Here is a faster earthbag building method that I came across that I think is pretty outstanding and innovative. As someone who built a earthbag building two summers ago, I can attest to how labor intensive the method can be.
My wife and I spent several months shoveling bags full of heavy clay soil, stacking them, laying out barbed wire and pounding the ever loving crap out of them till we had a nice hard and compacted row. Once we got to above waist height those one-hundred plus pound bags were killing us so we switched over to traditional framing from there after pouring a bond beam. This method would have saved a ton of blood, sweat and tears.
*My wife was crying, not me. I swear*
The folks at Earth Home Builders have developed a method of using a skid steer mounted auger to fill a earthbag wall at the rate of four hundred feet per hour.
Here is a photo montage of the building process.
I really like the use of the compactor, with the long single roll it is much more sturdier to support the operator. I would never have attempted this with the single bags we used.
This is the only point of the process I don’t agree with. The corners are not overlapped, instead they depend on the use of rebar pins, barbed wire and a bond beam to provide lateral strength. It should be sufficient but I try and tend to always overbuild. Just my personal preference.
Chicken wire is attached to provide a attachment point for the stucco layer, purist will use clay soil but up here in Maine with our rain and cold we went with surface bonding cement instead.
You always got to do a ballistics test with a twelve gauge.
The twelve gauge slug at forty feet.
The last row being compacted before the bond beam gets poured.
Here is a ten minute video that shows a course being laid down and how quickly the process works
They are currently looking for non-profits to partner with to bring this affordable building method to the people who need it the most. So if you want to lend them some support or words of encouragement, check out their website.
If you would like to see how we built our earthbag building, you can see the complete build on our forums.
(Photo Credits: http://www.unitedearthbuilders.com/)