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Milkwood Blog

Earthbag Dome Completo

November 20, 2012 | Building, Natural Building | 11 comments | Author:

Rose has moved into the Earthbag Dome at Milkwood Farm and we can now report that it works. There’s the woodstove to stoke up on cold nights, and the rest of the time it’s a very quiet, very temperature-stable bedroom, with only slight hobbit connotations.

One of the things about this earthdome is that it’s very tricky to photograph internally, given that it’s so darn small (yet comfortably spacious, in its way). Prepare for lots of close-ups – hopefully you’ll get the idea…

As mentioned here, Shane did an incredible job with the doorway and door (as he does with everything else), providing a solid and special entrance.

The bed fits a single mattress with room to spare, which surprised us all. We made the bed base from recycled offcuts from our house building timbers, with Shane doing some great radial nudging to make it all symmetrical in the end.

The ceiling closes to a skylight, with four air pipes beneath. Rose can cap or uncap these pipes as desired for airflow, with the air inlet coming in at the floor next to the woodstove via another pipe.

A small but important note was to screen all these pipes so that critters and insects don’t enter the dome uninvited.

The ‘Dover’ woodstove came from Nick’s sister’s shed (thanks Lisa), which she in turn got from a  clearing sale at some point in the past, somewhere. It works fine to warm the internal space and boil a kettle. Don’t think there’s any plans to roast anything in this in the near future, but who knows what the future will bring to this place.

So there you go. One cosy nook.

Habitable, cosy structures are a bit of a bottleneck for us at Milkwood Farm (as we started with none, and they take a fair effort to manifest), so this project means we’re one bedroom closer to our goals.

February 2011
March 2012
October 2012

Interestingly, this structure will likely outlast everything else at this farm – in 150-200 years time, the chances of this earthbag dome being intact and habitable, due to its tensile strength and endurance of materials, is high.

What will this place look like in 200 years time? I have no idea – perhaps an established regenerative farm with 200 year old olive groves, perhaps something else… but the earthbag dome will still be snug on the ridge, watching over it all…

>> Read the whole trajectory of this earthbag dome here…



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11 COMMENTS


  • eremophila November 20, 2012 at 7:43 am | Reply

    I couldn’t imagine sleeping in anything better than this!


  • Bruce Miller November 20, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply

    This very realistc survival shelter possibly not good for areas with frost? Anybody know? As for insulationg qualities? Just the same timely fo the new era America approaches.


  • alex Keenan November 20, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply

    Two notes on frost. One is you would want thaw stable ground to build on. Two you can mix ground plastic in with sand and increase insulation qualities. An you may with to use a water proof finishing plaster for the outer coat.


  • Meg McGowan November 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply

    I’m so in love with this beautiful little room! Is there any possibility you’ll be building any more for student accommodation? I’d love to come and stay in one for one of your long courses.


  • dixiebelle November 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply

    Thank you for letting us see inside your little house, Rose!


  • annie November 21, 2012 at 7:25 am | Reply

    Very sweet! Takes tiny house to a whole new level…


  • Sharn November 21, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply

    Awesome job on the door Shane!!!


  • Kade November 27, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply

    Looks great and very cosy! So nice to see it finished.


  • Dean November 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Reply

    Would certainly fit in with the temporary shelter concept of mortgage free living. Thoreauvian economics! I enjoyed being involved in the beginning of this project even though mentally I was going through the worst period in my life. A period that I will never be able to nor want to forget.


    1. milkwoodkirsten November 28, 2012 at 6:44 am | Reply

      Go well, dean! Thanks for your help :)


  • […] Rose’s Earth Dome. […]



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