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|Using Rebar Stakes with Earthbags
Questions answered by Kelly Hart
Q: Should one use rebar reinforcement every 2 feet driven vertically through the bags.
A: This is not reallly necessary, except perhaps where you want to tie the wall into a bond beam.
Q: Why is it OK to use rebar through a bag? Doesn't it weaken the bag too much?
A: There only a few circumstances where it may be necessary to do this, but actually puncturing the bag with rebar does not substantially weaken it, and the fill material rarely leaks out.
Q: I saw this in a video called "Making the Soweto Hospice with Volunteers" where they said that it was not necessary to use the barbed wire because of these rebar stakes. I decided to do it like this because it´s cheaper. I could not afford the barbed wire, but if you tell me thatIi definitely need the barbed wire I will try to get some money to buy it.
Q: I read an idea of just using rebar instead of bard wire, I guess that would work. What do you think?
A: As for using rebar instead of barbed wire, this has not been proven over time to be as stable as barbed wire to keep a structure intact, so I am not sure how well it will work. If that rebar is also incorporated into the bond beam at the top, this will certainly help stabilize the building. I doubt that using rebar stakes is any more economical than barbed wire, and may be more costly.
Q: If I were using rebar to avoid building buttresses on straight walls, how far is it recommended for them to be apart in a non-seismic area?
A: Stabilizing a straight wall with rebar pounded down through the wall might work if that rebar is also embedded in a bond beam at the top of the wall. I would suggest doing this at perhaps 2 - 3 foot intervals. Otherwise, for reinforcing with external rebar, you can consult these specs.
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