Rapidobe - a cheap way to build walls, retaining walls, benches and shelves

Picture of Rapidobe - a cheap way to build walls, retaining walls, benches and shelves
Rapidobe is a form of construction of our own devising. The idea comes from the simplicity of earthbags, but made faster, cheaper and easier. You can use any dirt, even if it has rocks in it, making it a great option for almost any terrain.
This method can be used for walls, for holding back dirt in an underground construction or retaining wall, even for benches and shelves.

For more detailed instructions, click here.
For more information about our other how-tos, visit our site www.velacreations.com

Step 1: Foundation

Picture of Foundation
For a foundation, dig a trench and fill with gravel or rubble. Its width needs to be wider by a few inches on either side than your wall will be. The fact that you do not need a concrete foundation is one of the reasons that makes this method so cheap.
travelfeet1 year ago

Shouldn't the exterior plaster be more water/vapor permeable than the interior to prevent trapping moisture inside (if this method is used for a building)? The concrete stucco is more waterproof than gypsum plaster (not sure if this is still true though when its painted).

velacreations (author)  travelfeet1 year ago
it depends on the climate, but the vinyl is by far more effective vapor barrier than either concrete or gypsum. Having said that, we have not had any moisture issues.
What about on the bottom edge should there be extra as that is a weak point
huskerland32 years ago
Love this
whait863 years ago
This is just like how we build HESCO barriers in AFG/IRQ i never thought to bring the idea home, in a civilian manner! NICE!
I was gonna say the same thing. they are extremely similar. I hate those stupid things with a passion. at least the putting them up and filling them part. I think hesco's would take less time to stand than this though, but i like the idea to bring it home
petrox53 years ago
For those building in the southwest U.S. sun, poly-pro bags last only about a month, maybe two before the U.V. meanies get the better of them. Slip a coat of clay on them before they deteriorate. Nice instructable.
Broom petrox52 years ago
Really a brilliant idea - if there's no rain expected, mere clay can hold off the UV.
velacreations (author)  Broom2 years ago
alternatively, use a billboard tarp, they last a long time in the sun. Just cover your bags with it.
velacreations (author)  petrox53 years ago
this is not poly bags. This is billboard vinyl, which lasts a lot longer in the sun. We do cover this with a stucco once completed, but billboard vinyl will last 6+months in the sun.
nagutron3 years ago
This looks great. Are there building codes for this sort of thing as well, or is this strictly for building in an un-permitted manner?