As the wall gets taller, earthbag building works best as a collaborative effort. If you are only building a low garden wall with bags, you have both hands free to work by yourself. With several wheelbarrows filled with dirt and arranged along the wall, a single person can build alone. The progress escalates considerably,
however, when the work is shared. Taking turns keeping the wheelbarrows full and tossing cans of dirt up to a partner on the wall keeps the momentum going (Fig. 3.35).
We like to use a three-person team for low walls and five to seven people for taller walls. An odd number of workers keep the teams of two busy tossing and filling while the extra person keeps the wheelbarrows filled. For a really big project, it can keep two people busy just to maintain full wheelbarrows for all the wall builders.
When working with a crew, make sure that you first do a demonstration on how you want the bags filled so that everyone's work is consistent with everyone else's. Two different people's bag work can
3.35: A five- to seven-person team built the 9'6" tall walls for this 7SD sq. ft. Bureau of Land Management Ranger Station in eight days.
Twist Tight Tube Corners"
3.36a, b, c, and d: Tubes excel at curves, but they also turn corners pretty well. Rather than ending a row of tubes at a corner, put a twist into it, turn the corner, and keep on going. Photo credit (all 4): S.S.S.
differ over an inch (1.25 cm) in thickness if they're not on the same wavelength. The easiest way to keep the bags consistent is to have everybody gently firm the dirt in the bag with their hand after every couple of can loads. We like to fill them fairly firm. This way the wall gets taller faster. Thicker bags means fewer rows.
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