As you may know I have been working up new concepts for earthbag homes for quite awhile. But lately I have moved beyond the idea of filling and stacking thousands of bags as wasteful, time consuming, and lets face it - pretty damn tiring.
To me the answer seems so obvious and based on such common sense - I don't see how can so many people have missed it completely. Well I'm getting ahead of myself. The concept is this.
Use Hesco bags instead of traditional earth bags for all the exterior walls of your house. This is an amazing concept since a Hesco bag is 3' to 4' thick it would provide all the thermal mass you could ever want. That means no need to buy insulation EVER. If you've ever walked into a cave or a mine shaft on a hot day and discovered how cool it was - then you understand the concept. Additionally you would also have a house stronger than most bunkers (nice benefit). Their are other considerable benefits to this method of construction.
One major benefit is that one person with a front end loader or backhoe could construct an entire 30 foot wall x 9 feet high in one morning. You would use 3ft x 9ft Hesco's stacked together for the exterior wall sections. You would use 2ft x 2ft Hesco bags (cubes) to construct the areas around the windows and doors; using small regular sized earth/sand bags as fill around the windows and doors and the interior walls. When you are all done you simply cover with wire, and trowel (or use a gunnite gun) up 2 inches or so of concrete to encase the wall. After the concrete dries you have a concrete home that looks essentially like any other concrete home. Then you can paint, or use stucco to make your house look like any other un-assuming adobe or stucco home - if that's what your in-to. Personally I could give a shit what other people think of my home. Of course the walls will be considerably thicker than other people's, but that's their problem.
And...if you like the look of thinner walls (like the 1ft thick walls you get with traditional sand bag construction you could use something like this "Sandmaster".
This device, when used by two trained people, is reported to be able to fill up to 6,000 bags in 8 hours. A few days like that and you would have all the building materials needed to construct a pretty large and very secure house.
To illustrate this by degrees - here is a sample of traditional earthbag homes.
Also note that for most people who don't mind doing some of their own labor you may expect a reasonable cost for a small home to be finished for maybe $10,000 to $25,000.
Not bad when you consider the modern, "archival type" home that looks like every other POS house in the standard suburb to be sold for upwards of $200,000 to $300,000. Perfect if you want to live in debt the rest of your life.
For us we will find a $20,000 top $30,000 piece of property and build our own home for another $20,000. No mortgage, no debt, no slavery.