Thursday, October 27, 2005

Earthbag Dome Building

Kelly Hart of has recently completed a web page with step-by-step instructions on earthbag dome building.

Complete with clear illustrations and detailed text, this site includes almost everything you need to know to build your own earthbag dome. And, if needed, additional information is available at

A key advantage of Kelly Hart’s system over other techniques is the use of scoria as a fill material. Scoria, a lightweight volcanic aggregate, is rot proof, fireproof, flood resistant, and does not attract rodents or insects. Scoria also has an insulation value approximately that of strawbale walls (R-30), making it ideal for extremes of hot and cold climates.

These earthbag domes are ideal for earthquake-prone regions such as Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey. Domes are inherently very stable, plus these particular domes are reinforced with barbed wire and stucco mesh to withstand seismic activity.

In addition, they cost only a fraction of concrete and steel monolithic domes, and also are much more environmentally friendly and more practical for do-it-yourselfers. Unskilled workers can learn the basics in a few hours and build their own shelter with minimal hand tools.

Kelly Hart and Dr. Owen Geiger are available for consulting on earthbag building projects.