Sunday, 9 September 2012

Making a home out of Earthbags

From :
The earthbag dome, while awesome, has been somewhat of a side-project since the first big gush of effort dedicated to its bag-raising (if that is a term) in Feb 2011. But now it’s time to get it done.

Partly because done is the engine of more, and partly because we want Rose to have a cosy haven after a big day of cookery. Nearly there now….

There’s a bit of an in-joke going around the farm about the earthbag dome… it’s been re-christened the effort dome. While we all appreciate that earthbag building can be an awesome building technique for earthquake and tsunami-prone areas, and is definitely fabulous insofar that it can be done with only some bags, barbed wire, local earth and a whole lot of human energy, the total human effort involved is quite immense.

On the upside for the earthbag dome, it will definitely outlast us all. When the tinyhouse has crumbled in generations to come, the earthbag dome will still be sitting, hobbit-like in the landscape, providing solidity, warmth and cosiness to whoever cares to start a fire in the domelet.

I've always been interested in alternative construction techniques. Earthbag building techniques have been used for a number of years both as emergency building and in wars. The downside is that they do require a lot of effort to make. On the other hand they are inexpensive to make and beautiful.

There is a post elsewhere on the internet where someone tried to demolish one of these buildings, and despite removing almost the entire bottom layer of bags it still remained standing. Quite amazing.

The article has a lot of pictures...they made a beautiful building IMHO.

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