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Earthbag Building: The Tools, Tricks and Techniques (Natural Building Series) Paperback – June 1, 2004
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Over seventy percent of Americans cannot afford to own a code-enforced, contractor-built home. This has led to widespread interest in using natural materials-straw, cob, and earth-for building homes and other buildings that are inexpensive, and that rely largely on labor rather than expensive and often environmentally-damaging outsourced materials.
Earthbag Building is the first comprehensive guide to all the tools, tricks, and techniques for building with bags filled with earth-or earthbags. Having been introduced to sandbag construction by the renowned Nader Khalili in 1993, the authors developed this "Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique" over the last decade. A reliable method for constructing homes, outbuildings, garden walls and much more, this enduring, tree-free architecture can also be used to create arched and domed structures of great beauty-in any region, and at home, in developing countries, or in emergency relief work.
This profusely illustrated guide first discusses the many merits of earthbag construction, and then leads the reader through the key elements of an earthbag building:
- Special design considerations
- Foundations, walls, and floors
- Electrical, plumbing, and shelving
- Lintels, windows and door installations
- Roofs, arches and domes
- Exterior and interior plasters.
With dedicated sections on costs, making your own specialized tools, and building code considerations, as well as a complete resources guide, Earthbag Building is the long-awaited, definitive guide to this uniquely pleasing construction style.
Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series
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This is a comprehensive guide suited to the novice or the experienced DIY person. The bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.
With hundreds of black and white photos, a full color section of Alison Kennedy's Moab, Utah earthbag house and line drawings that are clear and complete, it's as inspirational as it is practical.
Many people today are looking for ways to live lives in harmony with the environment. Here is one option worth considering that uses less forest material, lends itself to recycling lumber, wire, telephone poles and much more. It's a flexible, adaptive approach that allows for what works best for you.
Even the book itself is earth friendly. It's printed by New Society Publishers on acid free paper that is 100% old growth forest-free (100% post-consumer recycled) processed chlorine free, and printed with vegetable based inks. So it's a step toward ending global deforestation and climate change.
I think you'll like it.
The pro is also a con with this book. It gives you a lot of info on how to do this, but it leaves it open in a way that invites you to experiment with the designs.
If you are looking for a way to build with out hurting the world around you, and you want something that can withstand an earthquake, blizzard, and most anything else mother nature can throw at you. This is the book that can help you build it.
Nothing beats a hands-on experience, and if you can visit either the CalEarth site in California, or the Earthships site in New Mexico, you should. You get a much better understanding of the process of earthbuilding, and also of the finished product. Then, as you begin to plan to build, gather all the information you can. "Ceramic Houses" will give you great information on design principles and on philosophy; the Earthship books by Mike Reynolds give primo information on the plumbing and electrical systems, and in particular on rainfall catchment.
"Earthbag Building" however, remains our mainstay. Hunter gives such good detail, and provides excellent resource lists for materials, and also lovely line diagrams that are very clear and easy to follow. And to truly make her the Queen of Bag Building, if you e-mail her a reasonable question, she answers!