A tiny earthbag house

Earthbag construction is one of the newest types of sustainable building techniques. I’m so inspired by this little earthbag dome that I just might have to build one someday.

This igloo-like tiny house was designed and built in New South Wales, Australia by Rob & Steph and a steady stream of eager learners. It is 13 ft. in diameter and utilizes passive solar design and a living roof.

They used 700 cubic feet of fill sand and about 700 total man hours (not including finishing work such as plaster, windows, doors and flooring). Total cost was $2,500.

Here’s the view looking up at the loft.

Photos from permaforesttrust.org.au and this article from earthbagbuilding.com.  More resources: calearth.org & okokok.org and the ecohouse map.

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Neil 05/03/2009 at 9:14 pm

Yes, it does look really nice, but 700 man hours just for the shell?! That’s WAY too much effort for the end result.

thistinyhouse 05/03/2009 at 9:40 pm

Hi Neil,
Michael agrees with you — way too many hours. To their credit, Rob & Steph had to spend a lot of time training the people who came onto the project. They wrote that they could cut the hours by two-thirds if using a consistent team of 3-4 people.

EJ 05/05/2009 at 12:14 pm

Is the ledge around the roof for collecting rain water?

thistinyhouse 05/05/2009 at 12:40 pm

Yes I believe they are collecting rainwater.

Steve 07/26/2009 at 9:47 am

Over here in the states, we have Cal-Earth that creates structures in a similar method. What did you use for your bags? They look like plastic?

Bob 09/29/2009 at 4:19 am

Really cool house, i want one 🙂

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