How to Build an Earthbag Dome

earthbag home

“Domes are the strongest form in nature and easily support enormous forces. They create the most floor space for a given length of wall. There are no wasted corners. The feeling inside is magical. Those who live in domes (and roundhouses) most likely never live in boxes again. Wind flows around domes and does not build up pressure against them.”

“You can build domes without wood. You can build domes with minimal tools and materials – no nails, no wood, no plywood, no shingles. This makes domes a good candidate for those who lack carpentry skills and for emergency shelters for disaster areas and war refugees. Give people some rice or grain bags and a little training, and soon they can build their own sturdy, safe shelters.”

Step-by-Step Earthbag Building Instructable. Via Make.

Know Your Bolts

know your bolts

Makezine points to this printable poster that displays all the different bolts and nuts and connectors along with their official names (and instructions on how and when to use them). All bolts – except for the Pentalobe screw (more).

Practical Conservation Handbooks: More Excellent DIY Resources

Zandduinen Gereedschappen onderhouden Hedging Tree planting

The British charity BTCV has an interesting collection of practical handbooks online. They all concern traditional practices and give a wealth of how-to details, including many drawings. Update December 2: BTCV has taken the books offline.

Related resources:

Compendium of Useful Information

solar house

“Access to 2 gigabytes of information about sustainable and resilient living that meets the challenges of peak energy, climate instability, economic irrationality, toxic politics, war and violence.”

Compendium of useful information – version 1.0, september 3, 2010. The page reminds a lot of the 13 gigabyte database set up by Alex Weir (previously: How to make everything yourself – online low-tech resources), and from a quick overview I learn that many of the same sources are listed.

However, the list is better organised and also seems to contain quite a few DIY-resources which I did not see before.

Related: the recent launches of the Green Wizard Forums and the UNESCO Traditional Knowledge Base. Picture: totally solar heated house.

Green Wizards

“One of the things the soon-to-be-deindustrializing world most needs just now is green wizards. By this I mean individuals who are willing to take on the responsibility to learn, practice, and thoroughly master a set of unpopular but valuable skills – the skills of the old appropriate tech movement – and share them with their neighbors when the day comes that their neighbors are willing to learn”. Green Wizard Forums. (+ criticism & response).

Water Batteries for Trees

water batteries for trees

“Using groundwater to grow crops and trees doesn’t make sense to Pieter Hoff, a Dutch inventor. Not only are traditional irrigation techniques inefficient because most of the water is lost to evaporation, Mr. Hoff says, but water can be easily captured from the atmosphere to grow just about anything.

To prove his point, Mr. Hoff retired from the lily and tulip export business in 2003, established his company, AquaPro, and devoted himself to the development of the Groasis Waterboxx (manuals), which he says will grow food crops and trees even in the driest places on earth.” Read more.