Over the weekend I found myself on an island off the coast of Thailand, attending a workshop on how to build using bags of local natural materials instead of concrete.
Adapted from old military practices, Earthbag Building is a recent trend in sustainable architecture that’s been springing up around the world over the last ten years or more. It’s cheap, simple and it looks great: check out Julien's retreat up the road, designed and built by himself into the existing mountain (above = view from the top).
All the walls, floors and surfaces you see in the pictures below are filled with earthbags, with a thin layer of cement used as outer reinforcement. In this way they also follow the natural curve of the ground and rocks.
In the meantime, if you want to find out more about Earthbag Building, you can read all about its development in this excellent blog, written by its inventors and regularly updated.