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Posts Tagged ‘sandbag building’

Date: 7 days, April 19-25, 2010
Cost: $500 includes excellent hotel, shuttle van, breakfasts, dinners, snacks
Location: Sakon Nakhon, Northeast Thailand
Instructor: Owen Geiger
Email: strawhouses [@] yahoo dot com

Note: This is a past workshop from earlier this year, but I’m leaving it here to show the final results. Lots more detailed info is on our Earthbag Building Blog.

Roundhouse information:
Round earthbag office, 15’ interior diameter, 18” walls, earthbag foundation
Wood doors and windows, small bathroom, earthbag benches
Concrete bond beam, steel compression ring
Exposed wood ceiling with peeled eucalyptus saplings and thatch

Roundhouse Studio

Roundhouse Studio

General building plan:
Goal: build walls and roof in one week (some parts won’t be completely finished, such as the plaster and roof, but we will do as much as we can so you get at least some experience with each step of construction)
Hard, dirty work will be completed before the workshop (earthwork, digging trenches, peeling poles, etc.) so the focus can remain on learning.
Workshop participants can assist with any or all building activities as they choose (ex: you may or may not want to climb on the roof, that’s okay).
The emphasis is on hands-on learning, although there will be short training periods throughout the day with white board, and question and answer sessions.

More information here.

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Earthbag Cistern

Earthbag Cistern

Specifications: 2,000 US gallons, approximately 6′ x 10′ interior, 12′ below grade, 36″ scuttle hole

Description: No off the grid system is complete without adequate water storage. This is the first publicly available earthbag cistern plan that I am aware of. Ideal for storing rainwater from roof catchment systems (rainwater catchment/rainwater harvesting systems). Prevents freezing. Scuttle hole provides access for cleaning. No transfer of hazardous chemicals from plastics.

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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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Earthbag Shed

Earthbag Shed

Specifications: any size desired. Send me your dimensions and I’ll give you a bid.

Description: Very simple design, but also very strong, practical and easy to build. Good beginners project. Includes shed roof with metal roofing, earthbag foundation and walls, no limit on design possibilities with earth plaster. Note: this plan is now listed in the free shelter category.

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Earthbag Hermitage

Earthbag Hermitage

Specifications: 160 sq. ft. interior plus 144 sq. ft. outdoor living area, Footprint: 20′ x 22′

Description: This spiritual retreat offers a quiet, contemplative environment behind massive earth walls. Note: this plan is now listed in the free shelter category.

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Enviro Earthbag Dome

Enviro Earthbag Dome

Specifications: 20’ interior DIA main dome = 314 sq. ft., 16’ interior DIA bedroom = 201 sq. ft., 44 sq. ft. bath, plus 223 sq. ft. loft space, total = 782 sq. ft., Footprint: 23′ x 42′ plus buttresses

Description: An ideal starter home, this plan is easy to extend or even create large dome clusters. Compact, but highly livable, the Enviro dome has everything you need. Two lofts add 235 sq. ft. extra space for sleeping, home office, living or storage. Additional storage options include space inside benches, a cedar chest at the foot of the bed, and an armoire north of the bed. The Enviro dome is perfect for the beginner do-it-yourselfer who wants to build their eco-friendly home at the lowest possible cost.

Enviro Earthbag Dome South Elevation

Enviro Earthbag Dome South Elevation

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