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Posts Tagged ‘sandbag home’

1.5 Story 33' (10 meter) Roundhouse (click to enlarge)

1.5 Story 33' (10 meter) Roundhouse (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 855 sq. ft. interior plus 91 sq. ft. loft, 2 bedroom, 1 bath with laundry, Footprint: 36′ diameter

Description: 10 meters (33’) diameter is the maximum size of a round earthbag structure before needing buttressing. This design features two large bedrooms with spacious closets, efficient kitchen and loft for home office or 3rd bedroom. The inner circular wall is built of recycled brick for strength and rustic effect. The loft has a 3′ circular skylight and a knee wall with view to main living space on first floor.

1.5 Story 33' (10 meter) Roundhouse (click to enlarge)

1.5 Story 33' (10 meter) Roundhouse (click to enlarge)

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Triple Roundhouse Cluster (click to enlarge)

Triple Roundhouse Cluster (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 785 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 28′ x 58′ plus buttresses

Description: This design connects three sloped roof roundhouses and adjoining closets to create a unique roundhouse cluster design that is earth-sheltered on three sides — east, west and north — with a sunny courtyard on the south. The 16′ bedroom roundhouses on either side can be used as bedrooms, home offices, studios, etc. This design features 6′ French doors, and windows high in the wall in each roundhouse, large walk-in closets, high exposed wood ceilings and exceptional energy performance. With the addition of a few features such as ceiling fans, heat recovery ventilation, solar panels and solar hot water heat, this design would meet zero energy standards. Round earthbag structures are inherently stronger than rectilinear designs, and the heavy timber roof provides exceptional strength as well.

Triple Roundhouse Cluster (click to enlarge)

Triple Roundhouse Cluster (click to enlarge)

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Kalypso Earthbag Garage/Storage Loft

Kalypso Earthbag Garage/Storage Loft

Specifications: 357 sq. ft. interior, plus 357 sq.ft. 2nd story, total 714 sq. ft. interior, Footprint: 20′ x 24′ not including decks or benches

Description: The second floor of this versatile garage plan can be readily converted into an apartment. With some modifications, it could also make a nice home.

Kalypso Earthbag Garage/Storage Loft North Elevation

Kalypso Earthbag Garage/Storage Loft North Elevation

Kalypso Earthbag Garage/Storage Loft East Elevation

Kalypso Earthbag Garage/Storage Loft East Elevation

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House of the Sun

House of the Sun

Specifications: 494 sq. ft. interior plus mechanical rooms, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 17′ x 59′

Description: This unique all solar design qualifies as a zero energy home. (For desert regions only.) The home is cooled with water trickling over the metal roofing using the same principle as found in the Desert Submarine. Solar panels on the west end power the water pumps, lights and other electrical needs. A solar hot water heater on the east end provides domestic hot water and hot water for radiant floor heat. Electronic controls regulate the flow of water to maintain interior temperatures. The main structure consists of open web steel trusses covered in metal roofing. Earthbag walls help keep the home comfortable year-round.

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Earthbag Cluster Lodging

Earthbag Cluster Lodging

Specifications: 94 sq. ft. interior per unit, Footprint: 11′ x 13′

Description: These small shelters provide lodging for all types of sustainable communities, including ecovillages, training centers, youth camps, spiritual retreats, eco-resorts, and for refugee and natural disaster relief efforts. The curved shape adds interest and stability, while relatively straight end walls enable units to be joined for maximum efficiency. The design below shows two units joined together. Many other combinations are possible. Note: this plan is now listed in the free shelter category.

Earthbag Cluster Lodging (Double Units)

Earthbag Cluster Lodging (Double Units)

Earthbag Cluster Lodging (Double Units) South Elevation

Earthbag Cluster Lodging (Double Units) South Elevation

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Mediterranean Earthbag House

Mediterranean Earthbag House

Specifications: 832 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 27′ x 41′

Description: This Mediterranean house has curved walls, a common plumbing wall, large closets and wood stove.

Mediterranean Earthbag House South Elevation

Mediterranean Earthbag House South Elevation

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Earthbag Pods (Click to enlarge)

Earthbag Pods (Click to enlarge)


Specifications: Main pod = 372 sq. ft., Double bedroom pod = 372 sq. ft., Master bedroom pod = 372 sq. ft., connecting spaces = 220 sq. ft., total = 1,336 sq. ft. interior, Footprint: 42′ x 87′

Description: This design connects three hexagonal pods or modules that can be arranged in various configurations using more or fewer pods. This enables the home to be built one stage at a time. The bonus room in the Double bedroom pod can be used as a study, etc. The bonus room in the Master bedroom pod can serve as a home office, guest room, etc.

Here’s another configuration using two pods.

Double Earthbag Pods (click to enlarge)

Double Earthbag Pods (click to enlarge)

Update: These plans are being used on multiple projects, including one in Uganda. An NGO there have adapted the basic design for their situation. Below is an illustration of the right half of the Two Pod design, which will be built in two stages (right, left) and feature many appropriate technologies. They’ve added an outdoor porch with two rocket stoves and oven, and a solar wall oven to keep heat out of the house.

Two Pod design in Uganda

Two Pod design in Uganda

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Earthbag Roundhouse/Dome Cluster

Earthbag Roundhouse/Dome Cluster

Specifications: 1,330 sq. ft. interior including lofts in the roundhouse and both large domes, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, Footprint: 31′ x 70′

Description: Readers have shown a strong interest in my domes and roundhouses, so I decided to cluster them to create a new unique design for larger families. There is a 2-story roundhouse in the center with domes on the east and west. There are a lot of things to like about this design: possible third bedroom, game room or home office in the roundhouse loft, 2 baths, separated bedrooms, large walk-in closets, dining area next to the windows, and lots of south-facing doors and windows.

Click here for a larger image of floorplan.

I’m not sure when I’ll get around to drawing the exterior elevation view. But it’s easy to imagine since the design is similar to my other 2-story Roundhouse and Enviro Dome.

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Sweet Spot 2 Earthbag House

Sweet Spot 2 Earthbag House

[Note: this plan has been updated and converted to computer renderings, and is now published toward the front of the website. I'm leaving this post here primarily to maintain the comments section. -- Owen]

Specifications: 792 sq. ft. interior, Footprint: 25′ x 39′

Description: This is a modified version of Sweet Spot. It adds two extra bedrooms and more living space. Two roof options are available: 1. gable roof with optional porch roof; 2. clerestory roof.

Sweet Spot 2 Earthbag House East Elevation

Sweet Spot 2 Earthbag House East Elevation

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Sweet Spot Earthbag House

Sweet Spot Earthbag House

Specifications: 396 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 14′ x 39′ plus porch

Description: ‘Sweet Spot’ refers to a great place to live as well as hitting upon a good, efficient design. Compare this design to the Single Wide plan, which is cramped in comparison because it had to fit on a trailer. In contrast, the Sweet Spot is designed from the inside out using all standard sizes for maximum comfort and convenience. This includes a larger bedroom with desk, a standard 5′ bath with bathtub and 30″ vanity, 36″ hallway, larger kitchen with standard sized frig and sink, and larger living room and dining area.

Sweet Spot Earthbag House East Elevation

Sweet Spot Earthbag House East Elevation

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