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Hyperadobe - earthbags evolved

Abe Connally

Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Chihuahua Desert
Just came across this new earthbag system, and it seems very interesting:

The bags are an open-weave bag that reduces the HDPE by 1/2 compared to normal earthbags.  The open weave allows for a joining between bags (no barbed wire on vertical walls), and helps with the stucco application.  Lots of benefits to this system.

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Doug Gillespie

Joined: May 04, 2010
Posts: 77
Ran across that last night myself, and it looks VERY promising.  My only real concern is that it would seem you'd need to be more careful about protecting unfinished walls from wet weather than with the feed bags.

Abe Connally

Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Chihuahua Desert
Yeah, it would depend on your climate.  All earthbag walls need a protective covering, mostly for the UV damage.

On vertical walls, water doesn't soak in very much, it mostly runs off, and although it could erode a bit, with decent overhangs and a good stucco, you wouldn't have anything to worry about.

To me, it seems like water would affect it less than cob or adobe, mostly because of the netting to hold things in place.  It does seem like an interesting development.
Jordan Lowery

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
where are they finding these rolls, i cant seem to find any online.

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Abe Connally

Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Chihuahua Desert
You might be able to get them from bag manufacturers:
Doug Gillespie

Joined: May 04, 2010
Posts: 77
Yup - Owen Geiger (who's a hell of a nice guy to correspond with, by the way - as is Kelly Hart) apparently had a contest for folks to find suppliers, and several were located.  Anyway, this development has gotten us re-energized about earthbags enough that we've decided that this year's project for the land will be a round earthbag pump house with a reciprocal frame roof.  WooHoo!

Jordan Lowery

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
i found this, they also have  14" model.

you can build quite a bit of wall with just that one roll.

Joined: Dec 04, 2010
Posts: 79
I think you would be very disappointed in that vexar bag material.  Looking at a magnified picture of the bag, this is the sort of bag that you find tomatos and grapes packaged in.  This mesh is very weak.  What you want is the raschel type bag used in packaging onions and potatos, the kind that looks like shadecloth.  This particular weave would retain much more soil than the larger mesh would.  Remember, bursting strength is important, as the bags have to be filled and then tamped solid and flat once laid on it's side, making a 5-6 inch thick layer.  The bag has to be able to withstand this tamping without bursting, otherwise the benefit of bagging it in the first place is lost.

A study needs to be conducted on different bag materials/weaves to see what is optimal at the best price point.
Jordan Lowery

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
theres a zoomed in photo, the larger one i see is still way too small. but thanks for the input well taken note. what i really want is that big roll in the photos.
Eli Boyd

Joined: Dec 27, 2010
Posts: 16
Location: Taos, NM
Here's the best place I've found so far..

I've been using earthbags and so this is new to me but I really like it..

Incidentally, for those who use earthbags, small sharp rocks can be placed between courses to help avoid slipping(instead of barb wire)..

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Jordan Lowery

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
i found that place as well but i don't think they sell rolls, only bags. bags would be a lot more work compared to the original article.
whitey flagg

Joined: Jul 13, 2012
Posts: 1

i am just about to begin a long-term apprenticeship at cal-earth september 1, 2012. i know many others at there have spoke for some time about testing different types of bags for superadobe, something i am very interested in. i think the mesh bag idea is very exciting, simplifying the process and making it even more affordable. if anyone here has links or more information regarding suppliers, please post here. better yet, to ensure that i do not miss it, it would be a bonus if you could email me through my blog at if you find a good contact. i would like to see if perhaps we could do a small prototype while i am at cal-earth this fall. any info is greatly appreciated!

thanks in advance!

whitey flagg
William Lindberg

Joined: Jul 09, 2012
Posts: 2
This is the material I would like to use in my project. I plan to build a small hyperadobe structure as soon as I get my materials together. My idea is to coat the walls with cob and then plaster after they are up. I'm hoping to learn a lot from the project and appreciate any pointers in advance.
Jason McFarland

Joined: May 27, 2013
Posts: 8
Would there be any disadvantage in using these types of bags in earthbag dome construction?
Elias Antoniou

Joined: Jan 27, 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Greece
Jason McFarland wrote:Would there be any disadvantage in using these types of bags in earthbag dome construction?

I am also on the roadway to making a "hyper"/"super" adobe house next spring and I have already been at a workshop where we made a couple of constructions and it wasn't domes that we made. It was straight up walls and surfaces. It didn't dome at all as far as I remember. Very fast and effective way to build a house.. Much faster than previous earth bag constructions. And it becomes a monolithic thing like cob. Very stable! Feel free to ask anything. Lets make this thread a nice pool of knowledge about Hyper/Super Adobe!
Sahara Sjovaettir

Joined: Nov 03, 2013
Posts: 33
Was anyone able to find a good source for raschel spools?
Armando Quinn

Joined: Nov 18, 2013
Posts: 12
Location: New Mexico
Sahara Sjovaettir wrote:Was anyone able to find a good source for raschel spools?

I ordered a roll from this company last January.

I wish I could tell you more about the quality of the tubing, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet and it is about 1500 miles away from me right now. The company I purchased these from was familiar with others using this tubing for building. I'm pretty sure I got the link for this company from one of Owen Geiger's articles on another site.
Scott Howard

Joined: Dec 05, 2010
Posts: 59
I'll be teaching the hyperadobe system in Jamaica this year in April. I've been teaching for almost 15 years now!
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2014 Schedule of events:

> Fire Powered Hot Tub 1/25-1/26
> Earth Oven and Floors 4/5-4/9
> Earthbag Dome Building 4/19-4/27
> Regenerative Home 5/10-5/18
> Everything Earthen 6/14-6/21
> Tadelakt the World 6/22
> Designing Regenerative Buildings 7/5-7/6
> Artistic Sculpture in Earth 7/19-7/20

> Happy New Year!
> *What could be better than studying practical technologies with your
> Register, or inquire please email us at:

> *Fire Powered Hot Tub - January 25-26 - Big Island, Hawaii. *Learn how to
> heat water with solar and fire in this two day demonstration course.
> Discuss various approaches and options to home water heating without
> electricity. Then assemble a simple hot tub unit and get in a soak.
> *Earth Oven and Floor - April 5-9 - Haleiwa, Oahu.* Come learn how to
> build earthen floors that are durable, ecological and so comfortable on
> bare feet. We will begin installation of a big floor in a traditional
> Hawaiian Hale (gathering structure). We will also be constructing a
> traditional cob oven for baking. The skills covered in this class are an
> ideal introduction to working with Cob/Adobe/Sand-Clay mixtures. While on
> site at Mohala Farms, you will be introduced to all aspects of their
> small-scale (6-acre) organic farming operation and will have the
> opportunity to participate in a number of their organic and permaculture
> practices. Plus the entire workshop is only minutes away from Haleiwa town
> and the beautiful north shore coast line of O'ahu with it's legendary
> surfing and ocean activities. We will take a field trip together to see
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> *Earthbag Dome Building - April 19-27 - Negril, Jamaica.* Our budding
> ecovillage is the location for this course, where there are already two
> partially completed Earthbag buildings. You will learn skills needed to
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> earthen plasters, cement, and lime. Your tuition gets you: Lectures,
> hands-on instruction, tour of the area, ground transport, meals, and
> camping. Enjoy seeing a slice of Jamaica on a couple incredible field
> trips. We will visit beautiful swimming and diving location on the
> seaboard, swimming spots along streams, and pass through nearby farms and
> towns. Permaculture and alternative technology topics will also be
> highlighted. Mostly a hands-on course, also including slideshows, lectures,
> and fun field trips.
> *Regenerative Home Intensive - May 10-18 - La Garita, Colorado.* Eight
> days of intensive learning at a remote site in Southern Colorado. We will
> put the final touches on the Regenerative Home. The home is
> self-sufficient, low-cost, using appropriate technology for these times. We
> will touch on passive and active solar arrays, passive solar design, rocket
> stoves, rammed earth building, adobe brick vault building, grey and black
> water use, berming, plasters and paints, permaculture site design, building
> codes, plumbing, electrical, passive refrigeration, solar water
> distillation, and solar hot water heating. Experience an amazing natural
> setting - A stream with resident beavers runs by the site. Learn all the
> details of construction with lectures, slides, and hands on classes. You
> will come away from this experience fired up to build your own home with
> some further guidance.
> *Tadelakt the World - June 22 - Portland, Oregon.* Learn the ancient art
> of burnishing lime plaster until it is waterproof! You'll learn about lime
> finish plasters in general, and the details of how to create the tadelakt
> finish. This finish is applicable to showers, tubs, sinks, bowls, and more.
> *Everything Earthen: Building Walls and Plastering - June 14-21 -
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> and lime paints. Hands-on instruction, lectures and slides.
> *Designing Regenerative Earthen Buildings - July 5-6 - Portland, Oregon.*Delve
deep into the design and technical aspects of creating a holistic
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> Lectures, slides, drawing, models, estimating, and engineering basics.
> *Artistic Sculpture in Unfired Earth - July 19-20 - Portland, Oregon.*This class
explores the infinite artistic possibilities of unfired
> clay/sand/fiber mixtures. We will use pigments, and a wide variety of
> techniques to create innumerable effects. Learn how to make earthen
> plasters, paints, pigments, constructing an armature to support the
> sculpture. Great fun for all skill levels, ages 12 and up.
> Sign-up today at *WWW.EARTHENHAND.COM

> Or send us an email to

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subject: Hyperadobe - earthbags evolved