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Archive for June, 2011

Earthbag Building Guide Table of Contents 2

Earthbag Building Guide Table of Contents 2

More book reviews:
“This book is very useful for anyone interested in working with earthbags…even those who have experience, since there are many new and innovative concepts presented. It embraces all aspects of safely constructing vertical earthbag walls, discusses ways to insulate and plaster them, and talks about roof options and other details. It even introduces the revolutionary Hyperadobe concept from Brazil! This is a powerful resource.” Kelly Hart, owner/developer GreenHomeBuilding.com

“This book will expand our thinking about how we build and where we live. The point-by-point instructions are a wonderful quick reference, and the detailed explanations explain every aspect of each step from foundation to roof.” Troy Griepentrog, editor Mother Earth News Magazine

The ebook is available for free with all new house plan orders through Earthbag House Plans and DreamGreenHomes.com.

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Earthbag Building Guide Table of Contents 1 (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Building Guide Table of Contents 1 (click to enlarge)


More book reviews:

“I have built with earthbags for over twenty years, having helped develop the concept with Nader Khalili in the early 1990’s. Of all the texts on earthbag building that exist (including mine), I have to say that Owen Geiger’s Earthbag Building Guide is by far the most thorough, detailed and technically useful book on the subject yet to emerge. I will be referring to it often in my own projects and look forward with keen interest to forthcoming titles from this talented researcher.” Joseph F. Kennedy, editor The Art of Natural Building and Building Without Borders

“Earthbag construction is the most green and sustainable method of construction that I know of and it just got easier. This book is like having a coach with you on site who shares his wonderful knowledge step-by-step. This is the best investment, in time and money, any Architect, Engineer, Builder, or Home Owner can make. I love this book.” Dr. Bill Taha, S.E., President, licensed in 28 states, Precision Structural Engineering, Inc.

The ebook is available for free with all new house plan orders through Earthbag House Plans and DreamGreenHomes.com.

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Favorable reviews are coming in from readers and those who work in the earthbag building movement.

“I’ve got to say TREMENDOUS JOB! The look is excellent, the length is excellent. You really seem to cover the whole process and I like your step-by-step explanations.

I read the whole thing in one sitting. I will use this as a reference manual next time I build.” Here’s my testimonial:
“Earthbag building is a growing and evolving process, the Earthbag Building Guide is essential for anyone wanting to know what the current best practices are, and to have them explained in a simple step-by-step manner. I loved this book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in earthbag construction.”
Tim Merritt, Emergency Shelter Kits

“I have read many books on natural building over the last few years but it is only now that I have reviewed your book with a critical eye that it occurs to me just how much research, knowledge, experience, sifting of resources, and proficiency of prose is required to actually compose such a volume. It is concise, detailed, easy to follow, and beautifully illustrated. I want to congratulate you for being successful in all of these areas and for creating such an extremely well organized and useful guide to earthbag building. Part of me wishes this text had been available before I started my journey into the medium, as it would have saved me a lot of time/money/angst, but I am also aware that it has taken these years and the accumulating knowledge and experience of the entire earthbag community during this time to make such a book possible. I have not seen any of the techniques written any more precisely or accurately than you have here. Nor do I believe that you have forgotten or overlooked any key concepts. I believe this is a first class instruction manual on earthbag construction and I have learned quite a few things from it myself. I love the way you have seamlessly incorporated internet-based resources into your instructions. I think this approach will be wildly successful and extremely helpful to the reader. I guess this is the future of “How To” books and you have done it beautifully here. I am confident that this will be an important compendium to the craft and an essential tool in every earthbagger’s tool box. Best of luck, Owen. I look forward to seeing it in print and putting it to use in the field. Many homes will be built from it.”
Jesse Loving, earthbag home builder

The ebook is available for free with all new house plan orders through Earthbag House Plans and DreamGreenHomes.com.

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New Earthbag Building Guide by Owen Geiger is Now Available!

New Earthbag Building Guide by Owen Geiger is Now Available!


Earthbag Building Guide: Vertical Walls Step-by-Step
By Owen Geiger

Much has been learned about earthbag building over the last few decades through research, trial and error, and sharing of information. It is becoming increasingly clear what works best and why. And now with engineer-approved methods for building in code-enforced areas, it is time to pull the most practical ideas together and take this movement to the next level.

This builder’s guide does that by providing simple, clear explanations of each step of construction, from earthbag foundations that don’t require concrete, to complete information on tools and supplies, as well as tips, tricks and advanced earthbag techniques.

All major aspects of building earthbag houses are covered: Planning; $10/sq. ft. dirt cheap building techniques; Building code issues; Electrical and Plumbing; Cost estimating; How to build insulated earthbag houses; How to make earthbag benches, and privacy and retaining walls for next to nothing. It is profusely illustrated with about 185 color photos and detail drawings.

This new book by Owen Geiger is now available as a PDF download for $20. The ebook is available for free with all new house plan orders through Earthbag House Plans and DreamGreenHomes.com.

Ordering:
Orders are going through, but please be patient. The Earthbag Building Guide is a large 13.3 MB file. It’s full of high res pics. Plus allow time for PayPal confirmation. Use a high speed connection if possible.

You will need a recent version of Adobe Reader for the book to display properly. http://get.adobe.com/reader/

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There’s a huge groundswell of interest in living more lightly on the earth. On the one hand, conscientious homeowners want to pollute less and protect natural resources. But they also want to save money on construction and energy costs and still have a beautiful, safe and comfortable home. Whether you call it natural building, green building or sustainable building, the eco-friendly building techniques outlined here meet all of these goals and more.

In designing your dream eco-friendly home, perhaps the most important consideration is affordability. This requires a realistic evaluation of individual and family wants and needs. Building small and simple, only what you need, will save money and headaches every step of the way, including reduced long-term energy costs and maintenance. Building small and simple means fewer resources are consumed, resulting in a smaller energy footprint for your home. That’s good for you and the planet.

Building affordably requires discipline and the right mindset. All too often people get swept away with ideas from home design magazines and luxury home tours. To build affordably and avoid budget creep during the building phase, put everything in writing and stick to the budget. Make a list of materials and then shop and compare prices. This one step alone, just a couple hours of effort, can easily save you $1,000 on a small home.

Do your research and plan meticulously. Every hour spent on planning will reduce problems (and unnecessary costs) later. Keep a careful eye on every detail. Even professionals make mistakes, so allow for delays and cost overruns. If you’re not a professional builder, be doubly careful. It is heart wrenching tearing out mistakes and doing things over. There are thousands of small steps in building a home and many of them must proceed in a certain sequence. Being your own contractor and building your home as a do-it-yourselfer is a good way to cut costs, but again, do your research, learn as much as you can and plan judiciously.

Going low-tech is one of the easiest ways to save money. We’re constantly bombarded with advertising claims that will supposedly improve our lives, when in reality they often complicate them. Scrutinize every product, every material that goes into your home. You may want to prioritize items that quickly pay for themselves. For example, we added vents in the gable end wall of our kitchen. (It’s a hot climate, year-round.) Everyday hot air rises to the top of the cathedral ceiling and flows out the vents … for free. Our kitchen stays cooler, the air is fresher and the refrigerator doesn’t work as hard. And soon, we’ll be enjoying our outdoor kitchen that will keep most of the heat outside. [Outdoor kitchen is now finished.] These are but a few examples of working with nature to improve the design of your home.

You can read the entire article for free at Civil Engineer Group.

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Here’s another project in New Mexico. You can follow the progress on festismr’s Channel. The photo below shows where they’re at now.

Earthbag Prototype How-to

Earthbag Prototype How-to

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A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. (Don’t be fooled by [temporary] low prices. They’ll be going back up shortly due to limitations in oil production.) High oil prices are connected to peak oil and gas production, wars to secure limited resources and climate change. These problems are all a consequence of our overconsumption and dependence on non-renewable energy. These problems are not going away any time soon. The seriousness and scope of these problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, started as soon as possible.

We don’t have to devastate the planet to build, heat and cool our homes and workplaces. Good design can greatly reduce our energy problems. With dozens of simple, well-proven solutions at hand, most of which are totally painless to implement, it makes one wonder why more isn’t being done.

Below is a sampling of simple, workable, low-cost solutions for building more efficient structures. (Do a Google search for more in-depth information.)

Free energy from the sun: passive solar design for daylighting and space heating (use correct building orientation, appropriate amount of glass, window placement, size of roof overhang, etc.); solar hot water; solar wall ovens; photovoltaic panels (consider buying one at a time as finances allow).

Superinsulated homes: highly insulated walls, ceilings, floors and foundations; straw bale or earthbag homes; energy-efficient windows; insulated window coverings; window shades; insulated doors; insulated hot water lines; weathersealing (see www.grisb.org/publications/pub4.doc for one case study).

Read the rest of the article at ArticleBase.com.

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