I am planning to build a pole barn. I want to build it on the side of a hill with one side built into the hill. I would like to build into the hill to a depth resulting with about a 5 ft earthbag wall with crusher run limestone in the bags. A french drain would be put on the outside with some crushed rock to relieve hydraulic pressure. I would like some ideas on how to interface the poles to the earthbag partial wall. Would buttresses be needed? I can cut some red oak lumber on my portable sawmill for the sill on top of the earthbags or do a concrete beam. If the poles are 6", and are set in the center of the bag, how do I get the siding to shed water on the outside of the bags. I know I will need to put girts on the poles for siding but they typically aren't more than 2x4s. Looking for ideas.
Mike ~ It sounds to me like your plan is fraught with nothing but making a very simple building difficult. Why even attempt to integrate earthbags with the pole building wall? Seemingly it would be far easier to use the earthbags as a retaining wall outside of the pole building.
I'm thinking of building a pole barn too so your question caught my eye. I'm in zone 5b so insulation is important, the possiblity of using some kind of earth berm system like Oehler's psp, strawbale, clay slip are the main ones I've looked at. If I do build a good size one (40 x 30) i'll probably go with putting the posts on concrete pads, siding with green oak and doing a straw-clay slip insulation, then terracing into the hill to hold the hill since it's into a hill. I am still intrigued with the psp system and have been since i met oehler in 1982 but i mostly worry about termites so i might build a small, say, 15 x 15 structure and bury it to see how it holds up.
What are you using the pole barn for? What zone are you in? rainfall? what kind of roof?
good luck, keep us posted on how you're doing.
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