While pondering the strength of earth bags and suitability to carry a heavy load, I though that maybe pairing the concept of reinforced sand with earth bags and thought the large (example 41 x 41 x 52 inches) bulk bags could be filled with tamped sand interspersed with window screen pieces that create a reinforced layer, something like every 8 inches. These bags typically can hold 1,000-1,200 lbs, so obviously they would need to be filled in place unless a small crane is available.
An ancillary idea involves placing rods at the intersection of each bag with a buried attachment on one end buried in the berm to act as a stabilizing “deadman” and the other end projecting from the bags onto which a facing could be attached.
I posted a few days ago about being gifted an unused pallet of these bags. I'm going to try a few as raised beds. Pondered the use as gable ends for a sunken greenhouse. The thermal mass of these used in earthbag construction might not outweigh the logistics of size. It'll be an interesting journey in my repurposing them.
Our inability to change everything should not stop us from changing what we can.
Location: USDA Zone 3-4/Sunset Zone 1a/in South Central WY
posted 9 months ago
I saw a YouTube video from Simply Living Alaska where they used earthbags to build their root cellar. Might be worth a watch to see if you can apply any of their techniques to your greenhouse.
posted 9 months ago
Kani Seifert wrote:I saw a YouTube video from Simply Living Alaska where they used earthbags to build their root cellar. Might be worth a watch to see if you can apply any of their techniques to your greenhouse.
Thanks! I’ll check it out.
I had an additional idea for these bags, apart from the structural idea using the reinforced sand idea. The bags could be filled with small sticks and leaves to create a insulating wall for the ends of the greenhouse. Stacked and attached to each other at the ends, they could be removed in the spring. You could theoretically insulate the sides of an existing greenhouse with these bags filled with material that creates some airspace between the material and prevent bridging. Even cardboard boxes assembled could maintain the shape of the bag and insulate the walls. One issue I see is settling and especially snow load, so keeping the contents of the bags dry and allowing for shedding of snow load (obviously also an issue with the south facing glazed wall. Air infiltration between the bags could be addressed in any number of ways using up cycled materials. Perhaps a combination of assembled cardboard boxes bound together filled with leaves and sticks inside the bags could provide a decent R-value. Add a cloth over the glazing, or whatever material the south facing wall is made of, to lower radiation from within the greenhouse could become viable for a decent stretch of the winter.
Search for "hesco" they were used in Iraq a lot, basically a quick unfolding gabbion cage with bulk bag liner to make giant sandbags for walls and such. Pretty cheap to diy with cattle panel and bulk bags. You will need something to protect from UV
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