Posts tagged with cob house

  • 24 June 2011 - Week 5 – Cob camp hits the road to learn eco-building in the Pyrenees


    The beginning of week 5 was all about mixing and building cob since the roof was up and stable. There is so much to learn about cob that you can only truly understand through tactile experience.  You need to feel the critical proportion of clay to sand to ensure a plastic, cohesive, workable mix that won’t shrink and crack too much.  Depending on the coarseness of the sand and quality of the clay (and other components in the soil) the final mix should be between 5% and 25% clay.  By observing the soil composition from a soil test (seeing it settle in a jar with water) you can estimate proportions.

    But, it is the snowball test and crunch test that helped us refine the mix.  For the snowball test we created a sphere from our mix, held it 1m above soft ground and let it fall. If it shattered, … Read the rest

  • 28 May 2011 - Week 1 at Cob Camp – Eco Building and Community Living

    I just arrived at La Creuse, a region in the middle of France, in order to participate to the building of a cob house organised by AM Rustic with other volunteers. Jean on his side, went to Central America for few weeks, in order to do a consultancy with a British humanitarian organisation.

    I understood from the first day on the cob building course that this wasn’t really a structured course but a gathering of people with a shared interest in natural building coming together to live, work, learn and share their diverse experiences and skills.  Anita and Martin had ditched the ‘Day 1 – Designing your Cob House’ for driving the newcomers (myself, Vicky and Wayne) around the local area to see a previously built cob house, some sites and buy supplies.

    The second day a family from the Netherlands arrived (Ester, Dirk, Emile and Liam) so while they … Read the rest

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