Longtime reader Rachel told me about an opportunity to learn earthbag construction from an expert. Her family is building an earthbag house in Gainesville and YOU are invited to learn right along with them. I asked Rachel if she could send some pictures and a write-up so I could post details here. She shared the following. This is a great opportunity to learn, work and meet cool people while helping a family build their home and expand the building possibilities allowed by Alachua county. Don’t miss it! -DTG
Earthbag Construction Workshop in Gainesville – You are Invited!
My family is embarking on the adventure of building our dream home, just north of Gainesville, Florida.
After years of research and planning, we decided to build using earthbag construction, and despite the extra hurdles it will place in our way, to have the home be fully permitted and up to code.
In our area, that is no minor thing.
We’ve gotten the plans engineered to Florida standards, and after some back-and-forth, gotten the plans approved by the county.
Our county has never permitted an earthbag project, and is eager to see the result, and we want to show them that not only can it create a beautiful home, but that it is structurally sound, environmentally friendly, and natural disaster resistant.
We chose these plans, designed by Owen Geiger:
Here’s the thing though… we’ve never built with earthbags. We’re eager to learn though, and have found an ‘earthbag expert’ that is willing to come and teach us.
Morgan Caraway, of bottomleaf.org, has built a number of earthbag projects, including an earthbag earthship, and an earthbag roundhouse.
He regularly hosts workshops to teach earthbag construction and provide hands-on learning experience for those that are interested in this exciting construction method.
We’d like to open up this opportunity to others that want to learn with us!
Morgan will be on our farm from October 22-29.
Ideally, we would like the attendees to be fairly local people who can learn from Morgan during the workshop, and then put the knowledge to use to help us with the rest of the build.
If we can get some kind of assurance that you’ll help after the workshop is over, the workshop will be free.
If you would just like to come to the workshop with no obligation to help later, then there will be a charge to attend.
I’ve set up a website at upfulearthbag.com, where you can see the progress we’ve made so far and find out more about the workshop.
We also have an event page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/623748014452294/
If you have any questions about the workshop, or our project, I’d love to talk to others that are excited about earthbag construction!
Wonderful! I wish you happy building, Rachel! Please keep us updated about your progress. I have long been interested in this.
Rachel, I am so thrilled to find your information tonight! Some friends and I have property in Marion County, south of you a bit. We’d be interested in joining the workshop for the experience and would love to hear how you navigated Alachua County’s building code. I know I could learn a lot of valuable information from you if you’re willing. Can you email me privately with information on the workshop?
If I knew your email I could… follow the link in the article to our website, http://www.upfulearthbag.com, and email me through the contact email there. The website also has info on the workshop too.
Hey Rachel! This looks so awesome, this is one of the styles my family is looking to build. We are down in central Florida and we’re are going through the process of trying to get approved to build. I would love to know how you’re project turned out, the link is no longer working. Please let me know if you have any tips on getting past the building code! We are being pushed back on every side. Thank you so much.
Did you ever get this built? Curious about the progress
Hello, Rachel and Lana! I am starting the hunt for a county that allows earthbag building. I’m in Brevard County now but open to just about anywhere. Have you had any luck with permitting? Did you build an earthbag house?
Hey Lisa! I am also in Brevard county and unfortunately had no luck i getting anything like this approved. I know there are communities in California and Nevada that have completed projects and pre-approval for building. Other than in those areas, and especially in Florida, it will be hard and expensive to push a project like this through. My family is still interested in these methods though, and are travelling to Ecuador to work on an earthbag building project. And maybe buy our own land there to start our build.
Hi I live in Geneva FL, I have 5 acres and I am looking to build an earthbag home. Any advice as far as getting building permits and approval?
I’m in Apopka….looking to learn and do the same…let me know what you find out please
Hi Rachel. I am interested in earthbag construction and while on line, just found you folks. Checked your link and also found it no longer working. I live in Trenton, just west of you. How did your project turn out? Would it be possible to come out at some point to see it and ask questions about how it went, what would you do different if anything, did you use any external insulation, how is it in the summer in terms of temperature control. Thanks! Looking forward to hearing from you folks.
Soooo… what happened? I see this is dated 2016 – no follow up?