MonroeTalks.com > Categories > Miscellaneous > Cob Building


Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Cob Building  (Read 2583 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Ronda

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 368
Cob Building
« on: February 21, 2011, 10:28:23 AM »

Has anyone here done any research into the method of building with cob?

Cob is a mixture of clay, sand & straw, mixed up in batches and used like adobe. Houses can be built very cheaply out of these materials. The thermal mass means they're easy to heat and cool.

It's a form of "green" building but unfortunately none of the "green" builders I've spoken to in Michigan seem to know much about it. One told me that he felt Michigan's climate wouldn't allow for such structures, but there are cob homes in Canada, so I don't see how Michigan would be different.

This is the material that was used for hundreds of years in Europe, and there are cob buildings still standing after 700+ years over there.

It's fireproof, earthquake proof, and easy to work with. Many single women have built their own homes (actually did all of the labor) out of cob. It's cool, because you can sculpt with it and make rounded rooms, built-in countertops, etc. It's really a neat thing and could improve the lives of a lot of folks.

A lot of people who never could afford to build a traditional stick built home could have a really nice house if cob building were to become mainstream. A lot of trailer parks would go out of business. A lot of apartment dwellers could be home owners.

Check it out:




Let's talk about it!
Logged

The Fuzz

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16484
  • Fish Lake Michigan!
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 10:41:20 AM »

Interesting stuff......other alternatives in this link too. 

Not certain why cob houses couldn't make it here either, Ronda.

http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/cob.htm
Logged
Support the local economy as much as possible!

Ronda

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 368
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 11:29:31 AM »

Thanks for the link, Fuzz. I've been interested in alternative forms of housing for quite a while now. Cob is my favorite because houses can actually be sculpted. Imagine the picture that a neighborhood full of unique cob homes would create - it would be so much more appealing than the McMansion neighborhoods with 3-5 basic home designs!

There are workshops where one can go and get hands-on experience building a cob home. Unfortunately I can't afford to attend any.

Does anyone reading this have experience with building a home of any type in Michigan? It's my understanding that one has to have the plans drawn up or approved by a licensed architect/builder. Is that right?

That creates roadblocks because so many architects/builders are unaware of or ignorant about the benefits of building with cob. You'd have to convince them first. I'd love to start an educational campaign but wouldn't know where to start - especially since I'm ignorant when it comes to codes and even basic construction, ha ha.

I'd love to find others who have a bit more sense than I do interested in the same thing. It'd be totally cool to form a group to work together to educate people and the powers that be on the benefits of alternative housing.
Logged

BigRedDog

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25932
  • The BRD in her 'younger' days... 2007.
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 01:05:37 PM »

I've seen houses built with straw bales and then coated with what might be the mixture you describe.  Very well insulated and not any more of a fire hazard than a home build from wood framing.
Logged
"It's always easy to come up with a solution to someone else's problems".

Friends can email me at bigreddog1 at charter.net

Ronda

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 368
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 01:27:45 PM »

Were any of these homes in Michigan, BRD?
Logged

BigRedDog

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25932
  • The BRD in her 'younger' days... 2007.
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 01:35:44 PM »

Were any of these homes in Michigan, BRD?


No...  in Europe...

here's a website with info...

http://www.strawbale.com/
Logged
"It's always easy to come up with a solution to someone else's problems".

Friends can email me at bigreddog1 at charter.net

Ronda

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 368
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 01:47:53 PM »

No...  in Europe...

here's a website with info...

http://www.strawbale.com/



Ah, I see. I've done some reading up on strawbale buildings but (I could be wrong) it seems to me that straight up cob would be the cheapest route.

Americans really need to look deeper into these sort of things.

Unfortunately, though, the way this country runs it'll probably never happen. Too much money to be made by the old ways.
Logged

BigRedDog

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25932
  • The BRD in her 'younger' days... 2007.
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 01:50:46 PM »


Ah, I see. I've done some reading up on strawbale buildings but (I could be wrong) it seems to me that straight up cob would be the cheapest route.

Americans really need to look deeper into these sort of things.

Unfortunately, though, the way this country runs it'll probably never happen. Too much money to be made by the old ways.

I'm afraid you would run into some major problems around here with the local building officials...   

they're pretty adamant with "we've never done it that way before" :o :o :o
Logged
"It's always easy to come up with a solution to someone else's problems".

Friends can email me at bigreddog1 at charter.net

Ronda

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 368
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 02:13:26 PM »

I'm afraid you would run into some major problems around here with the local building officials...   

they're pretty adamant with "we've never done it that way before" :o :o :o


I know. That's why I think an educational campaign is needed. It's also why I asked if anyone had experience with building a house of any kind in Michigan - I'd like to know what all is required and how one could work around the requirements.

I've heard tell of folks who did it through all the proper channels and just kept the whole "alternative" and "cob" parts quiet.
Logged

Ronda

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 368
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 02:14:36 PM »

You know what I'd love to see? I'd love to see a group of like-minded individuals get together and form their own township/village (ecovillage?) somewhere around here. That would be cool.
Logged

ShorTea

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3857
  • Life is Good.
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 02:49:03 PM »

Nifty home & topic.
You haven't been her long enough to be a thread killer! 8)
Logged
My Blessings are many.

BigRedDog

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25932
  • The BRD in her 'younger' days... 2007.
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 02:51:07 PM »

You know what I'd love to see? I'd love to see a group of like-minded individuals get together and form their own township/village (ecovillage?) somewhere around here. That would be cool.

Didn't the hippies try that about 40 years ago 8* 8* 8*
Logged
"It's always easy to come up with a solution to someone else's problems".

Friends can email me at bigreddog1 at charter.net

Ronda

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 368
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 03:36:06 PM »

Nifty home & topic.
You haven't been her long enough to be a thread killer! 8)

Thank you. Unfortunately I am a thread killer. Almost every thread I post to dies shortly after. I must have a poison keyboard or something!
Logged

Ronda

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 368
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 03:37:17 PM »

Didn't the hippies try that about 40 years ago 8* 8* 8*

I don't know, I wasn't here 40 years ago! Ha.

I ain't talking about a commune, I'm talking about a new community. I imagine many people have done it over the years.

It could be done!
Logged

The Fuzz

  • Hero Talker
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16484
  • Fish Lake Michigan!
Re: Cob Building
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2011, 04:56:54 PM »

You know what I'd love to see? I'd love to see a group of like-minded individuals get together and form their own township/village (ecovillage?) somewhere around here. That would be cool.

Personally, I think maybe over my lifetime I have only met 2, possibly 3 like minded people to me.   ;)

Not to take away from your idea, it is a good one, definitely something I would have done in my youth.
Logged
Support the local economy as much as possible!
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up