In late May of 2012, I embarked on a large eco-project to build 2 homes and a music studio complete with a small personal self-sustainable farm. The idea is to build using low cost eco friendly materials and buidling in systems that are low maintainence and super eco friendly.
I searched the net for all the info I could find to see what others are doing.
I loved what Mike Reynolds was doing in New Mexico with his Earthships but in my region of Northern Mexico, I could NOT find enough tires in the area as they were already being recycled. Morever, the custom costs of windows and roofs for the Earthships were a bit much for me. Nevertheless, it was Mike Reynolds and his Earthships; specificaly his movie GARBAGE, that inspired me on the path to buidling something more than just a conventional 20th century stick, block building with all the waste and manufactured goods that perpetuate the consumption economy that is bleeding all of us to death…..
Now I did find Cal-Earth Institute in Hesperia California USA where they were using something called Earth Bags or what is called Super Adobe. And that, with it’s super low cost was very appealing.
So I took the Mike Reynolds inspiration and ran with the earth bag concept trying to keep in mind all of the aspects Mike Reynolds used in his projects.
Now, below is my first shot at building an earthbag structure. Check it out.
First, I knew no matter what I did to study how to build such a thing, being a newbie never built a structure kind of guy from New York City, I would make huge mistakes. So instead of getting down and building the main home first, instead I first built a property wall. And boy oh boy, I am glad I did. The team I put together made horrific mistakes…Heck, we lost the wall twice! But I knew that learning curve would beat us up so it was cool. No worries.
Then, we built my music studio dome using the tube bags. Again, since it was the first time we were attempting such a thing, I knew we would make errors and we did. But we fixed them and the structure came out pretty darn good.
Next up, we are building the main house, master suite, and guest quarters. All in all, it will be about 3000 square feet or about 300m2 of construction. Stay tuned for updates