May 31

Earthbag Dome Home in Florida.

This is an Engineer approved earth bag design under construction in Live Oak, Florida.                                           Phase I currently under construction and has the bathroom incorporated in the 20 foot dome.

The rough plumbing, electrical and water systems are in place (below the floor) and we passed our first inspection with flying colors.

The blog will cover many aspects of our building experience, including:

Resources:  Where to purchase bags, all other materials as well as cost of materials, overheads and local authority charges. Also some tips on shortcuts and alternative materials you may like to consider. Calculations on quantities etc.

Building techniques: We are owner builders and are thus able to install all our engineering services. With a background in electrical and mining engineering as well as woodwork, home re-modeling, chainsaw work, fine carpentry etc. we would like to share this knowledge with those who wish to learn.

Workshops and Seminar’s:  Some will be “free” (grunt labor exchange – LOL). Some seminars covering in-depth details will have a cost coupled to it.  Details later.

So we will cover the building of the dome. On the outside we will have berms. Garden area. Colloidal compost making will be a topic.. A geodedic screened dome (wooden) will house an outside bread/pizza oven. Also a jacuzzi, built using bags. Water heated from an outside source.. We will go through all of this?
On the inside of the dome we will make our own furniture and doors using some lumber we have milled ourselves. A few methods of water heating will also be incorporated. Space heating – we may use wood burning heating in our County, so we will delve deeper into Rocket Mass ovens/furnaces. Tons of info available and Kevin has built one before. So hang in there, just need the time to get it done. :)

We hope you stay tuned and enjoy the building of this beautiful home.


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  1. Khalil

    Fantastic! thank you for taking the time to share what you learning. Especially about the planning, permit, and inspection process. That goes a really long way to helping others work around these common obstacles in their own earthbag building projects all around the country. Your should add a subscription plugin to your WordPress blog to let people subscribe and always get the lastest updates!

  2. admin

    Thanks for the feedback and WP advice! We look forward to a great building experience to be shared by all.

  3. Dustin Eward

    I couldn’t even get the time of day out of the ” ….” County office. “….” County threatened to throw me in jail just for mentioning Earth Bags and Shipping Containers. (edited by admin).

    It’s still a non-starter for people who don’t need and can’t afford a septic. I hate being forced to waste a valuable resource. Still a barrier to compound houses, too. I admire you for practicing the art of the possible, I’ll be glad to help out any way I can.

    You got any Facebook action going on?

    1. admin

      Hi Dustin
      I took the liberty to edit out the names of the County Office and County. (Who knows when you will be knocking on their door again ? big smile?) There is an existing earthbag building in the County you mentioned.(engineer approved and built, Owen featured it). I honestly believe that times are a changing. It will be far better for us to approach them in a positive way – with an approved building, up and running. I will be having publicity from a State wide newspaper in the not too distant future too. We need to get the word out about alternative housing. There are millions of Americans living in no/or sub-standard housing. We need to wake up. And in as nice as way as possible?. Hope you hang in there.
      I am personaly on FB. Need to get a dome one going..LOL
      Take care.

      1. glenna

        Positive attitudes will work most of the time. I went in to the parish permit office fully expecting to be shown the door. Had a smile on my face and a fake name to give them if they refused to even talk about alternative . ( And I had to left hand my house.) They listened and gave me a few ground rules.
        Everything has to meet the Code as set forth in the 2009 International Residential code book. But anything not in the IRC can be used IF a State licensed architect will sign off on it. Sadly none of the Louisiana architect were willing to even think about it. But I found a West coast firm that carries a license for my state and we have continued on with the planning.
        Yes, it will take longer and cost a bit more. But someone has to try to do it legal for this area if we hope to ever get it to be accepted. glenna

        1. admin

          Way to go Glenna! Someone has to break the ground hey. Great attitude. If the local engineers have too much work (really …. ) it looks like out of State offices can help out. Wonderful. LOL. Please keep posting as it is encouraging and will help others just overcome the negativity out there.

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  7. Daniela

    how long do you take to write an article or a post like this one? Daniela.

    1. admin

      Hi Daniela,
      My daughter set the WP site for me (She’s a graphic design artist) but once that is done and the background basics are set up – it’s pretty easy to use. So a week on and off – between one another is a realistic time frame. You tend to change Themes etc during the design stage as well. I attend to incoming comments about twice a day. Articles are “on the fly” … as and when they come up. Some are just fun – like the gadgets stuff and “Tree fella”.
      Take care

  8. Elina

    maybe you should improve your articles, that would help us understand better. Elina.

    1. admin

      My articles may not appeal to everybody and I am OK with that. We may have different personalities and backgrounds and the only purpose of running the blog is to tell anybody wanting a home (especially younger people) to know that with some physical effort and basic skills – it is possble to construct a fabulous home. My background is engineering so expect some nerd stuff… LOL. There are many many articles and blogs out there they can refer to if not this one. It’s the awareness we want to share. Looking at the responses the blog has attracted, it is of some use to some of our followers. It’s OK not to appeal to all. Thanks you for your input.

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    1. admin

      Phew …. LOL. Thanks Caroline.

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    1. admin

      I am getting so many great responses and am happy that the info of some value to you. It’s also nice to try encourage yawl (new word for me – coming from accross the pond… yawl.. LOL) to get on with building a home. It doesn’t have to be done over night hey! More than anything – it must be fun for all of us. Just be happy and appreciate what we have. So I thank you all… yawl.

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    1. admin

      If and when you start building – it will all come together? The blog is primarily aimed at those of us building or researching alternative housing. It seems to be expanding out a little which is OK as I wish to add a new section of pretty cool stuff which will appeal to many more people.
      So take care and go well.

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    1. admin

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    1. admin

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  47. Sally Lawrence

    Not sure if this is the place to send a personal note….

    My husband and I are interested in the dome EB dome home. We live about 100 miles south of you. We would like to see what you have going. Also would like to take a peek at the plans, hopefully to see what the building codes have done to the overall costs and design. We are retired and very interested in EB and any natural building being developed here. We would like to take a drive up to see you. We will not bother your progress, just want to further educate ourselves. We follow O Gieger faithfully and understand the basic concepts…just have not seen any projects.

    I hope you are not flooded with visitors……we are truly interested and may somehow be of help for you in the future.

    Thank you,
    Sally Lawrence

    1. admin

      I know the moderator lol.- have just sent you a private email. If you do not receive let me know. I mentioned that you are more than welcome to pop in for an hour or two and we can go through whatever I have to help you. Mike

  48. susanne brawdy

    I am wanting to build an earthbag home in monroe county florida. I have found some land available for building, that alredy has permits to build “regular” homes, how hard would it be for me to submit plans for an earthbag home, espcially one that is made for high winds such as one of Owen Geigers.

    1. admin

      Hello Susanne
      Well you might want to go see the building dept and hear what they have to say. I have covered this topic in depth – please refer to the blog. The building exceeds the hurricane code requirements. The engineer I used is licenced for Florida. So there’s a good start. I will email you privately and invite you up. If you are serious – please come take a peek. Mike

  49. Denise

    Hello, I am so glad to see this is capable of being done in FL, I am moving to Alachua County and if all else fails, I could relocate to your county. So totally glad I came across this.

    1. admin

      Hi Denise
      I used to live in Alachua county. Please see the authorities before purchasing property.
      I am working 6 days a week and have help. The one guy is apprenticing which is a happy occurrence – we living in Florida… Workers/labor will be your biggest challenge.
      You are welcome to drop in. The blog is a little out of date.. Time factor.
      So happy for you. Best regards
      P.s. firing the cob oven with the rocket and its going well!

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