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Earth bags and zoning  RSS feed

 
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I have talked to a few counties so far (in Washington and Nevada in the U.S.) and this is a summary of what I have been told.  Earth bag homes are ok if "properly engineered".  They went on to say that this would probably require some kind of additive to the soil, such as cement or lime, and probably the use of rebar, or some other similar material - maybe to use to "spike" the walls?  This is not a comprehensive survey, to say the least.  What have others found?  I am especially interested in comparing this to what people have found trying to do rammed earth and zoning, earth blocks and zoning, etc.  It seems to me that earth bags are the most friendly, or should I say, the "least hostile" of the alternative building methods.

Slightly related to this - am I hijacking my own thread?? - if scoria is added to earthbags, does it affect the bags strength, either positively or negatively?
 
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