loading
9Instructables3,120,059Views416 Comments
Owen Geiger is the former director of Builders Without Borders, a Mother Earth News Green Home Adviser, The Last Straw Journal Correspondent and the director of the Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building at www.GRISB.org. My new Earthbag Building Guide and DVD are now available from EarthbagBuilding.com. We answer questions at our Natural Building Blog http://naturalbuildingblog.com/

Achievements

100+ Comments Earned a bronze medal
1M+ Views Earned a silver medal
Show 0 More »
  • Owen Geiger commented on Owen Geiger's instructable Step-by-Step Earthbag Building1 week ago
    Step-by-Step Earthbag Building

    Do not damage the bags. They add lots of strength. Watch my free videos on YouTube to see each step of construction including the basic process of plastering the bags. The plaster 'anchors' or bonds itself in the recesses between bags. The 2nd coat covers the bags entirely. Plaster mesh will help bonding but is not required if money is limited.Email me if you have other questions. natural houses @ [gmail.com]Sorry, I can't open facebook.

    View Instructable »
  • Owen Geiger commented on Owen Geiger's instructable Step-by-Step Earthbag Building3 weeks ago
    Step-by-Step Earthbag Building

    Sand bags shift and become unstable without some type of binder. This is explained in my earthbag ebook and also our websites. Clay is the lowest cost binder. Mixing clay with sand adds extra time and labor. Personally, I would buy good quality soil such as road base that can be put into the bags immediately as is.

    Sand bags shift and become unstable without some type of binder. This is explained in my earthbag ebook and also our websites. Clay is the lowest cost binder. Mixing clay with sand adds extra time and labor. Personally, I would buy good quality soil such as road base that can be put into the bags immediately as is.

    View Instructable »
  • How to Build an Earthbag Roundhouse

    Earthbag walls are very heavy. You need a foundation the same width as the bags (about 16"). One option is to stack gravel bags next to the block foundation on the outside. The floor joists could sit on the block walls (add a plate first). Follow the instructions in my earthbag book that include stacking the bags on a rubble foundation.

    View Instructable »
  • How to Build an Earthbag Roundhouse

    Earthbag buildings are common in the tropics where there's lots of rain. No problems as long as you build correctly -- wide roof overhang, build on high ground, slope the site away from the building, etc. The bottle foundation sounds unnecessarily complicated. I recommend bags filled with an insulating material such as volcanic rock or expanded clay pellet insulation.

    View Instructable »
  • Owen Geiger commented on Owen Geiger's instructable Step-by-Step Earthbag Building2 months ago
    Step-by-Step Earthbag Building

    Yes. I've already answered this question on our Natural Building Blog.http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/using-scoria-for-earthbag-building/

    View Instructable »
  • How to Build an Insulated Earthbag House

    Read my Step-by-Step Earthbag Building Instructable for details such as what type of soil to use. Most any kind of clay/sand subsoil will work.Use rice bags or other bags that do not have plastic liners.Build wide roof overhangs in rainy climates. Add roof insulation in cold climates.How long does it take? It all depends on the size of the house, how many workers you have, how strong they are etc. It's impossible for me to tell you. Build a small tool shed, etc. first and then you will know.

    View Instructable »
  • Insulated Earthbag Foundations for Yurts

    We have a massive amount of free info on our websites. This topic is covered on our Natural Building Blog:http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/stepped-earthbag-foundations/You could level the site with heavy equipment of course, but that tends to cost more money and damage the building site more. And yes, you can do earth berming against the gravel bags if you add 2-3 layers of thick plastic sheeting to prevent water from seeping into the walls.

    View Instructable »
  • Owen Geiger commented on Owen Geiger's instructable How to Build an Earthbag Roundhouse4 months ago
    How to Build an Earthbag Roundhouse

    It will provide insulation if it's lightweight and porous like scoria. This is discussed in detail on our Natural Building Blog.

    It will provide insulation if it's lightweight and porous like scoria. This is discussed in detail on our Natural Building Blog.

    View Instructable »
  • Insulated Earthbag Foundations for Yurts

    The main thing is to keep the top of the pallets flush and level as possible. You can put plywood or wood on top for the finished floor. There are lots of ways to insulate the pallets such as scoria, wool, foam packing peanuts, etc.

    The main thing is to keep the top of the pallets flush and level as possible. You can put plywood or wood on top for the finished floor. There are lots of ways to insulate the pallets such as scoria, wool, foam packing peanuts, etc.

    View Instructable »
  • Owen Geiger commented on Owen Geiger's instructable How to Build an Earthbag Roundhouse4 months ago
    How to Build an Earthbag Roundhouse

    Building below grade has high risk of water problems without a properly sealed foundation with French drain. I don't recommend it. One big rain and it could fill up with water.Earthbags are very energy efficient if you insulate the outside with rigid foam board. The thick earth walls will stabilize the interior temperature, keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter. You do NOT need to dig down to keep the house cool, because earthbag houses are cool even in the tropics where it's much hotter. This will save you lots of work, money and headaches.Hire a high school art student who knows how to use a graphics drawing program to draw the house.This is the method that I recommend for yurts:www.instructables.com/id/Insulated-Earthbag-Foundations-for-Yurts/

    View Instructable »
  • Owen Geiger commented on Owen Geiger's instructable Step-by-Step Earthbag Building4 months ago
    Step-by-Step Earthbag Building

    My long comment got deleted. Here's the short version. Check out my earthbag Instructable first: http://www.instructables.com/id/Step-by-Step-Earthbag-Building/Then get my ebook and DVD if you're still serious:http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/owens-book-dvd/All of my plans are here: https://earthbagplans.wordpress.com/Earthbag is a DIY building method unless you have cheap labor.In Ohio and other cold climates I would use strawbale and post and beam like this: http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/?s=post+and+beam+hardware

    View Instructable »