"earth bag" Building? (1 Viewer)

trotsky

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Has anybody tried out 'earth bag' building? You just fill up old feed sacks with dirt and stack them, then plaster/whatever over it. (here's an instructable)

Seems like it's pretty solid but I'd be kinda worried about it collapsing.

my friend and I were going to build one this summer and try to live off of fishing/trappings/gardening, then use it for our senior project(s) at school. any tips/advice?
 
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EastCoast315

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yeah, I'd make a flat wood frame and put a sheet of tin over it, then bag the top.
That seems like a super solid idea, and like you could build a good shelter for no more than a couple hundred dollars. A shelter that could potentially last you a year or more. Put some more money into it, and you've got quite the home, still for less than a grand, I'd bet.
I'd like to throw a few of these up across N. America, in remote locations, half underground and concealed, with the gps coordinates saved. Then you could have a home for every season, and for every job, and low cost.
 

trotsky

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Supposedly the barbed wire you put between layers to hold the bags keeps it from collapsing, but yeah, a frame is good.
for about a 10' diameter room I think I read costs about $300 which is pretty sweet. My only other worry aside from collapse is water getting in-not sure if we should bother plastering it or not because of how easy it is for water to get in thru the plastic and ruin the plaster.
 

EastCoast315

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I definitely wouldn't fuck around with plaster, idk, doesn't seem worth the effort.
Myech's tarp idea would work fine, too, especially because it's just one summer. Although, I'd put a long pole in the center to push the center of the tarp up, that way the water wicks off nicely. If you had a good sized canvas tarp, and wanted a cheap, temporary shelter, you could build the earth bag up about four feet up, ten in diameter, and secure the tarp w/pole from there. Then, it's a hybrid tipi/earth bag house.
Honestly, the possibilities are endless as far as the building's shape and composition go.
And once you're actually living in it, post up results as to how it went. It'd be easy to heat/cool, fireproof walls, comfortable. Watch out for drainage issues though, pick your site well. Water and dirt have a close relationship that isn't always so convenient. And where there's water, there's parasites and flies, so make drainage a top priority.
 

trotsky

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Yeah, gonna lay the bags on top of a gravel bed and leave the middle dirt... if we get a little water we could make raised beds or do what some people do for teepees and lay plywood on top of some old pallets to make a raised floor. We want it to be somewhat permanent, but yeah, tin support with a plastic liner would be great.

definitely will, might shoot some video too and put a little something together.
 

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