Earthbag buildings make for dynamic, eco-friendly homes focusing on sustainability and using natural resources.
Earthbag homes are constructed by filling polypropylene bags with a mixture of clay and sand, which are then stacked on top of each other to make a structure.
With little research, someone might think this would make quite an ugly home, but today I am here to show you some awesome earthbag homes!
This article lists twenty modern earthbag homes that will change how you think about sustainable building and its affordability.
For information about the costs involved in earthbag building, read our article “How Much Does An Earthbag Home Cost? (Is It Cheap To Build).”
1. Koh Phangan
The first home on this list is the Koh Phangan earthbag home found in Thailand. Koh Phangan uses the placement of giant granite boulders with earthbags to create an elegant sustainable home that mimics a natural cave.
The luxurious design combines granite, wood, and earthbags to build this home.
The rendering used over the earthbags is a mixture of yellow soil, clay, cement, and a small amount of yellow and red oxides.
Instead of using barbed wire to improve structural stability, Koh Phangan uses nylon fishing nets as support. The wood used for the roof is softwood called “Taiken Ra.”
2. La Casa Vergara
In Bogota, Colombia, there is a striking blue earthbag home. The home follows the superadobe plan, using only earth, tubular bags, and barbed wire for its structure.
This design was very cost-effective, costing $28/sq.ft. It performs very well in Bogota’s climatic zone, with rooms reinforced by sustainable timbers to create the dome shape.
The Riceland home gets its name from the company printed on the polypropylene bags that constructed this house.
Riceland is a small domed earthbag house that measures 14ft high and is considered a prototype dome.
Riceland has this label of ‘prototype’ because disaster relief teams can replicate the structure quickly during natural disasters.
4. The Papercrete Home
Kelly Hart constructed the Papercrete Home in 2000. This massive structure comprises an elliptical dome and a smaller circular dome.
The dome uses scoria (crushed volcanic rock) with the traditional bags of sand mixed with recycled paper, and a small amount of cement covers the home’s exterior.
5. Earthbag Yurt
The earthbag yurt is a structure created for colder climates that uses a scoria base that acts as an insulator to keep heat in the yurt.
The Earthbag yurt follows the design of a traditional circular tent (yurt) but has earthbag walls. This low-cost, portable design fares very well in cold conditions.
An earthbag yurt would be perfect for areas such as Canada, Siberia, or the Mid West US states.
6. Hobbit Homes
The hobbit Home is a whimsical Earthbag construction that incorporates the aesthetic and looks of the hobbit homes from ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ While not all hobbit homes use earthbags, this look is perfect for an Earthbag home.
Hobbit homes are usually tiny, round houses with thatched roofs and have an earthy and natural visual. Thatch is a type of roofing made from straws or grasses.
The superadobe incorporates long polypropylene bags filled with an adobe mixture (clay, sand, and water). Usually, these bags form together to make a coil-like structure repeatedly stacked on top of each other. The result is a large dome structure.
Superadobe buildings are a very well-known style of earthbag used around the world. The superadobe method can also incorporate beautiful arches and vaults, creating another layer of visual wonder.
8. Bonita Domes
Located in Joshua Tree, California, the Bonita Domes uses its climatic zones very efficiently to create some amazing-looking Earthbag homes.
The Bonita Domes has a main house, two extra sleeping pods, an outdoor kitchen, and a shower house.
The builders focused on the traditional superadobe structure, opting for smaller buildings spaced out over an area.
9. The Hootenanny
Located on the Baja Coast, this intricate earthbag home contains two separate buildings homes. Each house consists of two domes and a semi-dome used as a bathroom.
The Hootenanny sports beautiful arched windows and a massive keyhole door that show off the architectural feats that earthbags can produce.
10. Casa De Lodo
Created in 2017, Jay Eisenberg built this stunning earthbag home in Oahu, Hawaii.
After gaining inspiration from other sustainable builders in New Zealand and California, he made Casa De Lodo with sustainability and cost-effectiveness in mind.
With the whole thing costing Jay under $6,500. Boasting a loft, an open-air kitchen, and a recycled sunroof, the Casa De Lodo makes great use of the space and brings in natural light from the outside very effectively.
11. Wayahnb’al Hostel
When viewing pictures of the beautiful Wayahnb’al Hostel, you might be excited to hear that you can rent a stay in one of these stunning earthbag homes.
Located in Acapulco, Mexico, these conical homes follow the superadobe method, with clay plaster covering the exterior. Even during the hot Mexican summers, the rooms stay cool due to the natural building materials employed. It is a unique travel experience.
12. The Honey House
The Honey House is a sub-dome earthbag home with a massive 12ft interior. What makes this house intriguing is the beautiful arched windows built into the home. The large door closely resembles a catenary arch and is a central focal point of the house.
13. Earthbag Tiny House
This tiny house is at the forefront of micro homes, self-sufficiency, and earthbag building. Merging these concepts, Morgan Caraway built this sustainable home for under $5,000 while also focusing on creating an energy-efficient home.
Unlike some areas on this list, this location needed a weatherproof roof due to the high rainfall. The roof is a corrugated metal that protects the plaster and earthbags from weather damage.
14. The Allison Kennedy House
This earthbag home has the honor of being the first earthbag home permitted in Utah. This home has vibrant clay colors that Allison found on the property and has various Native American designs on the walls and roof.
This home is truly a work of art and shows how beautiful an earthbag home can be.
15. Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage
The ecovillage is located in Cameroon; Ndanifor is a government project to see how beneficial earthbag building would be for a community.
The community built Ndanifor and finished construction in 2020. These remarkable structures were affordable in a country where materials are very scarce.
16. Shantikuthi Earthbag Spiral House
The spiral house is a working, concept house built in the Peace Permaculture Garden in Japan. Construction was finished in 2011 by Michi-kun with the help of 20 volunteers.
The earthbags were dug in a rubble trench foundation at a depth of 60cm. The roof has a spiral pattern that grows various plants and is stocked with furniture and a rocket stove.
17. Willowend Roundhouse
The Willowend Roundhouse is a superadobe structure built in rural Australia. It has four rammed-earth walls, and the rest uses earthbags to create the magnificent rounded wall in the picture below.
It is self-sustainable and has a corrugated tin roof that regulates the temperature during the hot Australian summers.
18. New Zealand Hermitage
The Hermitage is a quaint, tiny earthbag home on the South Island of New Zealand. The singular dome is covered with a concrete render to protect the earthbag from the wetter climate. The New Zealand Hermitage is another excellent example of an earthbag micro home.
19. The OM Dome
The OM Dome was also built in Koh Phangan, Thailand. Trevor Lytle created the dome to test the purity of sound vibrations in a natural dome.
The results were fantastic, with locals finding a spiritual connection to the building. It also has a massive sunroof called ‘The Occulus’ that shines light throughout the building.
20. EarthDome Home
This earthbag home is subterranean, making the house a lot cooler during hot weather. The Earthdome is a 12ft circular hybrid dome that uses all recycled materials, including doors, windows, and all other interiors.
Final Thoughts On Modern Earthbag Homes
Earthbag homes are a cost-effective and sustainable building method that has been used all over the world.
The low price and accessibility of materials lead to elegant and inspiring designs that are captivating to view.
I hope you agree that the earthbag homes listed in this article show the beauty, ingenuity, and affordability of these homes.
If this article has inspired you to try your hand at earthbag building, check out our article, “The 8 Best Places To Buy Your Earthbag Building Supplies.”