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Archive for November, 2010

Barrels of Hope Plastering and Fundraising Event

Barrels of Hope Plastering and Fundraising Event


It’s time to plaster!!! Isn’t it great! All the bags and roof are up. Now it’s just the finishing touch – plaster! Weather permitting, we will be plastering on Saturday December 4th. This is the easy part so come join us and have some fun!

To learn more about the Barrels of Hope for Haiti project, visit our website and blog at: www.barrelsofhope.org

You can also follow us on Facebook at “Barrels of Hope”.

For monetary donations, visit the Chapter’s Barrels of Hope page.

For food/supply donations or more information, email barrelsofhope@usgbcheartfl.org

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My name is Carmen Mauk, and I run a non-profit, Pisco Sin Fronteras, in Peru. We have been working here since 2007 when an 8.0 earthquake devastated the region. Thousands of families are still living in tents and unfortunately, the Peruvian government hasn’t been forthcoming in supporting reconstruction efforts.

We are introducing earthbag building to this impoverished community and are looking for somebody who has experience in building earthbag structures from the ground up to come and lead the building of a small community center. We will begin construction in 3 weeks. Our original qualified builder must leave the country due to a family emergency.

We can provide room and board for a qualified person, if they can get themselves to Pisco. This is an amazing opportunity that will make a huge impact in the quality of people’s lives here.

We have also just produced a 10 minute video that does a great job of showing the scope of our work here.

Carmen Mauk, Executive Director, Burners Without Borders carmenmaukATgmail.com

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Thai Adobe House

Thai Adobe House


Interview with Peggy Reents and Thana Joe Uthaipattrakoon (nickname Joe).

Owen: I first heard about earth building in Thailand from Janell Kapoor of Kleiwerks International fame who said there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me and so I’ve set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand. Are there really that many new earthen houses in Thailand?

Peggy: Yes, the movement has grown so quickly that we don’t know a good estimate of the total earthen buildings in Thailand but we estimate more than a thousand. So many people that have been trained in building have gone on to build that it is almost impossible to estimate. We frequently get calls from people either telling us what they have built after just seeing a building or asking us to build for them. What is most impressive is to keep in mind that Thailand is the approximate size of Texas and earth building has only become popular since 2001.

You can read the full length article for free at Mother Earth News Blog.

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This week is the 3rd anniversary of Earthbag Building Blog. A lot has happened this past year, and our blog continues to grow in content and readership. There are now 335 posts and well over 1,000 comments. Thanks for your support. We love hearing about your earthbag projects and hope you will continue sharing information with others. Keep those project submissions rolling in.

Top stories from this past year are listed below.
Counties with Few or No Building Codes
Specifics of Nabil Taha’s Engineered Earthbag Designs
Earthbag Projects in Haiti
Updated Step-by-Step Earthbag Building
Using Scoria for Earthbag Building
The Most Bang for the Buck? Part 1
The Most Bang for the Buck? Part 2
New Soil Testing Guide
Gypsum and Lime Stabilized Soil (Alker Technology)
Using 2x4s Versus Wide Lumber
Alternative Waterproof Membranes for Living Roofs
Roundhouse Update
Thatch Panels
Estimating Costs
Earthquake-Resistant Earthbag Building Details
Earthbag Benches: The Perfect Starter Project

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Earth Hands and Houses Dome in Sussex, England

Earth Hands and Houses Dome in Sussex, England


The Earth Hands and Houses Blog has some good photos of the first earthbag dome (a root cellar) in Sussex, England. The workshop was taught by Paulina Wojciechowska, an architect and author of Building with Earth, a guide to Flexible-Form earthbag construction, who has been studying, building and teaching natural building since 1996. Nicholas Harris, a British wheel of yoga accredited teacher assisted and hosted the workshop. Paulina also teaches workshops in Poland, Slovakia and Turkey.

From their website: “Earth Hands and Houses is a non-profit organisation set up in 1997 with the vision to enable people to build their own shelter. It achieves this through a program of demonstration projects, workshops, presentations, and other services. Our main focus is to encourage the application of low-tech, affordable, sustainable building techniques, utilising indigenous building materials and easily accessible methods. We believe there is no ‘one’ technique as a solution to the world’s housing needs, but an endless combination of materials and techniques. Each place is different, each culture is different, and therefore each home should be a response to this specific need.”

Earth Hands and Houses website has more information.

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Helical Earthbag Shelter

Helical Earthbag Shelter


Ward-Karet wanted to gain some real world experience in the earthbag construction method while building in a manner that was in keeping with the surroundings. With a budget of $1,000, she designed and built the Helixa Shelter using earthbags, adobe, sunbrella fabric, and scraps from the architecture school.

Read more at Inhabitat: Helical Earthbag Shelter Built by Taliesin Student

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Earthbag Instructable

Earthbag Instructable


I’ve created a page at Instructables.com: Step-by-Step Earthbag Building. They have lots of good information there on many different topics. My Instructable is based on my previous article at EarthbagBuilding.com called Step-by-Step Earthbag Construction. But I changed things around a bit. See what you think. I’m always looking for ways to simplify and clarify the process. This is especially important because these two sites explain the essential steps for building with bags. Which one do you like best?

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