Here’s a real nice earthbag/ferrocement rootcellar plan from Karl in the Missouri Ozarks. It is 8’ across, has 2’ of soil on top and beautiful stonework in front. Great job Karl!

Karl describes his rootcellar in more detail: The U-shape on the top of the bags is a row of cement beam block that will hold the entire roof to the bags via re-bar pounded down into the earth bags. I opted for this instead of using bags to create my arch because I plan to pile a bunch of dirt on top of the root cellar and I believe this will be stronger. We’ll grow some ground cover over the top of the rootcellar and pump house.

Earthbag Rootcellar Plan

Earthbag Rootcellar Plan

Earthbag Rootcellar with Ferrocement Vaulted Roof

Earthbag Rootcellar with Ferrocement Vaulted Roof

Entrance to Earthbag Rootcellar

Entrance to Earthbag Rootcellar

More photos and information on Karl’s Pile of O’Melays blog.

We’ve also added it to our Projects pages.


Earthbag Rootcellar — 5 Comments

  1. Hi. I am in southern baja and would like to build an earthen wine cellar. Is this even possible. I think I can go to about 3 meters depth for the construction before getting saltwater intrustion.

    • Based on the general climate in that region, I would guess that the underground temperature might be in the low 70 degrees F. That is still rather warm for a good wine cellar I expect. The average annual above ground temperature often equals what it would be below.

  2. Hey Owen, have you ever heard of people primarily using lime to build a ferro vault? I am guessing a 50-50 mix of lime and portland would be fine, but I am not sure a purely lime mixture ( with obvious pozzolanic added to help it dry out) would have the compressive strength to handle being made into a vault. The reason I ask is I am curious if bamboo could be substituted for the rebar. The lime would allow the bamboo to breathe and help preserve it. Concrete would cause it to rot. Any ideas? Thank you for all the responses as well!

    • Vaults are tricky in part due to spreading forces. You will need an expert engineer to work out the details with you. Bamboo reinforcing probably won’t work.

  3. Pingback: A Place To Prattle About My Goals » Blog Archive » Root Cellaring

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