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Posts Tagged ‘earthbag home plan’

Earthbag Castle (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Castle (click to enlarge)


My goal with this project has been twofold: 1. showcase individual designs (which included some designs that have been on the drawing board for months), and 2. combine them into a self sustaining, fortified homestead, where a group of 5-20 people could weather economic and social upheaval. It is not designed to withstand a direct missile or tank attack by governments, or total nuclear Armageddon. All bets are off if things get that bad. But the 10’ high by 3’ thick walls (at the base) should go a long way toward deterring attackers if things do unravel. Anyway, this has been an interesting project and I’m glad to see the high page rankings. It’s definitely been a lot of work.

Earthbag Castle summary:
– The castle consists of four structures – Custom Chonburi main residence, Two-story Roundhouse Above Survival Shelter guesthouse/office, Carriage House with second floor garage apartment, Guard Tower tool shed.
– All structures include a waterproof roof deck with ladder access and crenellations capped with cement or geopolymer
– All structures are also available with more standard roof designs at no extra charge (example: trussed gable roofs).
– Renewable energy systems not shown, but there is ample roof space for solar panels, solar water heaters and wind generators
– Due to a lack of protective roof overhangs, this castle is best suited to dry climates, although a reader pointed out how similar castles have stood the test of time in European climates.
– All plans can be modified for a modest fee. Just email me at strawhouses [at] yahoo.com.

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Mindfulness Project site plan -- aerial view of dome cluster and gazebo (click to enlarge)

Mindfulness Project site plan -- aerial view of dome cluster and gazebo (click to enlarge)


Houses in the Mindfulness Project, a planned sustainable community in Thailand, are grouped in clusters of five with a bamboo gazebo in the center and two Solar Vaults (1. mechanical room, shop; 2. toilets, showers, laundry) in the nearest clearing. This cluster shows Insulated Earthbag Domes. Some clusters will have Domed Roundhouses (an exciting new design coming soon). All houses are joined by paths covered with wood chips.
Mindfulness Project site plan -- dome cluster and gazebo (click to enlarge)

Mindfulness Project site plan -- dome cluster and gazebo (click to enlarge)


Actual tile work, which is inspired by the work of Gaudi, will be much more beautiful than shown.

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Hobbit House (click to enlarge)

Hobbit House (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 24′-6″ diameter with 471 sq. ft. interior, 471 sq. ft. loft, total 942 sq. ft. interior, one bedroom, one bath, Footprint: 27′-6″ x 27-6″

Description: Many people dream of a simpler life, free of the cares of this world. They want a home that is easy to build and maintain, small yet adequate in size, with everything they need to live comfortably with their small friends. This one and a half story home is designed for you. Features include drop-down stairs that lead to a spacious loft, wood stove heating, and modern kitchen with pantry space for Hobbit food. The undulating thatch roof or living roof is created by varying the knee wall height above the bond beam. (Another earthbag first.)

Hobbit House (click to enlarge)

Hobbit House (click to enlarge)


Hobbit House with wood shingles (click to enlarge)

Hobbit House with wood shingles (click to enlarge)


This alternate version uses a double pole roof to provide ample space for roof insulation. Inner and outer roof poles are bolted to steel compression rings like in my earthbag roundhouse. Wood shingles are practical and well suited for this curved roof design. Loft height in the center is 8′.
Hobbit House with Grain Bin Roof (click to enlarge)

Hobbit House with Grain Bin Roof (click to enlarge)


Another good option is a grain bin roof. Good quality grain bin roofs are typically maintenance free for decades. Good choice for windy areas and hail zones. They are especially practical for those who live in agricultural areas and can buy the roofs separately from local grain bin suppliers. Hoist the roof in place with a crane, bolt in place and you’re finished.

Plans are available through Dream Green Homes. Just ask if the plan you want isn’t posted yet.

Hobbit House with haystack roof (click to enlarge)

Hobbit House with haystack roof (click to enlarge)


More info about this haystack roof on our Earthbag Building Blog.
Hobbit House with 2nd story Open-air Deck (click to enlarge)

Hobbit House with 2nd story Open-air Deck (click to enlarge)


Here’s another version of the Hobbit House showing an open-air second story deck and rectangular windows. The deck adds another 471 square feet of living space at very little extra cost. This design is perfect for hot climates where breezes make a big difference in comfort. The deck can be accessed by stairs or a ladder.

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Triple Dome Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)

Triple Dome Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)


Specifications: Three 16′ interior diameter domes with 603 sq. ft. interior, 3 sleeping lofts with 312 sq. ft., total 915 sq. ft. interior, one bedroom, one bath, Footprint: 38′ x 38′

Description: This Triple Dome Survival Shelter provides much more space than my first earthbag survival shelter. This design is for long term survival for a family. It is earthquake and fire resistant, bullet and nuclear fallout resistant. It is built above grade to reduce risk of flooding. Features include buried cistern between the domes, plenty of storage space, vaulted entry with bullet resistant cellar door. Let’s hope for the best, but it’s also prudent to be prepared for the worst.

Triple Dome Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)

Triple Dome Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)

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Earthbag/Geodesic Dome (click to enlarge)

Earthbag/Geodesic Dome (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 24′-6″ diameter with 471 sq. ft. interior, one bedroom, one bath, Footprint: 28′-6″ x 28′-6″

Description: Many readers prefer rounded domes. However, rounded domes cannot be built by earthbags alone. This solution — inspired by Richard Laurens — uses a 24′ diameter geodesic frame set on 42″ high earthbag walls. Metal and wood geodesic frames are available as kits through various suppliers, or you could build your own. Lightweight bags of insulation cover the entire dome. A key feature is the expansive window wall that provides a sunny, pleasant home. Most dome homes, in contrast, have insufficient or poorly protected windows.

Earthbag/Geodesic Dome (click to enlarge)

Earthbag/Geodesic Dome (click to enlarge)

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Custom Roundhouse Cluster (click to enlarge)

Custom Roundhouse Cluster (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 1,985 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, Footprint: 20′ x 66′

Description: This is an example of how clients are combining my basic designs to create unique homes that meet their needs. The master bedroom is on the 2nd floor. The laundry was moved to a covered porch, but it could be kept in the same place as the 33′ Roundhouse.

Note: You can use rectangular doors and windows with semi-circular windows above.

Custom Roundhouse Cluster (click to enlarge)

Custom Roundhouse Cluster (click to enlarge)

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Craftsman (click to enlarge)

Craftsman (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 814 sq. ft. interior, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 25′ x 42′

Description: This plan has all the amenities of a larger home, in a compact space with Craftsman detailing. Stylish yet simple and practical.

Craftsman (click to enlarge)

Craftsman (click to enlarge)

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