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How comfy is an earthbag home in your climate?  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 204
Location: Morongo Valley
75
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My husband and I want to build using superadobe, initially a few "glamping" type dome structures (similar to the picture below, which is of Bonita Domes in Joshua Tree, CA), and later a Spanish style home with a framed roof.  We're planning to do this in SE AZ, down near Rodeo, NM.  Zone 8a, but a hot, high desert-ish area with short cool winters.  I realize there are concerns with overheating in the summer that must be managed.  We're hoping to do that the way we are in Morongo Valley (which is hotter) with adequate overhangs and exterior shading like trees and sunsails....  but a lot of testing is to come!  It's important to us to live without air conditioning, so I'm very interested in feedback from other people living without air co in hot climes.

So I'm wondering if those who have lived or stayed in earthbag-type structures could chime in with their experiences with comfort in those buildings?  

Also, could you please share your region and something like the hardiness zone of the building?

And what features do you think add a lot to the comfort of the home?

Thanks for any input!

 
Posts: 5
Location: New Zealand Samoa
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Hello, I have been wondering if this could be a solution to help people in Samoa living in poverty. Lots of houses have a leaking roof, could this process be used on the roof? Would the material withstand sudden heaven rainfall and cyclones? Could it help cool the homes as well?
 
Posts: 108
Location: San Diego, California
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Mamaro Folesi wrote:Hello, I have been wondering if this could be a solution to help people in Samoa living in poverty. Lots of houses have a leaking roof, could this process be used on the roof? Would the material withstand sudden heaven rainfall and cyclones? Could it help cool the homes as well?




I don't know about rain and earthbag dome in terms of sealing and structural reliability, but I do now that the plaster covering of the dome in the picture above will probably not last long in continuous high humidity and rain on Samoa - a Cob or earthblock dome would CERTAINLY not last.

from what I've read, earth homes in general last the longest with solid, water-proof roofs and foundations (good "hat and boots" keeps the walls dry and stable.)
 
Dustin Rhodes
Posts: 108
Location: San Diego, California
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I'm sure you've read a lot about Thermal Mass already, but here's something I have seen done:

If you are rainwater collecting or have a well, incorporate your water tank (usually ferrocement, maybe steel, but definitely not plastic) into the wall - the thermal mass of your water tank will take a LONG time to warm up, thereby delaying the heating of the house from the sun - plus, that's less wall you have to build!  Less piping to run too!

This may only be economical on the main house - having separate tanks for each bungalow may not be cost-effective, unless you plan on harvesting rainwater off each one.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 54
Location: Zone 4, SD
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No experience with earthbags or earthbags in hot climates - I have a strawbale up north - but this family has lots of experience with them in AZ and still build with them so they must work pretty well  ->

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr9ib9quyHJkEchOck4PG2w

 
Dakota Brown
pollinator
Posts: 54
Location: Zone 4, SD
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Mamaro Folesi wrote: Lots of houses have a leaking roof, could this process be used on the roof?



Have you looked into latex cement?  I read it was used for some inexpensive roofs.
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