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Posts Tagged ‘earthbag vault’

Insulated earthbag vault with solar panels (click to enlarge)

Insulated earthbag vault with solar panels (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 263 sq. ft. interior, 74 sq. ft. sleeping loft, total 337 sq. ft. interior, one bath, Footprint: 15′-6″ x 30’

Description: As explained in one of our blog posts, earthbags are inherently unstable if they are stacked into a vault shape. The proposed design shown here resolves the stability issues. This vault building method is very strong, simple, low cost, superinsulating and extremely fast and easy to build. The shell of a small, simple vault could be built in about one week, in part because the top two-thirds of the vault is built with tubes or bags filled with lightweight insulation such as scoria or pumice (preferably nonflammable materials). These earthbag vaults are now available with a number of roof options: solar panels, metal roofing, living roof and thatch. A similar vault for arid conditions (no roof, just plaster) will be available soon.

Insulated earthbag vault floorplan (click to enlarge)

Insulated earthbag vault floorplan (click to enlarge)


Insulated earthbag vault with living roof (click to enlarge)

Insulated earthbag vault with living roof (click to enlarge)


Insulated earthbag vault with thatch roof (click to enlarge)

Insulated earthbag vault with thatch roof (click to enlarge)

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Earthbag/Adobe Vault

Earthbag/Adobe Vault

Specifications: 545 sq. ft. interior, plus 14 sq. ft. pantry, plus 282 sq. ft. loft space, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 27′ x 36.5′

Description: Lower walls are 24″ earthbags; upper sections are traditional Nubian leaning adobe vault construction. Features include two large lofts, recessed shelving (marked ‘S’ on the plan) and earth-bermed cool pantry.

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Strawbale/Earthbag Vault and Greenhouse

Strawbale/Earthbag Vault and Greenhouse

Specifications: 490 sq. ft. interior plus 313 sq. ft. greenhouse, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 28′ x 39′

Description: This very unique home masterfully blends insulation and thermal mass. The vault is predominantly straw bales, which provide excellent insulation. Earthbags are used on the end walls, greenhouse and for three vaults that join the two spaces. Naturally bowed timbers around doors and windows create a rustic look.

Strawbale/Earthbag Vault and Greenhouse West Elevation

Strawbale/Earthbag Vault and Greenhouse West Elevation

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Rainbow Cottage

Rainbow Cottage (partial section view)

Specifications: 273 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 16′ x 30′

Description: This design uses the same floorplan as Earthbag Vaulted Guesthouse. The main difference is the upper part of the vault is constructed with alternating arched layers of bamboo and bags of insulation (rice hulls, etc.). There are round stained glass windows, and colored bottles embedded in the end walls. Interior walls of earth plaster contain mica to reflect the light, thus the name Rainbow Cottage. Note: this plan is now listed in the free shelter category.

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Earthbag Vaulted Guesthouse

Earthbag Vaulted Guesthouse

Specifications: 273 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 16′ x 30′

Description: Designed to stay cool in hot climates, this Nubian vaulted guesthouse features a pole frame and thatched roof structure that shades the earthbag vault. Additional cooling is provided by breezes that blow across a lily pool. The upper part of the vault is traditional leaning adobe construction. A flagstone patio adds outdoor living space on the east side. Note: this plan is now listed in the free shelter category.

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