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EarthBags in Belize

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mrsumo
2/5/2018 23:49 EST

Does anyone have experience building with Earthbags in Belize? I am moving to the Corozal area and am thinking that is the way I want to go.

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5allan1
2/6/2018 08:45 EST

There was an odd duck building an earth bag house on Cerros Peninsula. Heard good and bad about the project. So belizelenny might know about him. Most Belizeans prefer concrete bunkers with zinc roofing if they can afford it.

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Kenubelizeit
2/6/2018 09:11 EST

I havent seen this type of construction but maybe my buddy a Mayan contractor knows how to construct Mayan style as he works with the archaeology department his name is Jorge Kaan

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Conmurphy
2/6/2018 09:41 EST

You'll find it difficult to successfully build with earth bags in Belize.
I know of several attempts in the Cayo area that literally fell apart.
The humidity in the air is so high here, (Over 80% average) the earth never really sets, and erodes very quickly if water ever gets on the surface.
This can also lead to mold issues,
Im not saying it can be done, but to do so safely would require soil additives or very careful soil selection and very large over hanging roofs,
Conor
Earth Bags are more suited for less humid climates.

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terrific
2/6/2018 20:06 EST

there is an area in Cayo up by the dam that has several earth bag homes, one was even featured on house hunters.

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Conmurphy
2/6/2018 20:11 EST

Ill stand corrected on that one if so, Thanks.
I know of two in the bullet tree area that turned out to be disasters,
I would like to know what they did differently,
C

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jlydia
2/6/2018 21:54 EST

Go to youtube and search for Belize Earth bag or earthbag belize. He is a local contractor and has a vid showing him constructing this type of home. Sorry i forget his name.

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belizelenny
2/7/2018 11:58 EST

There is one near me at Cerros...definitely do your homework as this home looks like a demo to me.

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belizelenny
2/7/2018 11:58 EST

There is one near me at Cerros...definitely do your homework as this home looks like a demo to me.

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mgammo
2/7/2018 14:51 EST

I looks at a video of it, What is the reasoning behind building one. If it is money, I would look into one of those little Mennonite , pre fab wooden ones. They are really inexpensive. I went with cinder block and rebar steel reinforcements. I guess to each his own. I wonder if it would be toasty in there or cool? Would the bags eventually mildew and rot? I just don't know about all that...

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terrific
2/8/2018 02:13 EST

The theories about Earth bag dwellings are that they (if built properly and on prepared land) are weather and hurricane proof. The biggest costs re Labor costs which would make them very attractive to build in a country when labor costs are very low. I have discussed the idea with my builder we both rather like the idea of making a small cottage as an experiment, The idea is the thickness of the walls is a very good insulater. Importantly all the Earth bags need to be covered very well with a Plaster finish on all sides which makes them totally weather proof. Hope to start one when he is between contracts, and I can be there to see it all go up. if it not as good as hoped at least I would have another Storage shed.

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Kenubelizeit
2/8/2018 06:45 EST

If you are looking at costs then may I suggest building a house out of taciste (palmetto) and covering it with white adobe mud similar to ancient Maya but still presently in use.

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terrific
2/8/2018 17:25 EST

It wasn't just the cost I had in mind I mentioned that because it is 90% unskilled labor filling the Earth bags. The other 10% is knowing how to assemble them into a dwelling.
I like the idea of building on my land a completely eco building, I already have solar and rain catchment why not use the earth for a house as well, with a thatched roof from the palms on the land. My builder actually suggested an adobe mud instead of plaster as the outer covering.

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bobbyveee
2/8/2018 18:42 EST

Ive seen great places built out of bales of hay, cement covered they are immensely strong, weather proof and incredibly well insulated, just not sure if you can get bales in Belize

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mrsumo
2/9/2018 00:08 EST

Thank you! I have been doing a lot of research.

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mrsumo
2/9/2018 00:10 EST

Thanks for the advice. I do see these kinds of houses are prominent in places like Thailand and Laos, and other tropical climates. The humidity in those countries is pretty high too. Maybe the ones that failed were due to human error? I am definitely doing my homework on what medium I want to use for my new home. I am planning on retiring in Belize, so whatever I choose, I want it to last a while

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mrsumo
2/9/2018 00:23 EST

Well, I want to build using local resources. The price is always a consideration, but a big part of it is I have always wanted to build my own home with my own hands. I have seen many custom features in these kinds of homes as well.
I wouldn't mind looking at the homes you mention. Do you have a link or anything?

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mrsumo
2/9/2018 01:49 EST

Does anyone know if anyone has built an Earthship in the area? Or used Cob? +

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slickslam
2/9/2018 08:09 EST

Are these the p[refab houses?:
http://www.lindavistabelize.com/

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elgordo42
2/9/2018 09:57 EST

There is a fellow in Cyo named Joge Aldana who has done a lot of exploring with the use of alternative and recycled materials. He is currently casting mixes of cement with rice husks, glass and other"waste."
Belize Interlocking Pavers and Blocks, on FaceBook and www.bzinterlocking.com

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elgordo42
2/10/2018 10:14 EST

Here is the FB link for Jorge's business. I saw him speak at Galen University the other day. He is a fascinating inventor and entrepeneur!
https://www.facebook.com/BelizeInterlocking/

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mgammo
2/10/2018 20:18 EST

That is really neat...

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IreneB
2/14/2018 03:29 EST

There is an earthship house just in front of Lubanntan that has been there for a number of years.

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RoyalPalm
2/15/2018 19:42 EST

The Developement mentioned in Cayo that has two earthbag homes is 'Better in Belize'. You can find many videos from them on you tube.
We are planning on trying earthbag on a cabana next year at our property in the Hummingbird Highway area also.
I found several videos on other builders tryin earthbag down here and some were very well done and informative.
One of the best tips I got from others experience was mixing granular and clay in your bags with powedered lime to aid the drying and preventing any moisture that does make it through you cement stucco from swelling the material.
I believe the baddest challenge will be to keep the building dry until you have completed the stucco application. How much work this will be will depend on where you are building and what time of year you plan on constructing.
Best of luck and if I start mine before you do I will post progress and insights.

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