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Archive for November, 2011

Permiesepulveda earthbag addition

Permiesepulveda earthbag addition


“So, we are actually making some progress on the earthbag addition. We framed all the walls, hung the sliding barn door and the bi-folding door, and the mud infill has been a whole lot of fun.

We will have a plaster party next month to cover the walls. The final step will be putting in the packed earth floor. Sometimes I go downstairs to check on the project and laugh to myself, “I am making an add-on out of mud and dirt!” Pretty funny.

I felt better when I heard a broadcast about straw and mud construction in Yemen. NPR had a really cool slide show of images from downtown Yemen where they have cob sky rise buildings that have been standing for 4 centuries!”

Source: Permiesepulveda.blogspot.com

[We don’t hear about earthbag additions very often. This is another great option.]

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The ‘Earthbag Shield’ covers and protects earthbag homes.

The ‘Earthbag Shield’ covers and protects earthbag homes.


What is the Earthbag Home Shield? It is a steel roof system intended to cover and protect an earthbag home.

The one aspect of earthbag construction that I struggled with the most was the roof. We here at Cozy Home Plans have come up with a great option to cover your EB home.

Benefits of an Earthbag Shield:
– It provides a completely covered and protected work area during the construction of your EB home.
– Aids in the necessary UV protection required during the construction phase.
– It gives you a completed primary roof allowing for many more cost effective options when choosing your ceiling options.
– The Shield creates an air void in between both structures to aid in heating and cooling the home.
– The roof trusses allow points for the anchoring and stabilizing of the walls to the roof.
– It gives your home a more traditional Ranch home look after the walls are finished.

The EB Shield is available in three different sizes… The 24′ x30′ is pictured above. Just add dirt, windows, doors, insulation, permission from your local building authority plus a few more things, mix together. Voila… you have a home that you probably paid cash for and did most of the work yourself.

24’ x 30’ $3,897.00 Includes 1000 new 18” x 30” Polypropylene Bags and Bonus Kit
24’ x 40’ $4,497.00 Includes 1300 new 18” x 30” Polypropylene Bags and Bonus Kit
24’ x 50’ $4,997.00 Includes 1500 new 18” x 30” Polypropylene Bags and Bonus Kit

Source: Cozy Home Plans
Earthbag buildings tips for solo builders

[This idea is popular with strawbale builders to protect the bales during and after construction. It’s especially practical in harsh climates, where it’s blazing hot or where there’s heavy snow or rain. Wide roof overhangs like this protect the plaster, doors and windows, and create wrap-around porches — a nice way to add extended living space at low cost (this is a topic of an upcoming blog post). Also note, you can use various roof styles to gain the same benefits.]

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Permaculture.tv Earthbag Projects in Uganda

Permaculture.tv Earthbag Projects in Uganda


“I check out materials available, some villages have stone, some make bricks, everybody had dirt. Timber is scarce and termites eat anything made of wood in weeks. If we use bricks they will need half the forests in Karamoja as firewood to bake them. Not very sustainable…everybody has dirt. Dirt? I remember making bunkers in the army, out of bags filled with dirt. Ah ha! Earthbag construction is the answer. With all that labour we can build earth-bag silos with few inputs. The construction method is used now all over the world with great success.

I placed some orders for hessian bags. No such thing in Uganda. Only potato sacks, which are 3 times too big. After lots of trial and error I end up with 25kg polyethylene rice bags as the material to start the job with. If the bags are too big they hold too much material and people can’t lift them. The trick now is to try them out and do some training at the same time.

I design a curved outdoor bench in our compound. If we are going to experiment we may as well make something permanent. The Green Warrior staff line up and listen while I tell them what we are going to do. They seem a bit bewildered because they have never heard of this type of construction before. Then again, I’ve introduced them to many things they’ve never seen before. I direct them to gather the different materials and tools we need.”

You can read about the various projects this group is building in Uganda by going to Permaculture.tv.
Earthbag Uganda

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Superadobe in Sabana de Bogotá by Arquitecto Jose Andres Vallejo

Superadobe in Sabana de Bogotá by Arquitecto Jose Andres Vallejo


Jose Andres Vallejo Arquitecto

Jose Andres Vallejo Arquitecto


Architecture in Balance is a design platform that specializes in sustainable architectural solutions. Architecture in Balance implements alternative technologies, construction of low environmental impact, integrating contemporary design to create innovative projects and balanced environments. Architecture in Balance encourages the use of unprocessed construction materials such as soil, and uses different methods such as superadobe systems, among others.

Bio-Construction Workshop
Land and Domes superadobe
6 to 9 December, 2011
Gachancipá, Ontario

Architecture in Balance is pleased to offer a new practical workshop construction technique or Earthbag superadobe. We will share the tools necessary to independently design and build eco-domes on the ground to shelter and housing.

Source: http://www.arquitecturaenequilibrio.com/
Flickr
Publication A57, Casa Vergara

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This Solar Pit House would work well in the area. (click to enlarge)

This Solar Pit House would work well in the area. (click to enlarge)


Imagine a creative, livable, affordable home. Now imagine it in Alaska. Join us in creating a model for a new era of Living Communities. First place prize of $35,000, and the winning design will be built!

The Aleutian Islands are home to some of the world’s longest continuously occupied communities, with evidence of human development dating back 8,500 years. These culturally rich and resilient communities represent a treasure trove for anyone interested in learning how humans might thrive in partnership with the ecosystems they inhabit. Yet current building practices begin with the assumption that materials must be transported thousands of miles, at great expense. Contemporary Aleutian residences are extremely expensive to build and maintain. They consume large quantities of scarce fossil fuels, and they have reduced utility lives in the fierce weather on these northern Pacific islands.

We know that there is a better way. The challenge now is to learn from both past techniques and current practices and expectations to create twenty-first century Aleutian residences that reflect the history, culture, resources and current aspirations of these communities.

Currently, the cost for a new 3-4 bedroom 1,176 to 1,344 square feet home in the region is between $356,000 and $431,000. For the contest, teams are required to develop a 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home with between 1150 and 1350 square feet of living space, suitable to the building lot specified in the village of Atka, with a construction budget of no more than $400,000. Online registration must be completed by December 1, 2011. (I probably won’t enter due to lack of time and the large amount of work required.)

Source: Living Aleutian Home Design Competition
Solar Pit House Building Details
Affordable, Superinsulated Cold Climate Homes

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Milkwood’s rocket stove water heater

Milkwood’s rocket stove water heater


Diagram of the Milkwood rocket stove water heater's internal workings

Diagram of the Milkwood rocket stove water heater's internal workings


“Rocket stoves are awesome, experimental, and a knowledge stream in flux. Or ours is, at any rate. Our rocket stove water heater has been doing its thing for nearly 3 years now, so we decided to take it apart and do a full examination of how it had fared.

So Nick and our current permaculture interns set to work completely dis-mantling the rocket stove water heater and examining all its components. We made new discoveries and adjustments, put it all back together, and then covered the whole thing with mud.”

You can read the full article at Milkwood Farm.
I love finding projects like this with all the details figured out!

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Craftsman Plastic Bottle Wall House (click to enlarge)

Craftsman Plastic Bottle Wall House (click to enlarge)


I asked for reader’s input in my previous blog post about the Shelters for All affordable housing contest. They’re seeking 700-1,100 sq. ft. one story house designs for the poorest in urban areas.

Unless I get another flash of inspiration, I’ve settled on the Craftsman house plan. I’ve made dozens of changes to suit the requirements of this contest. The main thing you’ll notice is the walls are not earthbag. I’ve decided on plastic bottle walls for this particular project. Earthbag is still a top choice in most cases, but I’m sure the contest jurors want thin walls that take up less space. The plastic bottle walls use bamboo, wood poles or concrete posts to create a post and beam structure that can withstand earthquakes. Bamboo is my first choice due to its sustainability. Bamboo is renewable, fast growing, produces oxygen and habitat, and only requires minimal processing. It’s not always available, of course, so I’m open to using wood poles or concrete posts as necessary.

Other changes to the design include outdoor laundry, lofts above the kid’s bedrooms for extra sleeping space for extended family, front porch with benches, garden, rain barrels, solar hot water, small solar panel, shower instead of bathtub and many other small details. I look forward to hearing your feedback. Please post your comments below.

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