How to Build an Earthbag Dome For $300 - Off Grid World Skip to Content

How to Build an Earthbag Dome For $300

How to Build an Earthbag Dome For $300

Sharing is caring!

Earthbag construction can be a wonderful way to build a small (or large) home. Earthbag houses are typically simple to design and build, especially when building a dome-shaped home.

These little structures can be adorned with a living roof, or covered in mud or plaster. They are structurally sound, and when complete can blend into the landscape, thereby minimizing the effects on the environment. They’re also inexpensive to build and might be an option for those folks to build on a limited budget.

How to build an earthbag dome home

© Owen Geiger

The earthbag dome structure in the photos below was built for Mother Earth News by Owen Geiger as an example of the construction technique. At the time of the build, in 2009, this beautiful creation cost him only $300.

This dome could be used as a shed, shelter, above ground root cellar, or playhouse, among other things. With a little ingenuity and creative thinking, one can easily see how this type of structure could be scaled up to build a larger sized home. Read the original article below.

Low-Cost Multipurpose Earthbag BuildingWith this novel technique you can make an earthbag building to serve as a studio, garden shed, chicken coop, or root/storm cellar — no permit required! ~Mother Earth News

Earthbag dome

Earthbag dome home – Images © Owen Geiger

“Domes are the strongest form in nature and easily support enormous forces. We added about 20 truck loads of soil on the dome without it moving one bit. I’m confident another 100 truck loads could be put directly on top and it wouldn’t make any difference, because the dome is all in compression, and tamped earth (road base in our case) can support very high loads. So if you want to build underground, domes are a good way to go – that or roundhouses. Both gain their strength from the circle: forces (loads) are transferred directly to the ground. There are no components to fail as in post and beam or wood frame walls.”
Instructables – 
How to Build an Earthbag Dome

How to build an Earthbag dome

Owen Geiger simplifies the earthbag dome building process on his Instructables page, using the dome he built for Mother Earth News as an example.

The first step is the plans, which are not only necessary when considering space and materials, but also help to understand the building process.

Earthbag dome plans

Earthbag dome plans

Earthbag dome plans

© Owen Geiger

After the plans are determined, the ground is leveled and prepared for the foundation bags. The foundation layer uses double-bagged gravel to prevent wicking moisture into upper layers of bags. Soil is then tamped around the foundation layer to hold it in place.

Earthbag dome construction

Earthbag dome foundation © Owen Geiger

A string line from a center stake is used to ensure each level is a perfect circle. The radius of each level is slightly smaller than the preceding level.

Earthbag dome construction

© Owen Geiger

Every course is tamped and leveled before moving on to the next course.

Earthbag dome construction

© Owen Geiger

Earthbag dome construction

© Owen Geiger

Barbed wire is placed between each course to help hold the bags in place.

Earthbag home construction

© Owen Geiger

In this dome, tires are used to form the window.

Earthbag dome construction

© Owen Geiger

Earthbag dome construction

© Owen Geiger

Earthbag dome construction

© Owen Geiger

Earthbag domes are most often finished with plaster, but the builders opted to put a living roof over this one, which requires more maintenance, but looks beautiful.

Earthbag dome construction

© Owen Geiger

The front entrance of the dome is finished in yellow-pigmented plaster. This dome, in the builder’s yard, is used as a tool shed.

How to build an earthbag dome

© Owen Geiger

Kind of reminds you of a Hobbit house in the Shire, right?

via Mother Earth News and Instructables

***


 

Like this article? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more great content and updates sent to your inbox! 

How to build an earthbag dome

Solar panels stone cottage
Google Paying Millions to Help You Switch to Solar Power
← Read Last Post
Organic Farmer Grosses $100,000 Per Acre on 8 Acre Farm
Read Next Post →

nha cai, nha cai uy tin

Saturday 13th of August 2022

nha cai, nha cai uy tin

Saved as a favorite, I like your site!

link letou

Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

link letou

An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But…

tai xiu online

Saturday 16th of July 2022

tai xiu online

I seriously love your site.. Pleasant colors

Google

Monday 25th of April 2022

Google

One of our guests a short while ago proposed the following website.

Google

Friday 22nd of April 2022

Google

Usually posts some really exciting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site.