Maggi McKerron is building guesthouses with bags filled with rice husks (hulls) in Chiang Dao, Thailand. Here is her latest report.
I have 10 buildings, all round, mostly 5 meters across, some a little less. Rice husks (hulls) are not load bearing, so the buildings are post and beam, with bamboo trellises on which the bags of rice husks are attached making the walls. 4 of the buildings are domes, using a mix of rebar and bamboo to create the dome, then attaching rice bags, covering with earth and then lime plaster, and covering that with bamboo shingles. Rice husks work well during the monsoon, drying out the air in the buildings.
I live in 3 round rooms/buildings, joined by covered walkways. 3 more of the round buildings are for rent BnB. The cost to build one of these roundhouses in materials is about 50,000 Baht ($1,510). However, I employed local people to work on them so the cost was considerably higher. [But the cost should still be reasonable because local labor is often around $10/day.]
The website below shows pictures of the BnB aspect of Chiang Dao Roundhouses. The Blog shows some pictures of my house as well.
Kelly Hart’s earthbag house was one of my major inspirations! I realised you could make a cosy liveable house from natural materials in any shape you wanted. Liberating concept for me.
Best wishes, Maggi
Chiang Dao Roundhouses www.chiangdao-roundhouses.com
Maggi’s blog http://maggimck.wordpress.com