“If you are considering the cheapest simplest way of building your own home with natural materials, earthbag construction could be the best way to go. For the most part you will be filling bags with dirt and stacking them. In the August/September 2009 Mother Earth News, they ran an article on this small earthbag project which needs no building permit and would be great practice in the earthbag technique or even cob, rammed earth with tires or adobe.
They suggested the building could be used as a studio, garden shed, chicken coop or root or storm cellar and estimated the cost at around $300. You do not need expensive equipment to build it and a couple people can finish it in two weeks if you follow the Mother Earth project schedule. Earthbag buildings are good for areas that may experience moisture and are moisture resistant as long as you fill the first couple course bags with gravel.”
Read the rest of the article for free at Examiner.com
How to Build an Earthbag Dome (now available in print from Instructables.com)
Owen’s Earthbag Building Guide and DVD
Note: the vetiver grass on the dome is now about 3 feet tall and requires almost zero weeding, because the grass is so thick and blocks most of the sunlight. But getting the grass established required a lot of time and effort. Water quickly runs off the steep slope and the sides dry out fast. Now there’s a sprinkler on top.