20 Awesome Affordable Modern Earthbag Homes to Check Out

A collage of photographs showing different earthbag houses. The one in the bottom left is built into the ground and covered with grass. The one in the top left has smooth, brown domes with pointed arched windows. The one on the right, which is the full height of the image shows the interior of an earthbag home with the inside of the dome finished in a thin layer of plaster that makes the rows of earthbags visible and creates a nice feature. There is also a large skylight in the top of the dome. Across the bottom of the image are the words "Awesome Affordable Modern Earthbag Homes to Check Out."

Images courtesy of Hootenanny, Cal-Earth Inc./Geltaftan Foundation, and Instructables.

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.”

the interior of a modern earthbag home with large ceiling -to-floor windows and rooflights. There are many wooden beams on show in the roof and forming what looks like a mezzanine floor.
Image courtesy of Natural Building.

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.

A blue domed earthbag house with a rectangular room to the side.
Image courtesy of INHABITAT.

3. Riceland

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.

A collage of photographs of the Riceland earthbag house in different stages of construction.
Images courtesy of greenhomebuilding.com.

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.

A collage of photographs of the Papercrete House. It has domes and arched corridors with lots of natural wood.
Images courtesy of EarthbagBuilding.com.

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.

A collage of photographs showing the earthbag yurt and other houses made with earthbags.
Houses made with earthbags. The Earthbag Yurt is in the top left. Images courtesy of Project BlueSphere.

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. 

An earthbag home built into the ground with grass growing over it so that it has the appearance of a small hill, like a hobbit house from Lord of The Rings.
Image courtesy of Autodesk Instructables.

7. Superadobe

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.

The inside of a luxuriously-finished earthbag house with a tall dome that has a skylight at its apex.
Image courtesy of CalEarth.

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.

A Bonita Dome house that is a light orange domed house comprising a single room.
Image courtesy of Tiny House Blog.

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.

Two domed earthbag buildings in Hootenanny in Baja. The houses are single story and have pointed arched windows and a smooth mud plaster finish.
Image courtesy of Hootenanny in Baja.

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.

An earthbag house with white window frames and colorful decorations set into the earth plaster finish.
Image courtesy of Insteading.

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.

The earthbag buildings of Wayahnb'al hostal, Acapulco, Mexico. The buildings are dome shaped and there is a body of water in front of them.
Image courtesy of rise.

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.

A collage of photographs an earthbag called the Honey House at various stages of its construction.
Image courtesy of EarthbagBuilding.com.

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.

A circular earthbag home with an overhanging wooden roof. The walls are finished with mud plaster.
Image courtesy of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

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.

A well-appointed earthbag house with a patterned tiled roof. The attention to detail makes it a work of art in its own right.
Image courtesy of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

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.

An earthbag house in Cameroon with a pitched roof. Part of the roof is thatched and part is tiled.
Image courtesy of The Global Ecovillage Network.

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.

An earthbag home with a gnarled wooden bench outside on a cobbled area. The house has small round windows and a thick gable beam.
Image courtesy of naturalhomes.org.

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.

A circular earthbag home with a sloped roof and rectangular windows. There is a white dog with a black patch over its left eye lying in the foreground of the photograph.
Image courtesy of Curvatecture.

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.

A collage of four photographs of a domed earthbag house from the outside and inside at various stages of completion.
Images courtesy of EarthbagBuilding.com.

 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.

A white domed earthbag house with two large entrances on opposite sides of the dome. The area outside is tiled with orange tiles and there is a statue of Buddha sitting on them.
Image courtesy of EarthbagBuilding.com.

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.

An earthbag house in the shape of a dome with a distressed wooden door that is rounded at the top. The exterior walls are finished in smooth, reddish-brown stucco.
Image courtesy of EarthbagBuilding.com.

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.”

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