Natural & Affordable Homes: 13 Stunning Earthbag Structures

Earthbag Building Main

Earthbag building is the process of constructing a sustainable, low-cost shelter by stacking bags filled with dirt, resulting in extremely durable structures that are quick to build, even with no prior knowledge. The walls can be curved or straight and are often formed into domes for dramatic, artistic shapes. Here are 13 beautiful examples of earthbag buildings that can be constructed for as little as $300. Gorgeous Green Earthbag Dome by Owen Geiger

Earthbag Buildings Owen Geiger

This gorgeous shed by Owen Geiger is an example of earth-sheltered earthbag building, which involves packing dirt around an earthbag structure and growing grass on top for a hobbit-like effect. Geiger explains how to build your own at Mother Earth News.  

Beautiful Earthbag Homes by Kaki Hunter

Earthbag Building Kaki Hunter

Renowned earthbag builder Kaki Hunter, who wrote the book 'Earthbag Buliding: The Tools, Tricks and Techniques' along with Doni Kiffmeyer, creates structures that look like they came straight from a fairy tale. This example is from the duo's property in Moab, Utah.  

Shinto Shrine by Kikuma Watanabe

Earthbag Building Shinto Shrine

How beautiful is this incredible earthbag dome, complete with oculus, in Niigata City, Japan? Built by Kikuma Watanabe, the Shinto Shrine is 'an air pocket in the city' on a vacant lot between two highways to offer a small space for reflection and meditation.  

East African Eco Village

Earthbag Building African Eco Village

The same Japanese architect has envisioned an eco village for an East African community on the shores of Lake Victoria. It consists of clusters of four earthbag buildings with water towers at the center. Each cluster contains four living units, each with their own living spaces, meditation rooms and wind power generators.  

Helical Earthbag Shelter by Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture Student

Earthbag Building Helical

Maya Ward-Karet built this striking earthbag structure as a student at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West. 'Helixa Shelter' was constructed for just $812 and features a curved construction that protects the interior from the sand, sun and wind while still enabling open interaction with the desert environment.  

Earthbag Domes by Milkwood

Earthbag Building Milkwood

This earthbag dome structure is at the Permaforest Trust Farm in Northern New South Wales, Australia.  

The Mud Home

Earthbag Building The Mud Home Earthbag Building The Mud Home 2

The 'mud home' took six weeks to build and cost just $5,000 with no power or running water on the land. The builders had no prior knowledge, learning the skills that they needed to create the structure as they went.  

Somos Children's Village

Earthbag Building Somos Village

Project Somos is creating a village that provides a secure home, loving family and hopeful future to Guatemalan children in need. A beautiful, sustainable and affordable earthbag children's village provides shelter for children and families living in poverty. The creators hope that this will be the first of a series of villages around the world.  

Moon Cocoon by Cal Earth

Earthbag Building Moon Cocoon

The 400-squre-foot eco dome known as the 'Moon Cocoon' by Cal Earth can function as a tiny shelter, small guest house, studio apartment or the first step in a clustered design. Cal Earth provides kits to build this house, including a step-by-step DVD, blueprints and unfilled earth bags.  

Divine Nectar Retreat Cabin

Earthbag Buildings Divine Retreat

This stunning earthbag cabin was built as part of a retreat center in the desert of Arizona. See photos of the whole building process at  

Alison Kennedy's Earthquake-Proof Earth Bag House

Earthbag Building Alison Kennedy House

The first permitted earthbag building in Utah, Alison Kennedy's earthquake-proof, self-built home features a colorful roof laid in a design inspired by traditional Navajo weavers.  

Konbit Shelter Earthbag Buildings for Haiti

Earthbag Building Konbit

The Konbit Shelter is a sustainable building project that began in the aftermath of the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010, with the aim of providing creative, affordable and ecologically responsible shelter. The project, started by a small group of artists, has resulted in a community center and two single-family houses in Cormiers, Haiti.  

$300 'Stone Dome'

Earthbag Building Stone Dome

The 257-square-foot 'Stone Dome' is an earthbag shelter that costs just $300 to build. An outline of the project, including blueprints, budgets and required materials, is available at Jovoto.