Tiny houses are built out of all kinds of strange things.
Some are built out of unused grain silos, others are made out of crumbling castles, and one is even made out of an old caboose.
When one builds a tiny house out of something unique, it also breathes new life into something that was merely taking up space and beautifies an environment.
Earthbag construction is an inexpensive method that uses natural materials to quickly build strong structures. The technique was developed by the architect Nader Khalili and consists of filling bags with moist subsoil, gravel, or crushed volcanic rock then using these bags like bricks to construct a house.
The technique is popular throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean and according to many building professionals and environmental groups, earthen buildings currently house more than one-third of the world’s population.
It’s a fascinating process to watch and it’s incredibly to think that a house can be built with just a bag full of dirt…
Please SHARE if you are also impressed with the incredible construction project.
This tiny house by Owen Geiger is an earthbag dome located in Thailand. The total cost of materials to build this structure was $300, which is about $6 per square foot.
An earthbag structure of this size provides a cool space in summer and an escape from the cold in winter. It is ideal for humans and animals.
Below there are two plans. The top plan illustrates the dimensions for the dome base and the angled buttresses in front. The one below it shows the vertical dimensions, earthbag foundation, door, and arch.
First the foundation had to be built: Poly bags, double-bagged for strength, were filled with gravel to prevent wicking moisture into upper courses. The bags sat directly on the rubble trench. Soil was added around the sides of the dome to prevent the bags from moving.
The radius was then measured in order to create a perfect circle.
After the foundation was leveled, the soil in the earthbags needed to be misted with a garden house.
Once the earth was slightly wet, bags were filled with two-gallon buckets.
Next, the bags were laid. Four-point barbed wire was used between courses.
The bags needed to be supported as an arch was built over the door. Two used tires were lashed together for the form.
An “eyebrow” was added over the entry doors to protect people going in and out.
Pieces of rebar were added through the top of the bags to help prevent overturning.
What made the dome really strong was making sure the bags were angled toward the center point and tightly butted to the next bag.
Finally, a living roof was added, turning the structure into a beautiful plant-covered dome. The plant roof gives a nod to the tiny house’s natural construction.