Surrounding ISBUs with DIRT! Yes… I said that out loud.

23 May

I was recently reminded that anything that you do “outside the norm” is considered “disruptive”.

A pal of mine, Owen Geiger, is THE Earthbag Guru… at least in my book.

He recently said on his blog, located here;

From Wiki: “A disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is an innovation that disrupts an existing market. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically by lowering price or designing for a different set of consumers.”

He’s related that his manner of building homes out of earth (and CEBs – compressed earth bricks as well) goes back almost “before recorded time”. As such, you could consider those architectural practices “disruptive technologies”.

Like Earthbags, ISBU building can be held in the same regard, in my book. (Man, I sure have a lot of “books” lately!) 🙂

And very soon, I’ll have Owen’s NEW Book, about building Earthbag walls! Watch for it!

Both architectural practices offer cost effective housing solutions that run against the grain, in the mainstream building world.

And like earthbags, you’re not going to run off to consult a banker or mortgage lender for the cash to build your new abode.

While we’re building superior housing with our own too hands, it appears that there is a huge gap between what really works and what can be embraced by bankers and their boards of directors.

I agreed with Owen that this shortsightedness by “those housing experts” severely limits the number of builds globally.

In fact, I believe that this shortsightedness actually endangers families globally.

Owen submits that Personal Computers, Desktop Publishing, the Internet, Mobile Phones were all once considered “distrutive technologies” as well.

Imagine what will happen when we actually build hybrid homes, using both ISBUs and Earthbags, dancing harmoniously together to cradle families securely and safely, against seemingly all odds and perils… including near-sighted bankers and their ilk.



(Yep, copyrighted and trademarked. Don’t even try it… ) 😉

The RONIN Guild has formed a new “arm” that will use ISBU “Cores” with Earthbag “Wings” attached, to form high-speed, sustainable, cost effective and energy efficient housing for families GLOBALLY.

And families will be able to build these homes by themselves, from paycheck to paycheck, without a big mortgage balanced precariously over their heads, after they move in.

In a recent post, I told you that I was going to start sharing some really innovative new ideas in ISBU building with you.

As I begin to share these gems to you… keep the term “disruptive technologies” in mind, as you review them…

Stay tuned.

Image Credit: Dr. Owen GeigerGeiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building


7 Responses to “Surrounding ISBUs with DIRT! Yes… I said that out loud.”

  1. Kim May 23, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Napped in a “bed-womb” at CalEarth in Hesperia, California after a lovely morning with Nadir Khalili many years ago and have never gotten it out of my mind. I’m dying to see what/how you’re adding earth bag wings to containers. I can envision a fabulous guest house with a little central room off of which there could be a few “bedwombs” for guests! Fabulous.

    • Renaissance Ronin May 23, 2011 at 10:55 am #

      You’ll really be surprised at just how fast and easy it is… 🙂

  2. Lisa May 23, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    This idea is absolutely genius!

  3. andy May 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    That is thermal mass for sure. Wishing I had a basement in the Sonoran Desert here. I’d be interested to see if you use cooling tubes in combo for hot dry climates. If the configuration of the bag structure was right I’d bet one could berm up to those as well and manage the rain run-off into cisterns for the veggie gardens and citrus.

    • Renaissance Ronin May 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm #


      Combining Earthbags with the ISBU Core section makes home building a LOT easier… on the wallet.

      You’ll literally be able to build a home for your family, one weekend at a time…

      Will it be easy on your back?

      Well, that’s another matter entirely.

      Anything worth having is worth soaking in a hot tub for… 😉

      And, I’m told that Earthbag buildings might last thousands of years… Imagine that… Even then, archeologists will be seeing our work and cursing me at the same time!

      Talk about immortality! 🙂

  4. John Umland May 25, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    love this.
    God is good

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