The specifications for reinforced earthbag walls in seismic regions from Structure1.com describe how to attach shear walls to earthbag walls. Properly built shear walls add a great deal of strength to earthbag structures, but are seldom discussed. I thought a detailed drawing of this feature would be helpful. The drawing below illustrates the key concepts.

Attaching Shear Walls to Earthbag Walls

Attaching Shear Walls to Earthbag Walls


Shear walls resist lateral forces from wind and earthquakes. They brace exterior walls (earthbag walls in this case) like buttresses. The connection between the shear wall and earthbag wall must be strong. The drawing shows how threaded anchor bolts are embedded in the earthbags in a vertical row no more than 24” apart. The threaded ends of the anchor bolts protrude far enough to go through the stud. Tighten the nuts (with washers) before sheathing the wall. Wood or metal frame walls sheathed in ½” plywood are both acceptable.


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