy of this method. The fill material can be literally "dirt cheap," especially if on-site soil is used. The earthbags themselves can often be purchased as misprints or recycled grain sacks, but even when new are not particularly expensive. Burlap bags were traditionally used for this purpose, and they work fine but are subject to rot. Polypropylene bags have superior strength and durability, as long as they are kept away from too much sunlight. For permanent housing the bags should be covered with some kind of plaster for protection, but this plaster can also be earthen and not particularly costly.



    The ease and simplicity of building with earthbags should also be mentioned, since there is much unskilled labor available around the world that can be tapped for using this technology. One person familiar with the basics of earthbag building can easily train others to assist in the erection of a building. This not only makes the process more affordable, but also more feasible in remote areas where many common building skills are not to be found.










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    mudra

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  mudra on Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:12 am

    Besides affordability and durability, the other main advantage is simplicity of construction. What could be simpler than filling and stacking bags of earth? The main skills can be learned in a few minutes simply by being shown or watching a video. Almost everything you need to know is available free on the Internet. And most people already have the basic tools around the house - shovels, buckets, garden hose, ladder. The other few tools required can be made quickly and easily or purchased inexpensively.

    Here are just a few ways of saving money by building with earthbags:

    * Recycled bags are readily available in most places. Polypropylene or burlap bags are ubiquitous, being used for all types of grain, fertilizer and animal feed, and sometimes for concrete, plaster and other products. Talk to local farmers and feed supply outlets.
    * Misprinted bags are often available direct from manufacturers at greatly reduced prices. Between misprinted bags and recycled bags (in good condition) you can cut the main expense of earthbag building to almost nil.
    * No special mix is required. Most soils, including those on or near most building sites, are adequate or can be adjusted with sand or clay to create an appropriate mix. This makes the other primary material for earthbag building basically free or close to it.
    * You can order special mixes of earth from sand and gravel producers, such as road base and reject fines, at very low prices. The main expense is delivery, but this has to be weighed against your time and effort to dig it from the ground. Spending $200-$300 for delivery of an excellent mixture free of large rocks and roots can save hundreds of hours of hard labor. And, they'll dump it in piles around the building site to speed construction and save even more work.
    * No need for a typical concrete foundation. Earthbags filled with gravel make an excellent foundation. This step alone can save you thousands of dollars.
    * Build an insulated earth floor and save thousands more. Sealed earth floors can last hundreds of years. Think of all the wood, plywood, linoleum, etc. that can be saved.
    * Use earth plaster and save thousands more. With wide roof overhangs of 36" or so, earth plaster will hold up very well in most climates, requiring only minor maintenance.
    * Use recycled materials whenever possible. Door and window forms, for instance, can be made from scrap wood from pallets, discarded barrels or tires. Sinks, tubs, doors, hardware, shelving, tile and many other components can be salvaged for very low cost.

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    Swanny

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  Swanny on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:26 pm

    I wish I had some land I would love to build a eco house
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    mudra

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  mudra on Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:47 pm

    We need to find that land than Swanny

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    Swanny

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  Swanny on Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:18 pm

    Sounds good to me
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    lawlessline

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  lawlessline on Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:03 pm

    Came across this site, wasn't sure where best to post it. Good info to be had.

    http://www.designrevolution.org/low-velocity-hydro-power-vivace-vortex-induced-vibrations-aquatic-clean-energy

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    mudra

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  mudra on Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:48 pm

    Thanks Tom .
    Excellent info cheers

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    Vidya Moksha

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  Vidya Moksha on Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:12 pm

    excellent! this is all based on Viktor Schauberger's work, though he's not credited.... will be interested to see them in production..

    it really is time to build somewhere again, and if I did I would love to be micro hydro powered, i would never go back to solar panels again (except on small portable scale for specific battery recharge)...

    need to find a place after ive been to peru - who has the land and the inclination? sunny
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    lawlessline

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  lawlessline on Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:46 pm

    Vidya Moksha wrote:excellent! this is all based on Viktor Schauberger's work, though he's not credited....

    need to find a place after ive been to peru - who has the land and the inclination? sunny

    Whats Viktor Schauberger all about? Have you got any good sources on his stuff? Might be me being dooh but never heard of the guy.

    Friend is just doing the whole solar panel number. I was trying to find another route. Gotta give the whole thing a bit more time really.

    Land? Where do you want it?

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    Mercuriel
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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  Mercuriel on Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:58 pm

    lawlessline wrote:Whats Viktor Schauberger all about? Have you got any good sources on his stuff ?

    A Good Source on Viktor Schauberger.

    Wink


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    mudra

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  mudra on Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:54 pm

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    Vidya Moksha

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  Vidya Moksha on Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:41 am

    lawlessline wrote:
    Vidya Moksha wrote:excellent! this is all based on Viktor Schauberger's work, though he's not credited....

    need to find a place after ive been to peru - who has the land and the inclination? sunny

    Whats Viktor Schauberger all about? Have you got any good sources on his stuff? Might be me being dooh but never heard of the guy.

    Friend is just doing the whole solar panel number. I was trying to find another route. Gotta give the whole thing a bit more time really.

    Land? Where do you want it?


    Mercuriel's link is valid, but details a side of Viktor's work that he was under threat of death to complete for the nazis (and then the US).

    He was a remarkable man, in touch with nature, I would suggest following mudra's threads, to which I have also contributed, as a way into his work with nature and practical applications for alternative energy. His best books are all on scribd.

    Land? anywhere, but until the US - Israel threat to Iran is resolved, i am tending to stay south of the equator Wink
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    mudra

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  mudra on Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:49 am

    Vidya Moksha wrote:
    need to find a place after ive been to peru - who has the land and the inclination? sunny

    I don't have the land . I have the inclination but am not free to settle yet .
    While you are in Peru it would be nice you share the price of land over there ? I found that's the most difficult thing to find out .. what costs what and where .My son's girlfriend is Bulgarian . One can still find cheap places over there and the country is beautifull.
    I have a dream but I don't know on which shore it will land nor when .
    Tom mentioned that in Spain you can get entire abandoned villages for a penny ...

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    Vidya Moksha

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  Vidya Moksha on Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:15 am

    mudra wrote:
    Vidya Moksha wrote:
    need to find a place after ive been to peru - who has the land and the inclination? sunny

    I don't have the land . I have the inclination but am not free to settle yet .
    While you are in Peru it would be nice you share the price of land over there ? I found that's the most difficult thing to find out .. what costs what and where .My son's girlfriend is Bulgarian . One can still find cheap places over there and the country is beautifull.
    I have a dream but I don't know on which shore it will land nor when .
    Tom mentioned that in Spain you can get entire abandoned villages for a penny ...

    Love from me
    mudra

    my farm was (is) in northern portugal. If i were ever back in europe then northern spain would be attractive for sure, beautiful land, people and culture. Romania is cheap but unstable and perhaps dangerous. The pyrannese is an option.

    I will see what i cant find about Peru, I will be in the tourist area (= expensive) but might get a feel for other prices. Bolivia and Chile are both attractive.

    I have half an eye on northern or western Australia,,,

    but all this will count for nothing if i find another spiritual path to follow after my retreat flower
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    Vidya Moksha

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  Vidya Moksha on Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:44 am

    lawlessline wrote:[

    Friend is just doing the whole solar panel number. I was trying to find another route. Gotta give the whole thing a bit more time really.


    solar panels are expensive and inefficient and rely on the sun to shine. However any chance to be off the grid should be welcomed, I enjoyed this aspect of my panels tremendously.

    Water is an essential component of any land purchase anyway, so why not go micro hydro? batteries recharge while you sleep, and if enough water direct hydro mechanical power for, e.g. saw blades and other machinery is attractive.

    In portugal, as an academic exercise, I had a checklist of 6 essential things and 14 other items (school for my son, etc).... now I would reduce that list to 2 essentials. 1. own water supply 2. firewood access. rest can be dealt with somehow, (btw i found 18/20 of my requirements in portugal, was pleased to have had that experience...but would do things differently now).

    best advice on building a new place? sit and live on the land for a year before building anything. not always practical but sound advice nonetheless.
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    burgundia

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    Re: Earthbag building

    Post  burgundia on Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:14 am


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