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Posts Tagged ‘earthbag house plan’

This cordwood house could be built with earthbags, straw bales or other sustainable materials. (click to enlarge)

This cordwood house could be built with earthbags, straw bales or other sustainable materials. (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 776 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 30′ x 35′

Description: This simple yet practical home plan is shown with cordwood walls. The same house can be made with earthbags, straw bales, adobe, stone and other materials.

Cordwood house floorplan (click to enlarge)

Cordwood house floorplan (click to enlarge)

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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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Fortress Tower (click to enlarge)

Fortress Tower (click to enlarge)


This is nearly the same design as my 33’ (10m) 2-bedroom Roundhouse except the roof. The walls have a slight taper to create a castle appearance for the Dome Fort I’m currently designing. In addition, a second floor with slot windows has been added.

Specifications: 855 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 855 sq. ft. upper floor, total = 1,717 sq. ft. interior, plus roof deck, Footprint: 36′ diameter

Description: 10 meters (33’) diameter is the maximum size of a round earthbag structure before needing buttressing (unless you use reinforced earthbags). This spacious design features a large master bedroom with desk and walk-in closet, efficient kitchen and south-facing window wall for excellent solar gain.

Fortress Tower (click to enlarge)

Fortress Tower (click to enlarge)

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Castle Tower House (click to enlarge)

Castle Tower House (click to enlarge)


The Castle Tower House is largely the same plan as the 2-story Roundhouse Above Survival Shelter with a crenellated roof design. In the earthbag castle I’m currently designing it’s used as a corner ‘watch tower’. Its primary function in ‘peace time’ is a guesthouse or office. Compare this version to the original plan to see how a few minor changes can make a lot of difference in appearance.

Specifications: 20’ DIA roundhouse, 314 sq. ft. interior first floor, 252 sq. ft. interior loft, 314 sq. ft. interior survival shelter plus pantry), 880 total square foot interior, Footprint: 23′ DIA, 23′ x 31′ survival shelter

Description: Every castle worth its name has to have at least one underground survival shelter. In this case it’s underneath the Tower House. It’s prudent to have a safe place to go to in case of emergencies, and what better place than your basement. Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and other natural disasters are all too common. While others panic and run for last minute preparations, you can calmly retreat to your basement (through a hidden trap door) that’s wisely stocked with everything you need to ride out the disaster.

More details on the Earthbag Survival Shelter that’s also sold separately (an excellent starter project and one of my most popular designs).

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Custom Chonburi (click to enlarge)

Custom Chonburi (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 1,134 sq. ft. interior main floor, 1,134 sq. ft. upper floor, total 2,268 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 3 bath, Footprint: 27′ x 29′. Pantry and mechanical room could be converted into an extra bedroom.

Description: This is a larger version of the original Chonburi design that includes two large bedrooms versus three smaller ones (all upstairs for privacy). Master bedroom has private bath. There’s also a pantry, mechanical room, sitting room, arched doorways and large country-style kitchen. Optional cathedral ceiling in master bedroom. The crenellated roof design maintains the classic lines and adds a touch of grandeur. There’s also a large roof deck where you can take in the scenery and cool breezes. This design is part of my Earthbag Castle.

Custom Chonburi Main Floor (click to enlarge)

Custom Chonburi Main Floor (click to enlarge)


Custom Chonburi Upper (click to enlarge)

Custom Chonburi Upper (click to enlarge)

Original Chonburi (624 sq. ft. interior main floor, 624 sq. ft. upper floor, total 1,248 sq. ft. interior, 3 bedroom, 3 bath, Footprint: 27′ x 29′)

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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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