Build Simple Inc.
under construction january 2021


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Cheap Sustainable Buildings

Earthbag Walls

Earthbag Info Slideshows: 1, 2, 3, 4

Different Earthen Walls

choose different materials, based on climate, equipment and skills- coming soon

Structural Block Walls 

Adobe, CEB (compressed earth block), ICEB (interlocking CEB):
Brittle unless interlocking and often built on reinforced concrete (RC) footings. 

Structural Stone Walls

Through-stones or reinforcement important. Usually built on RC footings.

Structural Monolithic Walls

Rammed earth, Cob, Puddled adobe:
Brittle except cob, usually reinforced and built on RC footings.

Basics to Build with Earth

Local officials should know what building codes apply. Codes for adobe and other techniques exist in some states and are under development for the IRC in general. Code for New Zealand includes structural information.

Types of Soil for Earthen Walls

Check soil type by touch
Comparing soil needed for adobe, cob, rammed earth, CEB, earthbag

Prove Your Soil Fill Strength

Quick strength estimates with 30 mm balls.
Testing explained: quick tests with a simple lever or slow drying and dropping large units.

Check Your Seismic Risk

BSI estimate maps
Learn more about risk metrics or go directly to web info for the US, Europe, Australia

Resilient CE Earthbag Construction How-To Information

Basic Details

for low seismic risk areas 0.25- 0.6 g

Moderate Strength Details

interconnected corners on spot footings (0.6- 1 g)

High Strength Details

continuous strip footings with fully connected steel (>1 g)

Designing Safe Earthen Buildings

Basics of Stable Building Plans

Design compact, symmetrical, with small openings- see plan information in the Resilient CE Earthbag Construction How-To documents.

Enough Bracing Walls? 

New Zealand's non-engineered code checks for some materials (pp. 44- 54, 110- 122).

High Strength Plans

Email for information about engineers familiar with earthbag, or to request plan advice from BSI.