Earthbag house is a small retreat with a fireplace and enough
space for two. We call it the Hobbit house. It was made
with jute and polypropylene sacks, some from the neighbouring
farmer. Built by volunteers in approx. 3 months (average
4 people) and cost approx 2,000 GBP. The roof is a dome
made entirely out of bags filled with earth ‘Earthbags’.
These bags are filled with slightly damp soil and well tamped.
The wall becomes a type of rammed earth structure with the
bags as permanent forms to contain the earth. Once the walls
are built they are plastered to protect the bags from the
UV. We used lime plaster on the interior below ground level
and 30cm above ground on the outside, and earthen plaster
above. Because of the damp climate, the whole dome once
constructed and plastered, was covered with shingled roof.
more information about earthbag construction see Paulina's
with Earth - A Guide to Flexible Form Earthbag Construction.
You can see more of Paulina and Jarema's work on their website
Hands and Houses .