• 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 experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin

in ground earthbag home

 
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to build an earthbag home but i want it mostly underground. Have you heard of anyone doing this? Is there a web site to locate builders? Ive done lots of research on earthbags but would rather get it done right the first time.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1003
Location: Victoria BC
113
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It seems like it should be a good fit as long as you design for the forces in play, given that poly earthbags shouldn't be too bothered by moisture. I don't think it's common, but I recalled seeing a picture of a tiny outbuilding covered in earth. Tracked down the source: http://www.earthbagbuilding.com/projects/mendome.htm

There is also an FAQ on the subject on the same site. http://www.earthbagbuilding.com/faqs/underground.htm

A couple more examples were quick to find via google:
http://www.wildernesscollege.com/earthbags.html
http://www.survivalright.com/underground-shelter.html
 
Posts: 18
Location: NORTH Great plains (spit wrong and hit Canada)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

kristin gooding wrote:I want to build an earthbag home but i want it mostly underground. Have you heard of anyone doing this? Is there a web site to locate builders? Ive done lots of research on earthbags but would rather get it done right the first time.



I too am planning a partially buried (earth sheltered) Earthbag house. I have reviewed the high seismic zone recommendations for reinforcement and will be slightly curving the back wall into the hillside as well as leaning it into the slope for strength and stability, and using rebar pins and wooden bond beams, and a Ferro-cement surface plaster. A good drainage plan and putting the house nearly at the crest of the slope will make it stay dryer than the average local basement we hope (the local basements aren't bad mind you we just want it innately dryer as just living in it will add lots of moisture).
 
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My husband and I are in the process of doing an earthbag house set in the ground about 3 1/2 feet. Its a roundhouse with a self supporting gable roof to shed snow ( were located in the UP). Were using a french drain placed below the frost line with it spanning 25 feet out from the building site. We have a big overhang to help keep water/snow away. With 2x12 lumber for the rafters to support the snow. Were using a sandy/gravelly fill for the bags to help with the mositure issue around here.
A question for dillion, could you tell us more about your ferro-cement plaster? Clay is very hard to get around here and were a little stuck on what to do about the outside plaster? We've read a little about lime and/or cement but do not know enough about it.
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
Posts: 1003
Location: Victoria BC
113
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Time Beardsley wrote:A question for dillion, could you tell us more about your ferro-cement plaster?


I think you meant JJ!

I'm a bit confused by the term, since ferro-cement is cement reinforced with steel/iron... how iron reinforcement works as part of a surface coat of plaster, I'm not sure!
 
Posts: 2413
46
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I try to not generally get too deep into the EB discussions, unless I see a "direct question," or I am able to speak to or an overt observation about a method that can and has lead to issues. I admit I have some strong reservation about this "repurposing" of this "gabion and embattlement/erosion strengthening methods" into domestic architecture that has become EB architecture. Yet I do see some possible positives in certain applications.

In this thread my primary concern will be with improper plaster choices. OPC cement plasters/renders (aja ferro cement) are not a "good practice" in either natural building or any structure that is expected not to have moisture issue and good ventilation. It may seem disconnected (I don't believe it is) but the following video's of a professional colleague of mine speaks to the many challenges that opc cement renders have on architecture....I would further note, that it can take years or decades before these issues reveal themselves and more time before the damage they cause are noted further. In general OPC or other modern cements are just not a good material to ever use in any application...and especially in natural building and its related systems.

Hertitage House





 
Jj Grey
Posts: 18
Location: NORTH Great plains (spit wrong and hit Canada)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:I try to not generally get too deep into the EB discussions, unless I see a "direct question," or I am able to speak to or an overt observation about a method that can and has lead to issues. I admit I have some strong reservation about this "repurposing" of this "gabion and embattlement/erosion strengthening methods" into domestic architecture that has become EB architecture. Yet I do see some possible positives in certain applications.

In this thread my primary concern will be with improper plaster choices. OPC cement plasters/renders (aja ferro cement) are not a "good practice" in either natural building or any structure that is expected not to have moisture issue and good ventilation. It may seem disconnected (I don't believe it is) but the following video's of a professional colleague of mine speaks to the many challenges that opc cement renders have on architecture....I would further note, that it can take years or decades before these issues reveal themselves and more time before the damage they cause are noted further. In general OPC or other modern cements are just not a good material to ever use in any application...and especially in natural building and its related systems.

Hertitage House







I am not sure how retrofitted old houses compare to new houses built with the materials in mind in the first place.
Ferro-cement does not have to use _Portland_ cement and I am looking at some of the other cements and possibly other fibers - but plastering, preferably something proof against erosion will be required to protect the bags and foam board insulation that we will be using from sun rain snow and freezing temperatures. Supposedly a sufficiently 'rich' mix of Portland over stainless steel lathe would meet this need and provide some additional structural strength. Can you recommend an alternative that would meet those needs - and be affordable and accessable? We live VERY rural and if it isn't very common it will be impossible to buy locally.
A large (2-4 foot) roof overhand on all sides is planned, overhanging the bermed and unbermed walls, but by itself it would be insufficient protection for a clay plaster; as we have constant and gusting winds and driving rain, hail, sleet, snow, as well as temperatures ranging from -50F to +105F. Our siding must withstand this with little to no ongoing maintenance.
 
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
With regards to the ferrocement plaster it might be the laminated ferro-cement plaster that has chicken wire or similar sized mesh pushed into it to add strength.

War ships and pontoons in the Second World War were made with the laminated ferro-cement process and some are still around today. You can also add rice husk to the cement mix or other type of ash to make pozzolana cement, a Roman waterproof cement used for boatbuilding, that may also be suitable for underground constructions.

I've not used it but have researched it.
 
I do some of my very best work in water. Like this tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater heats your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove
http://woodheat.net
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!