Sandbag and Earthbag


                                             sandbbag    Sand bagScarborough

Building with earthbags or sandbags is an old tradition. Buildings can be erected simply and quickly with readily available components. Burlap bags were traditionally used, but now the newer polypropylene bags are used which have superior strength and durability as long as they are kept away from too much sunlight, which is achieved with plastering. Chicken-wire is used to cover the sandbag wall, providing support for the earth plaster. 

The fill material may include sand, clay, pumice or gravel. Building with bags of sand or earth, one uses structural ladders made of timber, which can be taken from off-cuts or small dimensioned battens. These are nailed together in pillar and beam structural framework construction and the bags are used as infill between the pillars.

The use of earthbags has potential as a quick, easy and forgiving technique which uses soil and few tools.

To build with this technique, moistened soil is placed into a bag, set in place on the wall and then compressed using a hand tamper.

Heavy earth mixtures can be used with weaker burlap bags as the compressed soil makes the bags redundant once it sets, while stronger, structural polypropylene bags are preferable for sandy soils.


Materials and Methodologies