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Earthbag Building Workshop in Taos New Mexico by Earth and Sun Sustainable BuildersSliding scale
June 26 - October 27 Contact
CO-CREATE A SUSTAINABLE EARTHBAG HOME
JUNE 26 – OCT. 27, 2017
TAOS, NEW MEXICO
Join for a week to four months.
Earthbag building is an environmentally friendly and affordable building method suitable to most climates and geographies. Building blocks are made with soil collected on the building site and contained in polypropylene woven bags. In certain circumstances the bags are filled with other materials such as gravel, pumice, or sand. The bags can also be made of natural fibers such as burlap. We choose to use the poly bags as they won’t rot. The poly bags come in various sizes and colors. Generally, there are two different styles of bags — cut individual bags and uncut continuous bags, also referred to as super adobe.
In the workshop we will be using two different methods for filling the bags. The filled earthbags are stacked, tamped, leveled, and strapped with barbed wire to keep the wall from sliding.
The continuous bags are typically used for round, vaulted, beehive structures. On our build, we will be using a combination of continuous and cut bags in a more conventional linear fashion. The thick earthbag walls are called mass walls. The mass (thickness) of the wall holds heat in the winter and keeps the house cool in the summer. The bag walls are finished on the outside with insulation and plaster, and are mudded or plastered on the inside.
We will be doing an innovative footing made with earthbags. The south wall is mostly 2 x 6 framing allowing for lots of fixed and operable windows — a key component to the passive solar design. In the winter this wall will allow the low winter sun to penetrate deeper into the house to thermally charge the mass walls and floor.
This workshop: we envision a diverse collective of people, women and men, young and old, experienced and inexperienced in building skills, joining together to build a sustainable and affordable home on the high desert of northern New Mexico. We invite a motivated, curious, and supportive group of 10 to 12 folks to engage in the various tasks in the building of an earthbag home. The project will be a collaboration of creativity, work, enjoyment, and play. Our vision is to co-create a high vibration, conscious experience — meditation, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, bodywork, and playing music are encouraged. Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana are discouraged. We encourage participants to camp on-site as this will enrich the community experience.
Our workshop week will be Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We’ll break for an hour at noon when a vegan lunch will be provided. Fruit, healthy snacks, and water will be available throughout the workday. The earthbag project is very labor intensive, so be prepared to have a lot of hands-on experiences as you learn. Kenny will be teaching, step by step, as we build from the ground up. We will be sharing our knowledge and our experience of finding the site, creating the design, gathering the team, and how to stay within the local building codes. Questions are welcomed as we co-create. Together, we’ll be building a beautiful earthbag building from raw earth to beautiful home within a four-month time frame. You are encouraged to join us for the entire process, but shorter increments are possible.