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Caliche for Earthbag home or shop?

 
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Howdy folks,

New to the forum, and wanting to build an earthbag shop here in West Texas.  Its not going to be anything monstrous, maybe 20 x 30.  I was going to get a dump truck or two full of local red dirt delivered for the project, then had another idea.  For those who know, Caliche is natures concrete.  I've used it for everything from driveways to walkways, as it packs really good.  It cheap out here per truckload (Cheaper than red dirt) and was wondering if I could use it in lieu of the clay/silt mixes.  Again, this stuff packs really tight, and of its packed damp and left to dry, the finished product is almost like concrete.

Thanks in advance, and I hope to learn alot from this forum.



Bob
 
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Thats exactly what we used here in the South of Mexico for our earthbag cottage.  Just ensure that it is moist enough when you fill those bags and tamp the bags down well, both from the top and from the sides so that you have a good surface when you start earth plastering or another kind of plaster.  It worked really well for us as our soil did not have enough clay content for earthbag construction.  
 
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http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/caliche/

Sounds like there are some interesting different preferred mixes, although some of those links are speaking for formless Adobe or R E , so they are gearing for bomber mixes, and it may not be worth the extra labor to mix such low stabilization into a bag mix. You could do some tests with different cheap fill materials, aggregate sizes, or various content ratios--every soil is unique and responds differently.
 
pollinator
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Location: Gaines County, Texas South of Seminole, Tx zone 7b/8a
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I may have to watch this for ideas what to do with the caliche that I end up pulling out of the areas that I will be digging down for water features.  Though most I was planning to make hill features that route more water to areas of my land here.   I am here in Gaines County not sure what part of west Texas you are.
 
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