More than 70% of Americans cannot afford to own a code-enforced, contractor-built home. This has led to widespread interest in using natural materials — straw, cob and earth — for building homes and other buildings that are inexpensive, and that rely largely on labor rather than expensive and often environmentally-damaging outsourced materials.
Earthbag Building, a Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living, is the first comprehensive guide to all the tools, tricks and techniques for building with bags filled with earth — or earthbags. Having been introduced to sandbag construction by the renowned Nader Khalili in 1993, the authors developed this "Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique" over the last decade. A reliable method for constructing homes, outbuildings, garden walls and much more, this enduring, tree-free architecture can also be used to create arched and domed structures of great beauty — in any region, at home, in developing countries or in emergency relief work.
This fully-illustrated guide first discusses the many merits of earthbag construction, and then leads the reader through the key elements of an earthbag building:
- Special design considerations
- Foundations, walls and floors
- Electrical, plumbing and shelving
- Lintels, windows and door installations
- Roofs, arches and domes
- Exterior and interior plasters
With dedicated sections on costs, making your own specialized tools, and building code considerations, as well as a complete resources guide, Earthbag Building
is the long-awaited, definitive guide to this uniquely pleasing construction style.
About the contributors:
Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer have been involved in the construction industry for the last 20 years, specializing in affordable, low-tech, low-impact building methods that are as natural as possible. Together, over the last nine years they developed the "Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique" of building affordably with earthbags. They have taught the subject and contributed their expertise to several books on natural building.