The use of earth requires only bags in which is filled with soil, sand, and a lime with water. They are tamped down then allowed to dry. This is far lower impact on the body so that anyone can build the structure who can lift a filled coffee can of dirt and can use a tamp to help compact the earth. complex forms can be created that only require wood to create forms to support them until they are dried. You are still building with major thermal mass which will work as a heat sink and cooling system.
I have been doing an amazing amount of research over the last few years. I have fallen completely in love with both Earthbag and Earthship homes. What have I concluded? My partner and I are going to build an earthbag earthship I'm calling a Gaia Mount.
The basic structure of the home will be build from the use of Super Adobe technology which was developed by Nader Khalili and taught through the Cal-Earth Institute of Earth Art and Architecture. I want to use the form of Earthships which has been developed by Michael Reynolds and his company Earthship Biotecture.
Put into the form of an Earthship you have a home that is earth bermed, front faced with glass as a green house, roof which gathers your water into cisterns and is used 4 times before being returned to the earth, and the use of renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro, etc.).
Building in this way very little resources are needed, cost decreases, and the building skills needed to build a home is placed back into the individuals hands instead of a costly contractor. The major of the work can then be done by two or more people instead of an army of workers.
All the while we are building home that is self sustaining, that feeds us, waters us, and provides us with power and shelter. So stay tune. We are currently working on some basic plans which we will take to Earthship Biotecture to create full construction plans so we can then start looking for land and get approval for building.