Bags of dirt are better than bags under the eyes… :)

11 Jul

Many of you know that we’ve started working on a NEW hybrid home.

That home, which we’re calling the “Corganix Project“, uses both ISBUs and Earthbags to form a family friendly home that can be built with basic tools and a lot of sweat equity.

Corganix combines ISBUs and Earthbags – to combine the best of each system into one solid, weather resistant, affordable  home that will stand for decades.

Guys like Owen Geiger, the High Potentate of  the Earthbag Nation, even featured it on his own blog:

Corganix-Disaster-Resistant-ISBU Earthbag-Homes

We’re even exploring using a “smaller” version of this extremely energy efficient and cost effective home in the third world.

Many readers have expressed an interest in building this little beauty.

It looks like this:

We're pushing "Alternative Housing" to the NEXT level!

And, it wouldn’t be possible without this great book, written by… guess who?

Earthbag Guru – Owen Geiger.


Owen’s new book: “The Earthbag Building Guide” is about as comprehensive and well organized a book on the subject of Earthen Homes as ANYONE might like.

In fact, if you can’t go out and actually build an Earthbag home after reading Owen’s book…

well… you’d better stick to trying to stay within the lines when you use your crayons.  And don’t run with scissors, huh? 😉

Like any home building project, using earthbags can seem daunting and complicated at first.  Somebody should have told Owen that.

He’s boiled it all down to a fine art and made it just about “idiot-proof”.

And I can say that with assurance, as I used an advance copy of his book to actually build a small earthbag shelter (approx. 60 square feet), just to “test the teacher”… Suffice to say, idiot or not, the book details all the steps required and my Earthbag test project went off without a hitch. 🙂

The Earthbag Building Guide is aimed at people who actually WANT to learn to build Earthbag structures. Even if you’ve “packed and stacked earthbags” before, I guarantee you that you’re going to learn a few new tricks.

The book spells out HOW to build safe, sound, reliable Earthbag walls and then takes you to the next step, as you insulate, prepare, and finish them.

And, The Earthbag Building Guide is packed with photos and illustrations, so that you almost don’t have to be able to read, to figure out HOW you SHOULD be doing it! 🙂

And what’s more, the biggest names in the Earthbag Nation have all lined up to shower the book with praise.

Here’s an example:

“I have built with earthbags for over twenty years, having helped develop the concept with Nader Khalili in the early 1990′s. Of all the texts on earthbag building that exist (including mine), I have to say that Owen Geiger’s Earthbag Building Guide is by far the most thorough, detailed and technically useful book on the subject yet to emerge. I will be referring to it often in my own projects and look forward with keen interest to forthcoming titles from this talented researcher.” Joseph F. Kennedy, editor The Art of Natural Building and Building Without Borders

The only way Owen could have made it any easier…

… would be to actually show up at your house to help you stack those Earthbags himself.

Corganix combines the “Corten Goodness of ISBUs” with the “back to nature strength of good old  Mother Earth”.

And frankly, folks… you can’t do it without Owen’s book.

For the price of a McDonald’s Lunch, you can literally learn how to build a home that will sustain your family for generations.  I’ll walk right past a Big Mac every time for that!

And yes… you probably could build an earthbag home without “The Earthbag Building Guide”, but it’d be a MUCH harder task.

Your wife will leave you, your kids will hate you, your dog will bite you and I won’t even mention what your cat is gonna leave inside your workboot…

Click HERE to learn more.  Please tell Owen that Ronin sent you.  😉

And… NO! I don’t get a single dime for “pimping” Owen’s Book.

It’s simply one of those books that you absolutely MUST have on your “digital bookshelf” if you’re really intent on building a safe, affordable, energy efficient home for your family.

‘Nuff said.

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2 Responses to “Bags of dirt are better than bags under the eyes… :)”

  1. Tumaini @ Flippin' Factory July 12, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    Thank you, Ronin, for this post! This is just what I was looking for. I came across your site just a couple of days ago.
    I’ve been doing a lot of reading on sustainable homes being built with all kinds of materials and I’m a bit overwhelmed and overjoyed.

    I’m finding so many companies that are reusing the containers but it’s getting harder and harder to tell which ones are doing it the “right” way – environmentally and ethically. Is there a right way?

    I’ve been following Upcycle Living, Logical Homes, Office of Mobile Design, Lo-tek, and Gorilla Design. Are you familiar with these companies? I’m interested to read what you have to say about their process – what they are doing completely wrong or what they are getting right.

    What do you think of Michael Reynolds and his Earthship Biotectures in New Mexico? He uses old tires to build the walls but I’m not sure which is better for the environment – earthbags or old tires? What is your take on that and his whole process? There’s a documentary about his journey on Netflix called Garbage Warrior.

    My husband and I are seriously considering building a safe, environmentally sound, and affordable home using recycled materials. While we are nowhere near building it any time soon, we want to know all the options that are available.

    I am excited to go though your blog and read EVERYTHING!

    Looking forward to hearing from you
    Tumaini in Los Angeles

    • Renaissance Ronin July 12, 2011 at 1:26 am #

      Ah… I miss L.A. sometimes… Okay… Just Redondo Beach… er… Manhattan Beach… um… never mind! 🙂

      Lots of people use ISBUs different ways. To talk about right or wrong in “the Corten Chaos” could take years…

      So, I just talk about how I do it.

      I know earthships. Oy, do I know earthships. I’ve referred to rammed earth on the blog. Been there, done that. The girl was real pretty, but nothing (and I mean NOTHING) is worth all that sweat and toil. At my age now… it’d probably kill me. 😉

      If I have a choice (and I most certainly do, missy… unless I’m arguing with my wife…);

      I choose earthbags over old tires every time… unless I’m trying to start a signal fire. 😉

      Combining ISBUs and earthbags just makes sense to me, even (gasp!) here in the USA. It’s the ultimate low cost, high speed solution. Sure, it’s back-breaking, but if you aren’t scared of burning yourself with a welder or maybe getting a few blisters, you’re gonna get a home that will cradle your kin for generations. And if you do it right, you won’t have a mortgage hanging like a chain around your neck, either…

      Enjoy your stay. Turn the lights off when you leave, huh?

      And stay outta the fridge. I counted the cans… 😉

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