Win a copy of Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond
this week in the Food Preservation forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Leigh Tate
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Greg Martin
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Nancy Reading
  • Mike Barkley
  • L. Johnson

Arizona Earthbag construction

 
Burt Kemper
Posts: 3
Location: Zone 7A
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anyone building with earthbags in Arizona. If so I need to know more about getting plans developed for a home. I also would like to know anyone in the Yavapai county area that has built with earthbags. Im trying to find a contractor designer that is familar with meeting building codes.
 
S Bengi
pollinator
Posts: 3420
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7 AHS:4 GDD:3000 Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
428
2
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You are most likely inside a city limit but if you do build outside any city limit you dont need to build to code.
I am not too sure they have a code for earthbag?

I would do a quick google search to see who else have build one near you and see who they used or if they can help.
I would also love to know if your are going to build a food forest and if so what plants you are going to get.

Someday hopefully I will get to where you are at and I will be able to build my home.
 
Burt Kemper
Posts: 3
Location: Zone 7A
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

S Bengi wrote:You are most likely inside a city limit but if you do build outside any city limit you dont need to build to code.
I am not too sure they have a code for earthbag?

I would do a quick google search to see who else have build one near you and see who they used or if they can help.
I would also love to know if your are going to build a food forest and if so what plants you are going to get.

Someday hopefully I will get to where you are at and I will be able to build my home.



Hi S. Bengi
Thank you for contributing I am not in the city limits the property is zoned RCU10a which means it's rural residential and it can come under building codes. Today I recommend to anyone building with any alternative materials to check their local Safety and Building Department. It's not so much the materials but meeting certain codes for load bearing walls and septic use etc. The International Residential Building Codes in my area have no restrictions to materials used the IRC codes do require load bearing insulation values and other code requirements much like any house construction.
Hence the reason for looking for a contractor familiar with what I want to build with and can keep me from having issue.

The Safety and Building Inspectors do not spend time trying to find code violations here as much but even with a 40 acre piece of property one still has to worry about a neighbor calling something in because they don't like what your doing. It is a risk that not many discuss on forums that I have seen.
Another issue is that if you build with out codes you run the risk of an inspector telling you you have to tear it down or costly fines or both and having to go back into making it compliant.

I would love to have been able to buy in some other place perhaps with no building codes but I follow a wise practice of building environmentally, sustainable and preparedness which leads to building with in easy distance of where you are. Available materials on the land and water needs are all important reasons to make your decisions on.

I wish you luck in finding that piece for yourself as it already brought me piece of mind.
 
Taylor Chamberlain
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have just begun looking into building with earthbag construction in Navajo County AZ. I am trying to gather as much info as possible at this time before I get started; in that search I came across this firm which will do the engineering of your plans to code: http://www.structure1.com/index.html . I have called and spoken to the owner and he has done other earthbag projects to code (approved) in AZ.
 
Zinnia Bryant
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello, I'm considering buying land in yavapai county and would like to learn how to build earthbag homes. If anyone is taking on this task in Arizona and would like some help, please let me know. I'm willing to give my time on weekends for the learning experience. My email is zbryant8@yahoo.com. Thanks and good luck!
 
Jack Kemplin
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I also live in Yavapai County & am considering on Earthbag or Compact Earth house, & would like to know what the local laws are regarding this.
 
Jim Grieco
Posts: 67
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello everyone! Just saw this thread and wanted to jump in. We have land outside of Seligman, AZ and are seriously considering an earth bag home. Off-grid no codes. We actually have bags already and are visiting Cal Earth this weekend for their open house. We are far from being an expert but are happy to get in on the discussion

Jim
 
Donna Trimble
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jim.  I have property in between Seligman and Ash Fork AZ & was wondering if you had made any progress with earthbag building?  My plan is to build Spiral 2 one of Owen Geiger's house plans bags filled with scoria.  Would love any feedback anyone might have.  

When I talked with Yavapai County about plans for earthbag homes they said that they must be engineer stamped.  Structure1 has been recommended by Dr Geiger for this purpose.
 
S. Carpenter
Posts: 7
Location: zone 10 B, S. Florida
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd like to know how this turned out for you.  We have land in Rimrock, (Yavapai Cnty) and are considering either super or hyper adobe, or cob.  Did you have any issues with building with earth?  Thank you!
 
Endi Moore
Posts: 2
forest garden trees tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We're doing research on Mohave County for earthbag building. Lots of info and so far have found that "alternative" building does require a stamp.
Any others here that have built earthbag structures?
 
Ron West
Posts: 21
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Try looking at the Coconino county web site. They have an earthbag section. I'm trying right now to get approved for an EB home. It's slow going.
 
Ron West
Posts: 21
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jim Grieco wrote:Hello everyone! Just saw this thread and wanted to jump in. We have land outside of Seligman, AZ and are seriously considering an earth bag home. Off-grid no codes. We actually have bags already and are visiting Cal Earth this weekend for their open house. We are far from being an expert but are happy to get in on the discussion

Jim

  I recommend going on the county web site and making sure about codes. Daily fines and taking down the structure are possibilities.
 
Ron West
Posts: 21
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I looked at the Yavapai county site and they want permits and inspections for everything. I did not look that hard,  but saw nothing about EB homes.
 
Tim Burns
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was considering the same thing in Apache county, and wound up contacting an earthbag engineering form known as structure1. They would be happy to engineer your structure for you, but when I inquired, they would utilize the properties of rubble stone in their calculations. As far as I know Yavapai, Apache and Navajo counties will let you build using alternative methods, BUT you have to have engineer stamped plans. That pretty much absolves the building code people from any liability. Though your experience may (and probably will) be different than mine I remember it would have cost about $4000 to get drawings.
 
Nicholas Kush
Posts: 1
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am a natural builder living in Phoenix Arizona. I have built cob, adobe, and wood hybrids. I am starting an earthbag hybrid project in Idaho until winter comes (first experience with earthbags). After fall I will be available in Arizona to help with earthbag or any natural building project if needed.
 
eksha edwards
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, I am looking for a person who can help me to build a  earth bag home in eloy arizona. I googled but did not find anyone. Please help if you anyone interested .
 
G Da
Posts: 1
Location: Washington/Oregon
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am also looking at Apache County and possibly Mojave County. How are those homes coming along?
 
Ron West
Posts: 21
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Coconino county. Single wall earthbag walls don't meet the county's requirements without 2 inches of foam panels to meet required R values. I never could find an online statement of what Rvalue a cinder rock and dirt filled earthbag would be. While the ADEQ says a double vault compost toilet is approved you will need a septic tank for greywater? I had planned watering shade trees with greywater and running any excess or plumbing problems I would have a diversion to a pit filled with wood chips and some plants. I guess that's why so many people live in travel trailers.
               My earthbag build is on hold.
 
Jay VeeKay
Posts: 4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am in Apache county and wanting to build with earth bags. I’m confused as to how to find an engineer. A friend is building a rammed earth building and found a guy who will stamp his plans but wants him to draw them himself and then he will stamp them so I’m confused as to how that process actually works? I’m struggling with the plans situation. We would really like to have our house permitted. Our building office folks are very nice but it’s hard to get a hold of them.
 
Ron West
Posts: 21
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
jay, you need to find an engineer who will make plans for you and stamp them. If you just build without a permit it will bite you later on with daily fines and the possibility of having to destroy your own home or pay back the county for doing it. I am just telling you to it right. Yeah, it sucks.
 
Finn Macheit
Posts: 3
Location: Tucson, AZ
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nicholas Kush wrote:I am a natural builder living in Phoenix Arizona. I have built cob, adobe, and wood hybrids. I am starting an earthbag hybrid project in Idaho until winter comes (first experience with earthbags). After fall I will be available in Arizona to help with earthbag or any natural building project if needed.



I'm going to be looking into eventually constructing an earthbag home in Williams, so I just might have to look you up!
 
phil grieves
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


Where can I find an affordable plot of land or foreclosure with land to build an earth bag dome home on in Arizona? That is building codes will allow this?
 
                                    
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, we are in the process of getting land in Maricopa county. We would love to consult with you on this project! (732) 858-4459
 
Rose Nicholas
Posts: 16
1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi.  We are getting ready to start our sandbag house build in Concho, AZ. We have floor plans/blueprints from Owen Geiger and have made updates and changes to suit our needs. We are in Apache County, which does have building codes set out for sandbag building, and can be downloaded and presented to other counties for approval if you want to do so. We are currently completing the septic, water lines and tank, and electrical runs from the battery house location. The fence should be completed my mid March and construction will begin at that time. Feel free to contact me with questions or advise. All is welcome.

Thanks,
 Rose
 
Venisa Hardiman
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Nicholas, i would like to tslk more in depth about building earthbag house in the arizona area. Would love  to get your email.  Thanks.
 
Mikhail Mulbasicov
Posts: 62
8
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This Youtube Channel might interest people who find this Az Earth Bag thread.

This is Cochise County, AZ.

Its probably the most "comprehensive" how to example I've seen.

You just have to scroll through their content, so many episodes.

As far as the construction, they seem to have a fairly good plan.

(i think) they built a couple of demo walls.
Then a half-buried underground cistern (23' dia.?), lined it with a poly liner.
Then 'bagged' (lolz) a root cellar.
Now they are in the middle of their twin dome house.

Point is, gaining a lot of experience and tools and know-how as they move a long, doing the small accessory structures first.
I think they've been to some earthbag 'clinics' or whatever before they got started.



Honestly, I don't believe many are fully aware for what they are in for attempting an earth bag project....in the Arizonan desert.
...its going to take forever and involve a lot of hard manual labor.
I have a lot of respect for these two....

==============

Here's the opposite end of the spectrum:
-Much Smaller dome.
-Walk in access.
-No onsite water.
-Hotter, lower elevation desert

"It took 90 days of labor (est average of 5 hrs per day) and a bit over $2000 in material expenses for me to get to this point."







 
Mark Jacobs
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cochise county doesn't have building codes. You can build what ever you want. But good luck drilling a well. The farmers and ranchers suck up all the water in that area. That's what happens when there is no resource management.
 
Mikhail Mulbasicov
Posts: 62
8
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mark Jacobs wrote: But good luck drilling a well. The farmers and ranchers suck up all the water in that area. That's what happens when there is no resource management.



yeah, makes the rainwater collection strategy a priority.

Funny, because decades ago, some of the disadvantages to having a remote property were having no public utilities:

#1- No phone service (can now easily overcome with cellphones, etc...even mobile internet now)

#2- No electric ...solar might have predated cellphones, but is SOOOO much easier and affordable now (compared to 15 years ago)

#3- No sewer ....this is a no brainer, septic, etc.

#4- WATER!  So now that might be a deal breaker for areas like Cochise county, Sulphur Springs valley, Willcox, etc.
Those big agricultural areas, with the 40 acres primitive "ranch" subdivisions? ...you are likely screwed going forward.
Those big globo-agri-corporations are going to suck all that dry, or draw down enough to render your well useless.

So that leaves other 40-acre-ranch-subdivision-thingies ...in the middle of "rangeland" or the desert....places like Concho, etc.
Where rainfall is 6" to 10", and the water table is deep ...
....and then all your neighbor's start popping up, due to the easy-ability of items #1,#2,#3 above.
THEY start sucking down what little water there is/was.

Many people are buying these properties with the intent to grow crops, to feed themselves or have some quasi-market-gardener-setup.....
Keep a few animals (goats, a cow, even chickens, etc.).  Stuff like that.  THAT takes a lot of water.  More than you think.

So either:

- WELL:
Roll the dice with $40,000 or $50,000 trying to drill a well... put in a recovery tank, solar pump, solar panels, etc.
Maybe you are only out $10,000 or $15,000 if the drillers try and don't succeed. (go 800' to 1,000'...dry hole).
Really deep hole takes a lot of power to lift that kind of head .... DC? ... Solar pumps for a 600' well...good luck $$$.

- HUGE RAINCOLLECTOR SYSTEM:  
You are talking somewhere that gets limited precipitation.  
So ALOT of square footage catchment area is required.  
You are talking more than the humble dwelling, shop, and barn you are building .....
HUGE tanks and cisterns.  That's a lot fixed cost and construction on hardware, landscape, or structures.

Both of these take a lot of capital, and resources.
 
Charlotte Corbitt
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Rose
Congratulations on starting your build!!!
I was curious what your water
Plan is for Concho.  Is it well,  cistern,  hauling? If it is well,  how deep is the water table in concho.?
We are looking at property and laying plans for an earth bag build.  
Best of luck and wishes for a peaceful,  quick and successful build.
 
Miles Flansburg
pollinator
Posts: 4696
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
475
3
hugelkultur forest garden fungi books bee greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have enjoyed watching the "Green Dream" couple's youtube channel and have recently discovered this family.
 
Mikhail Mulbasicov
Posts: 62
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thinking about this ....


Seems a common strategy is to build a small shade canopy from the get go:
- park the RV underneath while you're out there getting started.
- shade
- for a work space to cut lumber, prepare materials, store supplies.
- shade
- doubles as a rain collector (this is a biggie if no well or water supply)
- shade

It would seem to me it might make a worth while investment to buy a pole barn / hay barn kit.
....and this seems like the radical part ... get one and build that first right over the earthbag home location.
AND, possibly even leave it there permanently.

1: SHADE it will provide shade the entire time you are working.
- earth bag building seems labor intensive.
- takes a long time to complete if only 2 or 3 people are doing it
- protects bags from UV radiation (10a-4p)
- protects unfinished cob, plaster, wood elements, etc from rain.
- allows for intermittent work onsite if the site has to be abandoned (injury, "too hot", sickness, emergency back home, etc)

2: could use for rainwater collection upon the immediate onset of the project.
- a large roof area would be huge collector.
- collection surfaces would be up higher, more potential for a higher storage to use gravity

3: could leave it in place long term
- would shade the house and immediate area from intense sun
- would protect the cob (glorified mud) from rain, hail, etc.

I know it would be a big "input" and investment, but long term I think that would pay big time dividends.
Of course one could take it down and reuse it on the property somewhere else on the property.

The rain water collection is a biggie, as most of these properties I see have no water.
I don't see the dome style (full dome to the very top) working out so well for rain collection ... especially a mudded dome.
The houses are small typically, and therefore, if even a roofed earth bag house isn't going to have a large roof area.

A person could repurpose an old hay barn, etc.
 
Mary Babbet
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rose, Wondering how the project is going. How was it working with Apache county on this alternative building style? We’re looking into retiring around there and would love your input on earth bag building in that area. TIA
 
Rose Nicholas
Posts: 16
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Mary,

We have a well on the property that is deep enough to be in the aquifer.  The water is 120 ft deep and has tested clean and good to drink.  We have a pump which we are currently useing a generator for, but will be adding the 4 solar pannels in a few weeks which will more than run the pump.  We have a 1500 gal water tank and are putting in an 86 gallon pressure tank with pump for the house so we will always have enough pressure to run the washer or take a shower.  We will be adding a water catchment system to the house as well, which may prove to be quite an advantage.  We are putting in the foundation rows for the home and making small adjustments as well, to ensure that we have everything accounted for.   Hope this helps.

Rose
 
Mikhail Mulbasicov
Posts: 62
8
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mikhail Mulbasicov wrote:Thinking about this ....


Seems a common strategy is to build a small shade canopy from the get go:
- park the RV underneath while you're out there getting started.
- shade
- for a work space to cut lumber, prepare materials, store supplies.
- shade
- doubles as a rain collector (this is a biggie if no well or water supply)
- shade

It would seem to me it might make a worth while investment to buy a pole barn / hay barn kit.
....and this seems like the radical part ... get one and build that first right over the earthbag home location.
AND, possibly even leave it there permanently.

1: SHADE it will provide shade the entire time you are working.
- earth bag building seems labor intensive.
- takes a long time to complete if only 2 or 3 people are doing it
- protects bags from UV radiation (10a-4p)
- protects unfinished cob, plaster, wood elements, etc from rain.
- allows for intermittent work onsite if the site has to be abandoned (injury, "too hot", sickness, emergency back home, etc)

2: could use for rainwater collection upon the immediate onset of the project.
- a large roof area would be huge collector.
- collection surfaces would be up higher, more potential for a higher storage to use gravity

3: could leave it in place long term
- would shade the house and immediate area from intense sun
- would protect the cob (glorified mud) from rain, hail, etc.

I know it would be a big "input" and investment, but long term I think that would pay big time dividends.
Of course one could take it down and reuse it on the property somewhere else on the property.

The rain water collection is a biggie, as most of these properties I see have no water.
I don't see the dome style (full dome to the very top) working out so well for rain collection ... especially a mudded dome.
The houses are small typically, and therefore, if even a roofed earth bag house isn't going to have a large roof area.

A person could repurpose an old hay barn, etc.



===============

Followup to the above quote.

I think in some environments, one of those Quonset-hut-shade-canopies between two shipping containers seem neat as all hell.



Anywhere from $2K to $5K or more....seems like a big investment I know, but its really a no brainer.

Most of these projects, these people have at least one shipping container onsite already, for storage and/or security reasons.
Two is not uncommon.

You can build the bag-house in the shade in Hot climates: better work environment, UV protection for bags, etc.
(Green Dream Project had bags erode from UV; cob got washed off; etc)
Would protect from driving rain as you work on cob exterior, etc.   Would keep area dry in wet climates.
Say if you had to temporary abandon the site for a couple of weeks or months .... at least the partially built structure would sort of be protected from the sun and elements.   You might even be able to throw up a few chain-link panels on the two end openings between the containers and temp fence it to keep lookie-loos out .... or rogue cattle, etc.

Think about most of lower Arizona is the summer, spring, and fall.   You might want to work at night, or very very early AM when its dark.
Sure, you'd have to do lights w/ generator ... (maybe LED flood lights with a battery-bank/solare set up) ... I would think the light would reflect light "softly" and scatter light off of the fabric roof ... and make a work environment there.  But really IDK.

Most of 'these people' (lolz) usually build multiple structures ... once finished with one structure, set up over another, and so on.

OK, going to work on a large garden or orchard, anywhere with intensive labor

And that brings me to the obvious/possible end game(s) for canopy:

-A- shade cloth over garden or orchard or nursey (brutal AZ heat/sun).

-B- convert into green house or something (colder climates).

-C- could convert into a large chicken coop.
Could either drop the whole thing on the ground, or remount on a series of posts (shorter than a the height of a ship container).
One maybe one container on the west side (e.g. hot AZ), do posts on the other.
Leave the white roof cloth up, and chicken wire the perimeter "walls" made by the vertical posts.

-D- impromptu barn
 
Mikhail Mulbasicov
Posts: 62
8
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Miles Flansburg wrote:I have enjoyed watching the "Green Dream" couple's youtube channel and have recently discovered this family.



I watch both of these channels (shows?)... Green Dream Project (GDP), and Tiny Shiny Home (TSH).

I guess a common theme I'm seeing is to live out of an RV/Trailer on site while you build the earth bag structures.
It seems you start with smaller accessory earthbag-buildings and projects to hone your skills before attempting 'bagging' the main house.
Its smart.

GDP - did a sort of solar shed (adobe)....and a large half sunken round earth bag cistern (13' dia x 5' total height) first.

TSH - built a real nice solar shed / office.  And I guess is now doing a earth bag (hyper adobe really) large chicken run and coop.

To be brutally honest, I think GDP is way in over their head.
There is only two of them, and they are learning as they go.
Its taking forever.  
What if, god forbid, one of them falls, or gets sick, or a family thing comes up?
They'll have to abandon the whole thing....really worried about those two.
I understand the advantages of going corbel dome, but seems way too high.
If they had roofed the place at 8' or 9', they'd be done working on the interior.
I think they've been working one only one half/side of the twin-dome-house for over a year now ...and are no-where close to being done.

 
kayse williams
Posts: 1
Location: Hot Springs National Park, United States
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, we are also in Yavapai County and curious if any alternative building exists. We are also in Rimrock, AZ. I have heard that the codes here are very challenging. And building alternatively is not Encouraged.

I’d love to hear if anyone has been able to navigate Yavapai codes,
Kayse
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 2778
Location: Bendigo , Australia
200
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kayse, there is not a book off Alternative building that one flicks through and chooses a method they like.
Its more organic in you own thoughts.
Usually people have a material that appeals, or have seen a house they like or have plenty of material lying around.
Then a spark is ignited!
Have you had any 'ignition' yet?
 
Rose Nicholas
Posts: 16
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Folks,

We are finally going up on the walls of our earthbag home.  We have 4 people working 2-4 days a week using superadobe bags.  It is labor intensive, but it is now going much faster and easier.  You can use gravel in the bags, which will provide you with a much higher R-factor, but you must add in some form of stabilizer.  For clay soil, use Lime powder.  For sandy soil, use portland cement.  A 10:1 ratio is the best standard for this.  We are using Lime due to the very high clay content of our soil here in the White Mountains.  

As for water source, we have a deep well that is solar powered with a 1300 gal holding tank and an 80 gal pressurized tank for the house.  A 1250 gal septic tank with dispersal field is being installed in addition to the 1000 gal system already in place.  We will also be doing rain water catchment system.  

We are rapidly reaching a point where we must put in windows.  I have some standard windows that we purchased but I am considering round windows instead.    We are looking at pvc pipe, steel pipe, and any other idea anyone may have.  What about using a wood barrel, cut in half? for each window?  Any ideas?  Need all the help we can get on this!

Thanks
Rose
 
Kondukt McGillivary
Posts: 4
Location: Tucson, AZ
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Rose Nicholas wrote:Hi Folks,

We are finally going up on the walls of our earthbag home.  We have 4 people working 2-4 days a week using superadobe bags.  It is labor intensive, but it is now going much faster and easier.  You can use gravel in the bags, which will provide you with a much higher R-factor, but you must add in some form of stabilizer.  For clay soil, use Lime powder.  For sandy soil, use portland cement.  A 10:1 ratio is the best standard for this.  We are using Lime due to the very high clay content of our soil here in the White Mountains.  

As for water source, we have a deep well that is solar powered with a 1300 gal holding tank and an 80 gal pressurized tank for the house.  A 1250 gal septic tank with dispersal field is being installed in addition to the 1000 gal system already in place.  We will also be doing rain water catchment system.  

We are rapidly reaching a point where we must put in windows.  I have some standard windows that we purchased but I am considering round windows instead.    We are looking at pvc pipe, steel pipe, and any other idea anyone may have.  What about using a wood barrel, cut in half? for each window?  Any ideas?  Need all the help we can get on this!

Thanks
Rose



How long do you anticipate the rest of your project taking? Might be interesting & educational (for me) to come help for a weekend.
 
Rose Nicholas
Posts: 16
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We are hoping to have the house up by the end of February.   If you would like to come up, we will be more than appreciative of the help.  Once the structure is complete, we will also have to complete the interior cobbing and the exterior. Just let us know when you can come and we will be ready.  

Thanks
Rose
 
I wish to win the lottery. I wish for a lovely piece of pie. And I wish for a tiny ad:
Pre-order Certified Garden Master course - LIVE Stream
https://permies.com/wiki/170833/Pre-order-Certified-Garden-Master
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic