Article about the history of earthbag building
A Short History of Earthbag Building by Kelly Hart The idea of making walls by stacking bags of sand or earth has been around for at least a century. Originally sand bags were used for flood control and military bunkers because they are easy to transport to where they need to be used, fast to assemble, inexpensive, and effective at their task of warding off both water and bullets. At first natural materials such as burlap were used to manufacture the bags; more recently woven polypropylene has become the preferred material because of its superior strength. The burlap will actually last a bit longer if subjected to sunlight, but it will eventually rot if left damp, whereas polypropylene is unaffected by moisture. Because of this history of military and flood control, the use of sandbags has generally been associated with the construction of temporary structures or barriers. 1978, a prototype house using an earthquake-proof stacked-bag type of construction was built in Guatemala.
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