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Posts Tagged ‘earthbag tower’

Rainwater Towers Apartments (click to enlarge)

Rainwater Towers Apartments (click to enlarge)


Specifications: Three 16′ interior diameter roundhouses, total 660 sq. ft. interior, one bedroom, one bath, Footprint: 39′ x 43′

Description: This three-story, triple roundhouse tower apartment complex is designed to provide affordable housing in urban areas. The towers are primarily earthen construction. Made with earthbag tubes filled with earth and tamped solid, very few manufactured/processed materials are required. This greatly reduces construction costs. The apartment name comes from the fact rainwater is captured on the roof and directed to underground cisterns, which reduces demand on city water supplies. Each apartment is accessible by a spiral staircase in the front tower. Features include spacious 201 sq. ft. bedroom with large closet, modern kitchen and comfortable living room. All rooms are round to create an embracing, inviting ambience. The round towers are naturally stable and form a visually striking exterior.

Rainwater Towers Apartments floorplan (click to enlarge)

Rainwater Towers Apartments floorplan (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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Guard Tower (click to enlarge)

Guard Tower (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 169 sq. ft. interior main floor, 169 sq. ft. unfinished upper floor, total 338 sq. ft. interior, Footprint: 16′ x 16′.

Description: The Guard Tower is part of my Earthbag Castle that should be completed soon. The Guard Tower serves as a tool shed and observation tower in ‘peaceful’ times. It could also function as a small dwelling for workers.

Guard Tower (click to enlarge)

Guard Tower (click to enlarge)

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Native Spirit (click to enlarge)

Native Spirit (click to enlarge)


Native Spirit (click to enlarge)

Native Spirit (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 565 sq. ft. interior, plus 291 sq. ft. tower (4 levels), 1 bedroom (fold-out bed), 1 bath, Footprint: 35′ x 45′

Description: This is my favorite design so far. I think it’s especially nice in elevation.

Native Spirit (click to enlarge)

Native Spirit (click to enlarge)

The original post generated over two dozen comments.

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Native Spirit Earthbag House

Native Spirit Earthbag House

Specifications: 565 sq. ft. interior, plus 291 sq. ft. tower (4 levels), 1 bedroom (fold-out bed), 1 bath, Footprint: 35′ x 45′

Description: This is my favorite design so far. I think it’s especially nice in elevation. (See below.)

The Native Spirit house plan blends an octagonal dwelling with a soaring tower, all built of earthbags. If one chooses, the upper half of the main house can be built with bales. (The lower half uses earthbags because it’s earth-bermed.) The first floor of the tower serves as a cool pantry that keeps food cool without electricity. Other levels can be used as office space, a second bedroom or storage. The top level is an observation deck — a truly stunning feature in such an affordable home. The hollow, central column in the main structure can be built with stone or CEBs. The stove pipe runs up through the column and the thermal mass helps stabilize indoor temperatures. Large south-facing windows create an attractive plant shelf and provide excellent solar gain. Other features include a large built-in bench, fold-out bed and home office. An airlock entry has a washer and dryer, coat closet and bench.

Native Spirit East Elevation

Native Spirit East Elevation

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