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Cob building or Earth building

The wonderful world of cob or earth building in Australia is flexible and creative.

 What could be more organic, and more beautifully sustainable than building with the earth all around you?


What is cob?

Earth is universally and easily available. It has been used as a building material throughout history and in most cultures around the world.

Cob building is a form of earth architecture that for centuries was a staple of British and Western European home architecture.

The tradition of earth building is now again enjoying a revival.

People from all backgrounds are looking for building methods which place the highest value on social and ecological sustainability. Cob buildings meet these standards.

It is an easy to learn technique based on locally available resources using a mixture of clay, sand, straw and water to build the walls. Cob earthen walls are extremely durable, lasting for centuries, and create no pollution or disposal problems for future generations. Cob structures are well suited to a variety of temperate climates.

They can withstand earthquakes, won't catch fire, are energy efficient and inexpensive to build.

Clay, sand and straw is mixed by foot on a tarp or with a cement mixer to speed up the process. Clay acts as the glue, sand hardens the structure, and the straw works like rebar to give the walls tensile strength.

Cob is Mixed into a dough like consistency, and then placed onto the walls up to two foot thick and worked in to create a monolithic wall structure. No forms are used, allowing the builder to create any shape desired. Think of cob building as house sculpting. Typically contemporary cob has beautiful curvilinear walls and many sculptural details.

The process of cob building is loads of fun. Allow your inner child out to play in the mud.

Not surprisingly, many cob builders experience a personal transformation. Cob building releases our creativity and
the easy-to-learn technique is personally empowering. It demonstrates that most people can easily acquire the skills needed to build a home.


Featured Links

Jan's COB & Natural Building WEB Site

Kate's Cob



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