F-3 tornados can turn most homes into a pile of debris.

F-3 tornados can turn most homes into a pile of debris.


Earthbag building is more than ‘just a good idea’. It could save your life, your family’s lives and everything you’ve worked for. Maybe you’re new to the concept and not yet ready to build a home this way. You might want to start out with a storm shelter to protect against hurricanes and tornadoes.

Greensburg, KS May 16, 2007 twelve days after it was hit by an F5 tornado.

Greensburg, KS May 16, 2007 twelve days after it was hit by an F5 tornado.


I grew up in Nebraska and Iowa and am no stranger to tornadoes and the havoc they can wreck. Our neighbors’ barn was destroyed when I was just a kid. I was one of the first responders to the 1975 Ak-sar-ben tornado in Omaha, Nebraska. Most of the time we only see the destruction on TV. This time I got to see the wreckage up close — house after house demolished with all the contents strewn everywhere and, strangely enough, one house here and there almost untouched. It was apocalyptic and unforgettable.

I got involved in earthbag building while looking for housing solutions to the December, 2004 Asian tsunami. Extensive research made it apparent that earthbag construction was the lowest cost, most disaster resistant building option. A team of design professionals came up with two housing prototypes. Since then I’ve been involved in designing houses and shelters in response to a number of disasters. I still believe earthbag building is the strongest, most affordable type of construction, and the research and testing to back this up. Our websites now have thousands of pages of free information and we encourage readers to search for solutions that will work in your area.

Image source: Wiki
Image source: Pirtle Insurance
News coverage of the 1975 Omaha Tornado on YouTube

Step-by-Step Earthbag Building
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Comments

High Wind Damage to Homes — 5 Comments

  1. I see, well keep up the good work and eventually the word will get out.

    Or is it too late for America ? Maybe we should all just expatriate :)

    • That’s right. Now how do we take things to the next level? People are naturally resistant to change, plus there are loads of bureaucratic road blocks that hinder progress (to protect big industries and banks). How do we spread the word on the cheap because earthbag isn’t a highly profitable business?

      • Magazines ? Youtube ? Movies ? Books ? Host build parties ? Get celebrity endorsement ?

        Do you want to host a big build party on my vacant land in Rio Rancho New Mexico ?

        I have a small vacant lot in Hardy Arkansas that you can use as well.

        Popular mechanics had all kinds of green builders in their magazines in 1975, including David Wright aia.

        Maybe Popular mechanics would do an interview with you ?

        Micheal Reynolds (Earthships) made a full length movie.

        Youtube videos can become popular and spread the message well.

        Make some youtube videos where you talk about solutions ?

        Make youtube video that teach solutions ?

        You put could your DVD on youtube in low quality for free, and advertise the high quality version for pay. Alex Jones does this with all of his movies. Gary Null does this with some of his movies.

        Get a community of people involved through your website, and make it a public affair when you do a build party in every state ?

        I bet your multi-state build parties could get on local news, and newspapers, and maybe snowball from there ?

        Find some celebrities that are living in green homes and get their endorsement ?

        Maybe use Earthbag homes to rebuild New Orleans neighborhoods that were destroyed by Katrina ?

        Buy a large piece of land, and invite all your readers to live in an Earthbag community there. We all build each other’s homes and we all teach each other cool stuff, and we’ll film the entire thing, and that footage can be edited to be the feature length movie thats get the word out ? It can be called “Earthbag commune” or something like that :) It will be all live music and building cool homes.

        Well that’s all I can think of right now LOL. But there must be a way to build a community of like minded people, and create media, and spread the word.

        I am a computer repair guy in Maine, I’m rather poor but I’ll help you if I can :) I believe in your work ! I believe you are a humanitarian and a genius :)

        Keep up the good work Owen :)
        Craig

        • Thanks for the ideas. I already have a lot of free videos on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/naturalhouses

          I’ve been in several magazines.

          A high dollar video of the best earthbag homes around the world would be too costly for me.

          I’m getting older and busier all the time, so overseeing building projects isn’t practical any more.

          There are numerous natural building eco villages where people could build earthbag homes. Creating another one would take a huge amount of time and effort.

          Celebrity endorsement: They need to come to us.

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