A Kitchen Addition

Brand new polyethelene bags (grain sacks) and tubes are filled with adobe dirt and pounded into rock hard "adobe bricks" to make structural walls for buildings and fences. Our first building experience with this style of construction was accomplished by building a kitchen to compliment the tire house and to learn first hand these building techniques before building classrooms at the Technico Maya school project in Guatemala.

First, a foundation of gravel filled tires was laid in a trench.

Heat stressed bamboo stakes were then added to tie the foundation into the ground as well as lock the first course of grain sacks to the tire foundation.

Barbed wire is laid in two strands between courses to keep the grain sacks from slipping on each other and to add tensile strength to the structure.

Arch supported doors and windows are blocked out using wooden forms.

A concrete bond beam was poured on top of the walls to lock the top.

Door and window forms were then pulled, dirt bottle columns were built for extra security, and a flat concrete roof was poured on top.

To date, our next step is to pull the roof forms. Once the forms are pulled, we will apply interior and exterior finishes, counters, and a wood stove. A cool-storage pantry for fruits and vegetables will go in the back corner of the kitchen where it meets the tire house. We will add a rain harvesting system to the out door patio and solar heated shower. The wood stove will heat a water cistern on the roof, also connected to the shower. Earthbag construction was inspired by the work of Nader Khalili.


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