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Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!

 
Check 'em out!
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06/29/2010 12:31 AM
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Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
These Earthbag homes are so cool.

You can find various pics on the Web.

Check out the blueprint for the "Zero Energy 2" down the page. Looks awesome.

[link to earthbagplans.wordpress.com]

This 1,275 sq. ft. house can be built for $12,750!

2 bedroom, 2 full baths.

I'd like to build one and would like to see more designs.

"Specifications: 1,275 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, Footprint: 36′ x 73′ not including cisterns or optional survival shelter.

Description: Zero Energy Two is a two bedroom version of Zero Energy One. See next post below. This revolutionary design features zero net energy use, extremely low ‘near zero’ embodied energy and extremely low cost of around $10/square foot (cost of shell, excluding energy systems). This design is the result of years of research in energy efficiency and low cost, alternative building methods."

Anyone want to help me find other homes like this?

Post links and pics here, please!

Keep this thread going, please. It can help people who are losing their homes.

If you think it's cool, too, just give it a bump please :)
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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06/29/2010 01:05 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
From doityourself.com:

Building an Earth Bag Home
by Alden Smith

As consumers, and especially as Americans, we are brought up to believe that "bigger is better." Now, with all the news about global warming and air pollution, it is time to redo our thinking. I find it hard to believe that a couple needs a 3 to 4,000 square foot home to live in. It is impractical, uses a great deal of energy, and uses resources above and beyond what our needs really are. There is a movement today to move back more closely to the earth, and to use renewable resources and resources readily available for building homes. Recent studies and experiments have proven that an earthbag home is environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and is built from local - and readily available - resources. This article will discuss earthbag homes, how they are built, and their advantages and disadvantages.

What Is An Earthbag Home

An earthbag home is nothing more than a home built out of bags of earth, stacked in certain patterns and on a solid foundation. They utilize local resources - the ground you stand on - for building material. Anything works - sand, gravel, scoria, which is volcanic rock, rice hulls - you name it and it probably can be used. Builders of earthbag homes try not to use wood as much as possible in building their homes, because so many forests have been depleted in the logging industry. Instead, they opt to build their earthbag homes with domes, which require no wood to finish. Where wood must be used, they use wood for such things as balustrades, stairs and railings. The wood is used in its natural shape, instead of being sawn into boards.

How Are They Built?

Simply put, traditional burlap bags or polypropylene bags (stronger and don't rot) are filled with earth. The combinations and textures matter little, as long as you understand that certain materials retain moisture, such as clay. Best mixed with a percentage of sand, the bags arte filled, stapled tightly shut, and stacked to build the outside walls of the home. Because many earthbag builders don't wish to use wood in their homes, a dome is often incorporated into the design so that rafters do not need to be put in place.

Doors and windows are incorporated into the design in several ways. Sometimes, a door is framed in using lumber, but typically the builder uses arched doors and round windows, thus eliminating the need for lumber in the build out. A lot of builders use metal farm machine wheels and culvert couplings for window openings. The options are endless. Nearly every earthbag home I have seen has had round windows. The outside is usually covered with stucco, papercrete, or stabilized earthen plaster. Many times an airlock is incorporated into the design to be more energy efficient. This serves dual purpose - the main door opens onto a room that can be used to store coats and boots, and then egress is made into the interior.

How Energy Efficient Are Earth Bag Homes?

Because of the design, giving thick walls and the insulating qualities of earth, these homes are designed to make good use of passive solar heat, facing south or east, depending on location. They homes are also designed so that sunlight during the day is absorbed by the interior walls, keeping the room warm after the sun goes down. Often, the only source of energy used is either fireplaces or small propane or electric heaters in individual bedrooms. An important step here is to insure that exterior walls are properly finished so that the daily heat from the sun does not leak back out in the evening.

Article continues for another paragraph or so here:

[link to www.doityourself.com]
Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 01:15 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Why do you insist on calling it Earthbag?

Is it because Dirtbag is less marketable?
Ailurophile

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06/29/2010 01:28 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
I want one of these so bad.

So cool.
I love cats!

"That's your objective, to make it so convoluted that anyone can have a theory, but no one's got the facts." -- Edge of Darkness

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever. -- George Orwell, 1984
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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06/29/2010 01:29 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Why do you insist on calling it Earthbag?

Is it because Dirtbag is less marketable?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1019148


lolatu
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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06/29/2010 01:32 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
I want one of these so bad.

So cool.
 Quoting: Ailurophile


Thank you!

Yes! Me too!

And this could definitely help ease some of the pain of the housing crisis.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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06/29/2010 01:33 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Why do you insist on calling it Earthbag?

Is it because Dirtbag is less marketable?

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 888780


Very funny! LOL

Used wrong smilie. Not laughing at you, just with you.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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06/29/2010 01:35 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Some pics:

[link to www.earthbagbuilding.com]

Check out the Hart House. Very nice inside.

Like your own Hobbit home.
Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 01:40 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Excellent find OP. I recall seeing something similar a while back only it was way more expensive.

It's in my bookmarks now.
WeAreWatchingYou

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06/29/2010 01:42 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
First off the bags are not cheap any more, Distributors have caught on to the trend and raised prices. Second the word easy should not be in any sentence with earthbag homes. It is a lot of hard work i should know i built my 600sq ft garage out of earthbags. Also in some areas they will not permit these no matter what you can pull out of your ass.

I would not build one of these if you live in a climate with extremely cold winters. These types of buildings work much the same way an Adobe or Cob works, thermal mass. The R-value is very low which is fine if you dont live in an area of extreme cold

You could how ever berm the house and this would allow the ground to help maintain the temperature.

Personally for colder climates i would go with a straw bale house where you get high r value and thermal mass

Here is a good site that describes many alternative building types [link to www.greenhomebuilding.com]
Those that govern democracy, Nothing but lies and hypocrisy, Created by those who pretend to heal you, Bearers of the cross who try to control and conceal you, And they will die before it reveals to you, What you havent been programmed to see
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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06/29/2010 01:49 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
First off the bags are not cheap any more, Distributors have caught on to the trend and raised prices. Second the word easy should not be in any sentence with earthbag homes. It is a lot of hard work i should know i built my 600sq ft garage out of earthbags. Also in some areas they will not permit these no matter what you can pull out of your ass.

I would not build one of these if you live in a climate with extremely cold winters. These types of buildings work much the same way an Adobe or Cob works, thermal mass. The R-value is very low which is fine if you dont live in an area of extreme cold

You could how ever berm the house and this would allow the ground to help maintain the temperature.

Personally for colder climates i would go with a straw bale house where you get high r value and thermal mass

Here is a good site that describes many alternative building types [link to www.greenhomebuilding.com]
 Quoting: WeAreWatchingYou


Great info. Great link. Thank you!
Madigan

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06/29/2010 01:54 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Here's the real deal. This guy lives out in the middle of nowhere Nevada.

He's been selling these kits for years. A little odd...but nice guy.

[link to biohome.net]

check it out if you're interested in living "off the grid". Dude even has a recycling toilet...too creepy for me, but hey...some people get pretty extreme.
WeAreWatchingYou

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06/29/2010 01:59 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Almost for got here check this one out [link to flyingconcrete.com]
Has some really cool eye candy if you are in to Antonio Gaudi type free form organic architecture
Those that govern democracy, Nothing but lies and hypocrisy, Created by those who pretend to heal you, Bearers of the cross who try to control and conceal you, And they will die before it reveals to you, What you havent been programmed to see
Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 02:01 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Now, in just how many areas will these pass building code ?
Madigan

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06/29/2010 02:07 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Now, in just how many areas will these pass building code ?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 833035


Exactly.

There are no building codes in a handful of counties in Nevada...so these experiments can see the light of day...you have to be flexible where you live.
WeAreWatchingYou

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06/29/2010 02:08 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Here's the real deal. This guy lives out in the middle of nowhere Nevada.

He's been selling these kits for years. A little odd...but nice guy.

[link to biohome.net]

check it out if you're interested in living "off the grid". Dude even has a recycling toilet...too creepy for me, but hey...some people get pretty extreme.
 Quoting: Madigan


I would rather have a concrete dome, they are not only hurricane proof but damn near earth quake proof as well.
[link to www.monolithic.com]

You can also get them permitted almost anywhere.

Last Edited by WeAreWatchingYou on 06/29/2010 02:10 AM
Those that govern democracy, Nothing but lies and hypocrisy, Created by those who pretend to heal you, Bearers of the cross who try to control and conceal you, And they will die before it reveals to you, What you havent been programmed to see
Madigan

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06/29/2010 02:13 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Here's the real deal. This guy lives out in the middle of nowhere Nevada.

He's been selling these kits for years. A little odd...but nice guy.

[link to biohome.net]

check it out if you're interested in living "off the grid". Dude even has a recycling toilet...too creepy for me, but hey...some people get pretty extreme.


I would rather have a concrete dome, they are not only hurricane proof but damn near earth quake proof as well.
[link to www.monolithic.com]

You can also get them permitted almost anywhere.
 Quoting: WeAreWatchingYou


Totally agree...I researched these years ago and came to the conclusion that concrete would be the best...not to mention the most pleasin' on the eye.

The "foam domes" are really ugly.
WeAreWatchingYou

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06/29/2010 02:16 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Now, in just how many areas will these pass building code ?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 833035


For many of the alternative types of housing you will have to file for a experimental permit. You will still need to have code inspections and you must meet the residential building code. In some places you will have to present your plans and have an engineer sign off and stamp them.

Adobe and Straw bale are quite common and not a problem.
Those that govern democracy, Nothing but lies and hypocrisy, Created by those who pretend to heal you, Bearers of the cross who try to control and conceal you, And they will die before it reveals to you, What you havent been programmed to see
Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 02:17 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Here's the real deal. This guy lives out in the middle of nowhere Nevada.

He's been selling these kits for years. A little odd...but nice guy.

[link to biohome.net]

check it out if you're interested in living "off the grid". Dude even has a recycling toilet...too creepy for me, but hey...some people get pretty extreme.


I would rather have a concrete dome, they are not only hurricane proof but damn near earth quake proof as well.
[link to www.monolithic.com]

You can also get them permitted almost anywhere.
 Quoting: WeAreWatchingYou


Thank you for all of the links you've posted hf
Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 02:18 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
i like the idea but those bags arent very stable and kinda look crappy on the exterior

this system is much better

[link to calearth.org]

theres also earth ships and im sure someone will link others

cheap but labor intensitive

this is what ive decided to build

[link to www.lamidesign.com]

they recently hooked up with a metal building manufacturer to make the roofs

[link to www.steelmasterusa.com]



lol.....dirtbag
B4DAWN

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06/29/2010 02:21 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
I have to bump to read tomorrow.
Rev. Mother Nene

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06/29/2010 02:24 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Pretty darn cool!

Thanks for sharing. :)
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

revstargazer (at) hotmail.com
Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 02:29 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
First off the bags are not cheap any more, Distributors have caught on to the trend and raised prices. Second the word easy should not be in any sentence with earthbag homes. It is a lot of hard work i should know i built my 600sq ft garage out of earthbags. Also in some areas they will not permit these no matter what you can pull out of your ass.

I would not build one of these if you live in a climate with extremely cold winters. These types of buildings work much the same way an Adobe or Cob works, thermal mass. The R-value is very low which is fine if you dont live in an area of extreme cold

You could how ever berm the house and this would allow the ground to help maintain the temperature.

Personally for colder climates i would go with a straw bale house where you get high r value and thermal mass

Here is a good site that describes many alternative building types [link to www.greenhomebuilding.com]
 Quoting: WeAreWatchingYou


what about a sick-hot climate like Phoenix? This talks about retaining heat, here we need to maintain cool 4 months a year.....
WeAreWatchingYou

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06/29/2010 02:35 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
i like the idea but those bags arent very stable and kinda look crappy on the exterior

this system is much better

[link to calearth.org]

theres also earth ships and im sure someone will link others

cheap but labor intensitive

this is what ive decided to build

[link to www.lamidesign.com]

they recently hooked up with a metal building manufacturer to make the roofs

[link to www.steelmasterusa.com]



lol.....dirtbag
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 720114


I always thought the shipping container homes were cool and relativity cheap.

As for the earthships i hate those things, i live not to far from Michael Reynolds the guy who wrote the book on earthships and i have watched many being built. I watched them hammering dirt in to the top tires and the whole wall would shake. The only thing that stopped it was the concrete bond beam.The concept was good but the design and materials are not.

My home is a concrete earth sheltered home. It can be 95 out side and inside its nice and cool with no air conditioning. The ground maintains temperature. Its quiet and comfortable all year round. Best of all you cant see it from above. I cut in to a hillside built the house and buried it when i was done the only thing showing is the front which faces south to pick up some heat in winter.
Those that govern democracy, Nothing but lies and hypocrisy, Created by those who pretend to heal you, Bearers of the cross who try to control and conceal you, And they will die before it reveals to you, What you havent been programmed to see
WeAreWatchingYou

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06/29/2010 02:38 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
First off the bags are not cheap any more, Distributors have caught on to the trend and raised prices. Second the word easy should not be in any sentence with earthbag homes. It is a lot of hard work i should know i built my 600sq ft garage out of earthbags. Also in some areas they will not permit these no matter what you can pull out of your ass.

I would not build one of these if you live in a climate with extremely cold winters. These types of buildings work much the same way an Adobe or Cob works, thermal mass. The R-value is very low which is fine if you dont live in an area of extreme cold

You could how ever berm the house and this would allow the ground to help maintain the temperature.

Personally for colder climates i would go with a straw bale house where you get high r value and thermal mass

Here is a good site that describes many alternative building types [link to www.greenhomebuilding.com]


what about a sick-hot climate like Phoenix? This talks about retaining heat, here we need to maintain cool 4 months a year.....
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1019357


Do you have a lot of Adobe homes there? The earth bag would be basically the same as an Adobe if you wanted a comparison. I run an evaporative/swamp cooler in my earthbag garage and the temp ranges between 68 to 72 in summer

Last Edited by WeAreWatchingYou on 06/29/2010 02:41 AM
Those that govern democracy, Nothing but lies and hypocrisy, Created by those who pretend to heal you, Bearers of the cross who try to control and conceal you, And they will die before it reveals to you, What you havent been programmed to see
Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 03:11 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
I always thought the shipping container homes were cool and relativity cheap.

As for the earthships i hate those things, i live not to far from Michael Reynolds the guy who wrote the book on earthships and i have watched many being built. I watched them hammering dirt in to the top tires and the whole wall would shake. The only thing that stopped it was the concrete bond beam.The concept was good but the design and materials are not.

My home is a concrete earth sheltered home. It can be 95 out side and inside its nice and cool with no air conditioning. The ground maintains temperature. Its quiet and comfortable all year round. Best of all you cant see it from above. I cut in to a hillside built the house and buried it when i was done the only thing showing is the front which faces south to pick up some heat in winter.
 Quoting: WeAreWatchingYou




thats definatly the way to go and that was my roiginal plan.......im a bit older now and decided on a easier route....plus i used to be a welder

also ive always liked the modern/industrial look and this fits the bill

on youtube i saw a guy build a steel building...quonsit hut..basically just the roof material and he insulated it with styrofoam seafood boxes from grocery stores......they just throw them away......attached them with foam spray......worked out nice


but a conrete underground house is the best way.......with south facing wall for solar gain

im jealous....lol
Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 10:16 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
bump
Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 10:26 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
[link to www.greenhomebuilding.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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06/29/2010 10:55 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
i like the idea but those bags arent very stable and kinda look crappy on the exterior

this system is much better

[link to calearth.org]

theres also earth ships and im sure someone will link others

cheap but labor intensitive

this is what ive decided to build

[link to www.lamidesign.com]

they recently hooked up with a metal building manufacturer to make the roofs

[link to www.steelmasterusa.com]



lol.....dirtbag


I always thought the shipping container homes were cool and relativity cheap.

As for the earthships i hate those things, i live not to far from Michael Reynolds the guy who wrote the book on earthships and i have watched many being built. I watched them hammering dirt in to the top tires and the whole wall would shake. The only thing that stopped it was the concrete bond beam.The concept was good but the design and materials are not.

My home is a concrete earth sheltered home. It can be 95 out side and inside its nice and cool with no air conditioning. The ground maintains temperature. Its quiet and comfortable all year round. Best of all you cant see it from above. I cut in to a hillside built the house and buried it when i was done the only thing showing is the front which faces south to pick up some heat in winter.
 Quoting: WeAreWatchingYou


Thanks for all the great contributions here, WeAre.

I'll check out those links today.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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06/29/2010 11:18 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Here's the real deal. This guy lives out in the middle of nowhere Nevada.

He's been selling these kits for years. A little odd...but nice guy.

[link to biohome.net]

check it out if you're interested in living "off the grid". Dude even has a recycling toilet...too creepy for me, but hey...some people get pretty extreme.


I would rather have a concrete dome, they are not only hurricane proof but damn near earth quake proof as well.
[link to www.monolithic.com]

You can also get them permitted almost anywhere.


Totally agree...I researched these years ago and came to the conclusion that concrete would be the best...not to mention the most pleasin' on the eye.

The "foam domes" are really ugly.
 Quoting: Madigan


OK, I think we've gone from cool to AWESOME.

The domes are amazing.

Anonymous Coward
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06/29/2010 11:27 AM
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Re: Earthbag Homes! So COOL!... inexpensive ($10/sq. foot), eco-friendly, and easy-to-build!
Got mine in 1999, the roll of superadobe was used to make a patio circle (tried to make mini dome but stopped since Y2K not an issue), just this year I finished making a retaining wall 24-30 high (5 row bags high) without any barbwire. Have 2 bags of lime ($14 @ home depo) in a 40gl trashcan and its finally just right as a paint.

www.calearth.org

The bags likes to be straight in long runs.