Hobbit House : Return to Middle Earth How to build (With videos) Part 1 of 4

Part 1 :

Why Earthbag ?

Well, It is considerably cheaper also bullet, flood and earthquake proof as well as it looks really awesome when finished.
The environmental impact is far less than that of a conventional home and also maintenance over the years if handled properly it saves untold numbers.

Site selection and considerations.







We all love lord of the rings and all things medieval but before we get to kicking ass we have a few things to consider.



The site itself :

Location is everything in considering placement of your house, Obviously you would not want to be in a place where your house would end up under water or have any sort of natural hazard or impediment.

The materials needed : (Quantity will depend on the size of your house and other factors I will expound on later. )




Sand (Coarse grain) For the integrity of the Earth mixture but hold that thought we will get to that later.

Sacks (Try to get uniform sized sacks as much as you can as this will help in the doming of the house itself when building comes into play. )

Wire mesh or Carpet  ( To keep the soil from seeping into your drainage ditch, Carpet is best .)

Rolls of barbed wire ( These are used when the rows of sand bags are being stood up to keep your bags from sliding. )

PVC pipes for your air intake and ventilation.

Tamping device ( A way of smashing and flattening the bags to sit flush on the rows. )




Nipa or suitable roofing apparatus  (If bag uniformity is not  a possibility then doming may be a hazard and  maybe even impossible.)

Wood for roof frame (If applicable.)

Door and door frame .

A sand and gravel sifter ( For soil mixture integrity.)



Shovel and other common sense tools.


THE MATH  :
(  http://www.terra-form.org/tools/earthbagdomecalc.html )

This is easily the worst part of the whole deal, For me at least.
Basically  for structural soundness and integrity of the build this is imperative.
Also for the shape of the dome itself and it's symmetry  and ability to stand properly you have to do this.
Provided is a link that will make this much much easier for you to do .
All your questions should be answered by the calculator.



Forward into action ! :





Marking your site and centering it is imperative so as your geometry is correct.
Best to use a flat area for obvious reasons and also have a good mind to know where to put your drainage ditch.
We used a tall stick in the ground to mark the center as you can see.

Obstacles :




We had to contend with mountainous terrain which in turn had ENORMOUS boulders in the ground.
in the effort to reach clearance for the foundation and drainage to be dug properly.
We used an indigenous no tech approach of basically building fires on the boulders  and once they were heated cooling them off instantly with cold water and usually with a few solid hammer hits they crack and we would remove them.


So with that said we are at a good stopping point for this part.
We have established the standards of our site and what to look for .
The materials we will need and the math that needs to be done.
The math that will be imperative to making your home stand properly.
Part 2 will see us dive into the earth mixture itself and laying the foundation/ drainage areas and why those and the support walls and their placement could make the difference between a new place in Hobbiton and a disaster.

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