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*Welcome Kelly Hart, author of Essential Earthbag Construction: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide  RSS feed

 
master steward
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Please join me in welcoming Kelly Hart, author of Essential Earthbag Construction: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide






Read the book review here!

Kelly Hart will be hanging out in the forums until Friday, June 8th, 2018 answering questions and sharing his experiences with you all.

At the end of the week, we'll have a drawing for 4 lucky winners to win a copy of his book! From now until Friday, all new posts in the earth bag forum are eligible to win.

To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up to receive  the Daily-ish email.

The winners will be notified by Personal Moosage and must respond within 48 hours. Only the winners who respond within that timeframe will receive their book. Watch for a PM, and a notice in this thread announcing the winners!


Please remember that we favor perennial discussion.  The threads you start will last beyond the event.  You don't need to use Kelly Hart's name get his attention. We like these threads to be accessible to everyone, and some people may not post their experiences if the thread is directed to the author alone.


Posts in this thread won't count as an entry to win the book, but please say "Hi!" to Kelly Hart and make him feel welcome!
 
master steward
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Welcome Kelly.  Thanks for visiting our forums.  I can't wait to learn more about Earthbag construction.
 
pollinator
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Welcome Kelly!  I've read a little on and off about using earthbags, but I've never tried them myself. Hopefully people will come up with some really interesting questions/threads while you're visiting permies. Thanks for taking the time to visit.
 
gardener
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Welcome Mr. Hart, My wife and I have been learning about earth bag building off and on for the last three years. I look forward to your thoughts and answers to questions.

Redhawk
 
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Welcome Mr Hart. I'm just beginning to learn about Earthbag construction.
 
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Hi Kelly! We are excited for your new book. You have such a great way of explaining things and are so generous with your knowledge and experience. Your willingness to answer our questions made our build easier. Thank you.
 
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I have in my minds eye an earthbag-based greenhouse. I hope to learn from you.
 
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Welcome here and thank you for writing the book.
 
pollinator
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Hi Mr Hart and welcome!
 
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Welcome! I'm excited to learn about earthbag construction. I did an apprenticeship on cob building and workshop for strawbale but also would be interested in building an earthbag as well.
 
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Location: Wichita, United States
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Earthbag construction holds a lot of interest for me for future plans.  Looking forward to reading more on it.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I moved a bunch of people's posts--and Kelly's great responses--to their own threads. That way, those questions qualify for our drawing!
 
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WOW...this is fabulous!  Welcome Kelly!!!
PLEASE give information on WHERE earthbag building is accepted.
What is the point of learning HOW if there is no opportunity to
apply?  
*Where in CA can you build?  
*Is this only for a retirement person?
*If location is so limited then jobs are limited.

In other words...great idea, but application seems difficult.

Thank you...
 
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Looks like Kelly's got a good book for smaller projects - not sure about living in one too long!  But thinking about it too build a permanent greenhouse!
 
author
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Joe Adventure wrote:WOW...this is fabulous!  Welcome Kelly!!!
PLEASE give information on WHERE earthbag building is accepted.
What is the point of learning HOW if there is no opportunity to
apply?  
*Where in CA can you build?  
*Is this only for a retirement person?
*If location is so limited then jobs are limited.

In other words...great idea, but application seems difficult.

Thank you...


Just because earthbag building may not be addressed in most building codes, it doesn't mean that you can't do it. You just might have to go through some extra steps to get a permit, if that is required. Many jurisdictions will allow alternative building methods if the plans are stamped by a state-licensed architect or engineer. Also, there are many counties where codes are not operative or are less stringent.

I know that in Hesperia, California the CalEarth Institute got code acceptance for several of their designs.

Anybody could benefit from earthbag building, including retired people.

It is true that there are limited job opportunities with earthbag building, but I frequently am asked by potential clients where they can find builders familiar with earthbags.

Beyond building residences, earthbags can be used to build outbuildings, root cellars, retaining walls, dams, cisterns, etc... so there are many applications.
 
raven ranson
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Alan Olson wrote:Looks like Kelly's got a good book for smaller projects - not sure about living in one too long!  But thinking about it too build a permanent greenhouse!



I can build a greenhouse with earthbags?  Why has no one told me this before?

I knew there are some amazing building built with earthbags, but can it really work for something as simple (and damp) as a greenhouse?
 
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Neat.  I will have to check this out.  I have some serious back issues, so it may not work for me, but my son has expressed interest in building his own house.  Thanks!

Happy trails,

Keith
 
Kelly Hart
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r ranson wrote:

Alan Olson wrote:Looks like Kelly's got a good book for smaller projects - not sure about living in one too long!  But thinking about it too build a permanent greenhouse!



I can build a greenhouse with earthbags?  Why has no one told me this before?

I knew there are some amazing building built with earthbags, but can it really work for something as simple (and damp) as a greenhouse?


There have been hundreds of beautiful homes all over the world made with earthbags. They can be very comfortable, durable and sustainable.

Earthbags can be used for all of the walls of a greenhouse other than where the glazing will go. They can provide the thermal mass needed for a well-designed solar greenhouse. Earthbags are not generally negatively affected by moisture.
 
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Welcome looking forward to learning more about earthbag building
 
Joe Stevens
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I know that in Hesperia, California the CalEarth Institute got code acceptance for several of their designs.  



Thanks Kelly...by retirement and employment I refer to location, if Hesperia, CA allows for earthbag designs, the one has to move to Hesperia and is limited to working from Hesperia which means one would almost need to be retired to live there.  Same with other counties. Agreed earthbag designs as supplemental use is great, but not for home use. Then there are the locals who have traditional housing not usually thrilled their neighbor has a "hobbit home" next door. Just keeping it real.
 
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Welcome !

Thanks for joining us to share your knowledge.
 
Kelly Hart
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Joe Adventure wrote:

I know that in Hesperia, California the CalEarth Institute got code acceptance for several of their designs.  



Thanks Kelly...by retirement and employment I refer to location, if Hesperia, CA allows for earthbag designs, the one has to move to Hesperia and is limited to working from Hesperia which means one would almost need to be retired to live there.  Same with other counties. Agreed earthbag designs as supplemental use is great, but not for home use. Then there are the locals who have traditional housing not usually thrilled their neighbor has a "hobbit home" next door. Just keeping it real.


I mention Hesperia just as an example of the fact that it is possible to get code acceptance. In most jurisdictions it is possible to build with any alternative technology if you are willing to jump through some extra hoops. Often what is required is to get a state-licensed architect or engineer to stamp the plans as safe and meeting the intent of the codes. This absolves the building inspectors of the liability for allowing an unconventional building.

I disagree with you that earthbag building is only useful for supplemental purposes. There have been many lovely and comfortable homes built with earthbags; they can resemble most conventional building styles, so the neighbors should have no basis for complaint.
 
Joe Stevens
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Chalk this up to electronic communication and its shortcomings...

I disagree with you that earthbag building is only useful for supplemental purposes.
There have been many lovely and comfortable homes built with earthbags; they can resemble
most conventional building styles, so the neighbors should have no basis for complaint.


I do not see this at the Cal Earth site anywhere...maybe I have missed this, but where?
Where are these homes being built and in what states and counties?  I see everything on
the HOW, but not much on the WHERE.  State codes and laws are huge hoops to deal with
and those are in off grid counties like Hesperia which is far from employment unless you
want to work a $10 hr job at the local Subway.  Few options in this location...
 
Kelly Hart
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Joe Adventure wrote:Chalk this up to electronic communication and its shortcomings...

I disagree with you that earthbag building is only useful for supplemental purposes.
There have been many lovely and comfortable homes built with earthbags; they can resemble
most conventional building styles, so the neighbors should have no basis for complaint.


I do not see this at the Cal Earth site anywhere...maybe I have missed this, but where?
Where are these homes being built and in what states and counties?  I see everything on
the HOW, but not much on the WHERE.  State codes and laws are huge hoops to deal with
and those are in off grid counties like Hesperia which is far from employment unless you
want to work a $10 hr job at the local Subway.  Few options in this location...


In the US, here are a few:
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/ranger.htm
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/kennedyhouse.htm
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/hawaii.htm
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/jtree.htm
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/kentucky.htm
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/hall.htm

In other countries:
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/casavergarar.htm
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/ibicoara.htm
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/casaeco.htm
http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/penrith.htm

And here are a bunch of videos from around the world:
http://earthbagbuilding.com/videos/worldvideos.htm

This is just the tip of the iceberg...





 
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Hi Kelly Hart,
I hope I win your book but if not I will definitely be looking into buying it at Amazon!
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. And I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.
Coleen “Coco” Newlon
 
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Hi Kelly! I’m really excited to read your book! I’m hoping to build a small Earthbag dome or cylindrical structure in Moab, UT. Do you have any recommendations for a natural type of roofing to protect from weather?

Thanks!
Elaine
 
Kelly Hart
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Elaine Chestler wrote:Hi Kelly! I’m really excited to read your book! I’m hoping to build a small Earthbag dome or cylindrical structure in Moab, UT. Do you have any recommendations for a natural type of roofing to protect from weather?

Thanks!
Elaine


There have been at least two buildings made with earthbags in Moab; see http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/kennedyhouse.htm and http://earthbagbuilding.com/articles/honeyhouse.htm

A green roof is probably the most natural; cedar shakes are nice; thatch is possible, but tricky to source the thatch and know how to do it.
 
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Hi Kelly, thank you very much as I have already learned so much from your blogs. And some questions just pop up every day.  

I would like to learn about eaves and loft in a dome structure.
During putting the joists for the loft, is it possible to use very long joists so that the outer parts are used for eaves?
 
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I built the largest Earthbag home in Arkansas. I think it's the largest. No one has challenged me yet. Its a 25 ft circle joined by another 20 ft circle. If you have one larger please let me know! Its been 10 years in the making and still a work in progress. You can find it on Zillow!

IMG_3118.JPG
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Largest Earthbag in Arkansas
IMG_0174.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0174.JPG]
Main living area
IMG_2011.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_2011.JPG]
2 Rocket Mass Heaters
IMG_7002.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_7002.JPG]
2011
 
Kelly Hart
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M. Tok wrote:Hi Kelly, thank you very much as I have already learned so much from your blogs. And some questions just pop up every day.  

I would like to learn about eaves and loft in a dome structure.
During putting the joists for the loft, is it possible to use very long joists so that the outer parts are used for eaves?


Yes it would be possible to do this. The issue would be waterproofing. Water running down the upper dome would encounter the exposed beams and eaves, so it would be necessary to somehow waterproof the connections between them. This is easier said than done. I might suggest placing a secondary conical or faceted roof over the whole dome, which would solve all of the problems at once, and make the dome habitable in very damp climates.
 
pollinator
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Holy crap, that's GORGEOUS!  

Kelly Hart wrote:

Elaine Chestler wrote:Hi Kelly! I’m really excited to read your book! I’m hoping to build a small Earthbag dome or cylindrical structure in Moab, UT. Do you have any recommendations for a natural type of roofing to protect from weather?

Thanks!
Elaine


There have been at least two buildings made with earthbags in Moab; see http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/kennedyhouse.htm and http://earthbagbuilding.com/articles/honeyhouse.htm

A green roof is probably the most natural; cedar shakes are nice; thatch is possible, but tricky to source the thatch and know how to do it.

 
Kelly Hart
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I have quite enjoyed hanging out at the Permies forum over the last week, and expect to check back in periodically.

I would encourage anyone who has questions about natural building and sustainable architecture in general, not just regarding earthbag building, to check out http://greenhomebuilding.com/ask_the_experts.htm. I have been directing questions to over 30 experts in virtually all aspects of this since the turn of the century. Many of these questions and responses have then been published on the website, organized according to topic on the appropriate pages. There is a true wealth of information available here!


 
Nicole Alderman
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We have four winners!

Bryant RedHawk  
Joshua Myrvaagnes
John C Daley  
jess Ó hEalaighthe

Please check your PMs so you we can get your books sent out to you! And, congratulations!!!
 
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