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Old 04-08-2011, 03:28 AM
 
6 posts, read 25,507 times
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Does anyone know about the building codes in Iron County, UT? Im looking at land in So. UT so I can build an earthship eventually. I would start off with the basic design and have an earthship/cabin, without all the systems. I'd mainly want water collection, since it seems like its tough to get water out there, and water rights and wells cost way too much. I dont plan on living there, more like a getaway retreat, so I cant maintain it anyway. However I eventually would like expand into a full blown earthship, but permits seem to be the biggest hurdle. Anyone have info? Where do I even go to find this stuff?
Is there any counties in So. UT that have no building codes? I live in Vegas, and would come up on weekends to build, so proximity is important. I dont want to go much further north than Cedar City. Suggestions?
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:46 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,167 posts, read 9,934,185 times
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To my knowledge, there are no counties with no building codes at all in Utah, but there are counties that are friendly to people who want to live an "alternative housing lifestyle"--you might want to think about or contact Millard County. If you are interested in Nevada, I do know there are counties in the north that completely lack codes for building other than basic safety codes.

You mentioned water catchment: there is a GREAT series of books on this topic geared toward the western deserts. It has changed my entire attitude about how, we as a species, should be handling our water needs. It has many wonderful ideas and plans to "harvest" 100% of your water needs from rainwater. You may think you can't do that in the dry west. But, this guy lives in the dry Arizona desert and shows proof that it can be done with a little effort. Here is the title and ISBN: Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond: Volume I by Brad Lancaster (ISBN: 978-0-9772464-0-3). Again, I HIGHLY recommend the book. It's an eye opener. Buy it if you have any interest in self-sufficiency with your water needs. Doesn't matter if you live in the city or rurally.
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:04 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,501 times
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Quietlike let me know what you have found in your research. I know it has been 3 years... I came across this post, and am looking to do the same. I am currently living in the rural Cedar City area. I think it can be done, with the same goal in mind, yet a couple transformations to bring it to code. I am looking into the details with the county, as to what the steps are. I am a realtor here, so I have access to some further info. Did you follow thru with this? would like to hear...
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:42 AM
 
Location: I am in a motor home near Niland, CA
15 posts, read 20,992 times
Reputation: 16
I am almost two years late with this reply to Soaring Wings' reply to Quiet's post of 3 years previous. I own 20 acres of the Escalante Desert near Beryl. I am intending to build an earthbag home - more modest than an Earthship.
I have two data to offer you: first, I got the Patent on my land last year, from the BLM in SLC. This gives Sovereignty to the owner - from the U.S. federal government. On the paper is stated explicitly that the owner has all rights to everything on the land and can do anything and the county authorities cannot supercede this.
Second, check into SuperAdobe/earthbag construction. Since I have started researching this, and gone to one workshop in Hesperia, CA, I know enough to build my own home - out of soil from my land. You can do this.
ANd a third point, a permit is not required for a construction of less than 120 ft2 in Iron COunty. An earthbag dome building with a diameter of 12ft puts you under the radar.
Too small? Nothing says you can't build several of these structures... leave an open patio in the middle... with an open fireplace for the summer evenings.... a rocket stove inside the sleeping dome for winter nights.... a water catchment system to harvest the rain to water your avocado tree, eucalyptus tree.
All the info is available online now.
Regards,
Tukkikat
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:25 PM
 
Location: south florida
8 posts, read 5,887 times
Reputation: 11
I am interested in building an earth bag home. Im currently in the process of buying land in north utah. I would like atleast 1000sq ft thought. How do i go about permits for this. I will be using my contractor from fl (good friend) he can practically build anything with some plans.
tukkikat How was work shop in California? . when you do your earthbag home willcyou be doing your own foundation?
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:00 PM
 
Location: I am in a motor home near Niland, CA
15 posts, read 20,992 times
Reputation: 16
I cannot address the issue of building permits. There have been many posts that have said permits are next to impossible to get and my neighbors in Utah (who have the Patent to their property, from the federal gov't) ignore the permit requirements
As for the workshop in California I and 9 other students in my group - with the help of a retired building contractor and two interns at the Cal_Earth organization - built an earthbag dome of 10' diameter - in one weekend - 2 days -
- in between classroom instruction, and touring other buildings of earth and fired clay of all sizes on the property. Well worth the $550.00 to me.

There is plenty of information on youtube and - including videos showing school girls making these homes - and there are books by Hunter and Kiffmeyer: "Earthbag building:....", and Atulya K. Bingham, "Mud ball:...." as well as the manual by Nadeer Khalili of Cal_Earth with all the info. needed to do the job, and which contains a picture of the earthbag building they constructed for the the county in Moab, I think (I can't find my copy of this book right now).
As for building size and permits: I can't speak about 1,000 sq. foot buildings, but I plan to make a dome with a diameter of 12 feet. This works out to an area of - less than 120 sq. ft. - so no permit is required in Iron county.
The foundation/footing I plan to dig 18" deep and the same wide and fill with gravel or road base. I plan to use earthbags with a width of 12", filled and compressed.
Of course you will need to do deeper and wider and use bigger earthbags, or double-thick walls.

If you think that 120 sq. ft. is too small, fine - I think I can build any number of these small - below permit-size-buildings - and connect them with covered walkways, or abut them together with a common doorway, have an open sun-room in the center. Endless possibilities.

If you help me with building one of my homes/rooms I will reciprocate - go to your place and help with your building. Give it some thought.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:14 PM
 
Location: south florida
8 posts, read 5,887 times
Reputation: 11
That sounds awesome!. when are you planning on building your earthbag home?
Im going to have to try to obtain a permit. I did look at some plans for sale at Index of /images
/plans/hex-roundP.jpg
this is one that i am interested in. Its nice looking and should fit in with the very few homes near the mountains im trying to purchase land.
Another issue I am seeing is that a lot of land for sale in the north part of utah is located in subdivisions that have their own rules and regulations. But i dont know why its so hard to obtain permits. Earthbags are supposed to be even better structures to hold up against earthquakes.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:47 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,329 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tukkikat View Post
I cannot address the issue of building permits. There have been many posts that have said permits are next to impossible to get and my neighbors in Utah (who have the Patent to their property, from the federal gov't) ignore the permit requirements
As for the workshop in California I and 9 other students in my group - with the help of a retired building contractor and two interns at the Cal_Earth organization - built an earthbag dome of 10' diameter - in one weekend - 2 days -
- in between classroom instruction, and touring other buildings of earth and fired clay of all sizes on the property. Well worth the $550.00 to me.

There is plenty of information on youtube and - including videos showing school girls making these homes - and there are books by Hunter and Kiffmeyer: "Earthbag building:....", and Atulya K. Bingham, "Mud ball:...." as well as the manual by Nadeer Khalili of Cal_Earth with all the info. needed to do the job, and which contains a picture of the earthbag building they constructed for the the county in Moab, I think (I can't find my copy of this book right now).
As for building size and permits: I can't speak about 1,000 sq. foot buildings, but I plan to make a dome with a diameter of 12 feet. This works out to an area of - less than 120 sq. ft. - so no permit is required in Iron county.
The foundation/footing I plan to dig 18" deep and the same wide and fill with gravel or road base. I plan to use earthbags with a width of 12", filled and compressed.
Of course you will need to do deeper and wider and use bigger earthbags, or double-thick walls.

If you think that 120 sq. ft. is too small, fine - I think I can build any number of these small - below permit-size-buildings - and connect them with covered walkways, or abut them together with a common doorway, have an open sun-room in the center. Endless possibilities.

If you help me with building one of my homes/rooms I will reciprocate - go to your place and help with your building. Give it some thought.
Hi tukkitat,

This three is a little old, I hope you see this. I also have been interested and read about earthbags alot, and I'm currently building a small earthbag in my backyard in Ogden Utah. I'm looking into buying property around the Morena/Beryl area to build a earthbag house. I'd be very happy to take a trip down there and help you build your house. Let me know.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:27 PM
 
Location: I am in a motor home near Niland, CA
15 posts, read 20,992 times
Reputation: 16
Default Reciprocal earthbag domes

Hi Jaydee.

I would be very happy to have your help in building my first, small earthbag dome.

I am now moved in to my property in Beryl, have address and have registered my truck and am surviving in my motor home temporarily.
I wish I could could give you a date for construction to begin. But for now I can say that things are progressing here and I figure to start work on the first dome house in May.
I have not located a source for the building material - 20-30% clay and the rest sand being the ideal. So far all the soil samples I have taken have shown almost entirely sand or sand with silt thoroughly mixed in and little organic material when the material precipitated out of the water overnight.
Will keep on searching and I may resort to buying the material from a sand and gravel supply.
I will have one helper, who is local, who had also studied earthbag construction and will barter labor with me, and potentially a couple others who are handy and willing to learn.

Will keep you posted.

Tukkikat
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:39 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,735 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaydee1337 View Post
Hi tukkitat,

This three is a little old, I hope you see this. I also have been interested and read about earthbags alot, and I'm currently building a small earthbag in my backyard in Ogden Utah. I'm looking into buying property around the Morena/Beryl area to build a earthbag house. I'd be very happy to take a trip down there and help you build your house. Let me know.
I am attempting once again to reply to Jaydee.
Having trouble with computer and internet and the forum and getting life started in Beryl...

I have started my first earthbag dome house.
But it is not working out. I am alone - no helpers - and it is not feasible to try to hold the bag and fill it with my mixture of local earth with purchased clay and lime using an e-tool and trying to keep the puppies out of it, having dug the trench for the footing close to 18" deep and shoveled in some Road Base and Pea Gravel. I am short 4 - 5 hands.

So, if you are still interested in acquiring land around here and help me with my first 12' diameter dome and I will reciprocate when are ready to construct your house.

I have some bags from Amazon - which proved to be too small and a length of tubebag on order from Cal_Earth, which UPS is baulking at delivering - the addresses given to residents here in the Escalente Desert are fictitious and UPS often refuses to make the deliveries and the Post Office in Enterprise refuses to change its non-functional policies. Am acquiring barbed wire tomorrow.
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