If you’re looking for a unique, affordable home to build on land that you buy then consider an earthbag home. This type of home is getting coverage as families throughout the United States turn to this unique style.
The homes are also called Superadobe homes and draws on a centuries-old technique using simple construction yet is safe and durable enough for today’s home and land ownership needs.
What is an earthbag home
Fill up bags of earthen materials, use them in a structure and you have an earthbag home. The website engineeringforchange.org describes the building technique as “inexpensive, simple and sustainable.”
The material is typically soil found at the construction site and then stuffed into polypropylene bags, or bags of other materials, and “then staggered like masonry and solidly tamped; barbed wire laid between the layers of bags serves as mortar.”
How do the homes hold up?
They’re highly resistant against fire, earthquakes, high winds and floods.
Many earthbag homes are small because buildings with straight walls longer than 5 meters in length or about 16 feet, need intersecting walls or bracing buttresses.
Rebar can be hammered into walls to strengthen corners and opening edges and provide resistance against overturning.
Building this type of alternative home may seem like the ultimate Do-It-Yourself project, but there are elements that are done for you. It’s possible to buy pre-filled bags to make construction even easier.
States that allow earthbag homes
Only a few states are code approved for Superadobe houses: Hawaii, California, Utah, Arizona and Kentucky. In other states, it’s possible to get an engineer’s approval if you’re needing a permit.
Learn more about these homes through the California Institute of Earth Architecture.
Cal-Earth is addressing housing needs for refugees around the world, in addition to offering sustainable housing alternatives that are also affordable:
Cal-Earth’s designs have been studied by NASA, endorsed and used by the United Nations, featured in countless world media outlets, and awarded the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
The Superadobe building system [is patented] integrates traditional earth architecture with contemporary global safety requirements, and has passed severe earthquake code tests in California.
NASA consulted with Cal-Earth’s founder, the late Nader Khalili, about building homes for possible colonies on the moon.
Is an earthbag home right for you?
Your home and how you envision one is a deeply personal choice. Families are using earthbag or Superadobe homes as their primary residence on the land they’ve bought and own.
Here’s another use: create one or two vacation homes that you visit once or more often a year.
Adapting ancient building techniques to our 21st century world doesn’t mean that these types of homes will seem primitive. They’re quite creative with real-world benefits that include conserving energy and creating a healthy interior.
It depends on your sense of adventure and willingness to buck traditional norms and housing styles.
Make it a family adventure in creating this unusual, but highly practical, style of home.
The benefits of owning land
If this type of home interests you, then you can see the benefits of owning land so you can build a home that’s environmentally friendly and personally healthy.
Discover benefits of buying land like low taxes and little maintenance, plus read the stories of a land buyer and seller.
The guidebook covers Sandra Cantu’s desire to personally guide and help her clients, whether they’re buying or selling property.
She knows how land allows families to have a desirable quality of life. And when it’s time to sell, she works with sellers in a way that’s knowledgeable and sensitive.
Land, and the homes we build, aren’t just business transactions, but they represent a large part of our personal identity.
You can also call Sandra for a brief consultation (888) 803-6005.