Earthbag House Plans
Small, affordable, sustainable earthbag house plans
March 13, 2009 by Owen Geiger
” data-medium-file=”https://earthbagplans.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/shed-plan-2.jpg?w=300″ data-large-file=”https://earthbagplans.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/shed-plan-2.jpg?w=500″ src=”https://earthbagplans.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/shed-plan-2.jpg?w=300&h=190″ alt=”Earthbag Shed” title=”shed-plan” w />
Specifications: any size desired. Send me your dimensions and I’ll give you a bid.
Description: Very simple design, but also very strong, practical and easy to build. Good beginners project. Includes shed roof with metal roofing, earthbag foundation and walls, no limit on design possibilities with earth plaster. Note: this plan is now listed in the free shelter category.
Do your plans include a materials list and budget? Before choosing a plan, I need to know how much the building will cost me.
No, because this is something easily done by the end user. This also helps keep cost of plans low.
I found your webpage whilst looking for designs using packed earth to build a double horse stable. This will be a starter project and I am curious it see if you have already developed blueprints for this. If not, would modifying a square garage design be appropriate. I also have concerns for drainage within and around the building as the area I am looking to build on backs on to an earthen wall. I had hoped to incorporate a ‘dugout bunker’ approach to maximize space and to develop a partial earth cover for the structure. Will this concept work in a square earth bag design? If so, how would I go about minimizing water seepage within the structure whilst still ensuring maximum strength?
How big do you want to go? This shed can be scaled up quite a bit. A larger version could be built like the Earthbag Shop: https://earthbagplans.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/earthbag-shop-w-office/
Urine from horses is a concern. You’ll want to provide adequate drainage and use materials that aren’t affected by moisture. For instance, you could fill lower bags in the earthbag wall with gravel and cover the wall with cement plaster.
Use 6 mil poly to prevent moisture leaks through the roof and exterior side of walls.
Thanks for the reply.
The Earthbag Shop design is similar to what I am looking at. The purpose is for a night lockup for 2 horses so a medium sized structure would be appropriate. My vision for internal drainage is using low, ramp style flooring similar to the open stables found in England. This has a drainage flow that angles towards the entrance to be captured in black plastic channeling laid in the floor. I was looking at fully sealing the floor and lower walls with concrete as experience has proven that horses whilst stabled, will damage packed earth floors.
As to the space I am building on, will a bunker approach work. The block is terraced with an earth wall right behind where the stables are to be built. Because of the nature of the wall, it will eventually partly bury the structure if left unchecked. I hoped to solve two problems in utilizing the back wall of the stable as a retaining structure whilst still creating a natural UV barrier for the bags. My concerns are for this to work the back wall of the structure will need to be strong enough to hold back the soil, whilst still minimizing water seepage through the earthbags themselves.
Another solution would be to have the retaining wall structure being a separate entity to the stable building. This will provide a walkway in-between. This approach however will eat into the space designated for the stable and create a negative space within the design.
Any help or guidance on the matter would be greatly appreciated
Ultimately you’ll have to make a judgment call since I don’t know all the details, but I can say a few things that may be of help. You need to build a strong back wall to resist the horizontal thrust. You may want to use a reinforced concrete foundation if the situation is serious. A less costly approach is to fill lower courses with stabilized soil — add lime or cement to the soil that goes in the bags. For additional added strength you could arch the back wall, use wider 24″ bags, pour some concrete posts, add vertical rebar down through the bags, slope the back wall slightly outwards instead of making it vertical. Add gutters to direct water away and/or collect it for use, and add a ditch behind the stables to divert runoff water around the structure. One or two layers of 6 mil black poly on the outside of the wall will prevent water from seeping through. A rubble trench will reduce wicking of moisture up into the wall. Slope the floor like you say.
Thanks for your help Owen. I’ll keep in touch an let you know how it works out.
I looked around your websites but didn’t see any information about a plan for the earthbag shed. Am I just missing it?
These are made to order. Just send me the dimensions and I’ll give you a bid.
Thanks so much for your quick response. I’ll get back to you when we have a clearer idea about size.
Could earth bags serve as a low 3-4 foot retaining wall? If so-shat would you use to beautify them? Oregon.
Most people plaster the bags. Tubes are better than bags in some ways. There’s also a new mesh bag made specifically for retaining walls. I think you could plant vines and not have to plaster them. This new product is on our blog. Don’t confused it with raschel mesh bags used in the hyperadobe system. Those need to be plastered.
I like this plan for our shed. Maybe a strange question but where can I get this plan or is the picture just the plan ?