By Jessica Murray | True Activist
This truly unique home has been built using simple recycled and salvaged materials and has meant that the building of the entire earthbag home has cost less than $5,000. The home consists of 450 ft² of space and is made almost entirely out of materials that have been recycled whenever possible, for example, the door and flooring. The new building is a round shape to provide great stability for the structure, together with two complete rows of concrete bags that have been reinforced with barbed wire to provide a strong and solid grounding.
Reports show that after starting on a rubble trench foundation, a railroad ballast was used for the rubble before the sediment fabric is covered over with pea gravel.
Following this, two rows of stem wall were built using sacks of concrete weighing 80 lbs, with two strands of barbed wire going between each row that is held in place by firewood. A building compass made from chain link parts was then built in the middle and used to keep the walls round and level. Once the gravel bags are tamped, they are around two inches thick. The bottom layer of the bags is two placed together that are filled with gravel, which is an essential element for keeping the water from absorbing into the walls.
A strip anchor is then used to hold the door in place, and ropes are put into the walls as an aid to tie down joists when the roof is put in place. A center post is also used to support the roof structure in the middle of the house and is made from locust wood. Waterproof tape is a crucial element that is used to join sheets, and silicone caulk is used to seal it up. As an additional unique touch, old bottles are used in a variety of colors within the door frames. These have a dual purpose, both to allow natural light to enter the house, as well as creating a beautiful entrance walkway feature.