I would like to wish all our North American readers a Happy Thanksgiving Day! I thought this house fit the mood of the day and I hope you enjoy it.
This is the Laughing House sculpted by Linda Smiley and Ianto Evans out of cob, clay, sand, and straw. Dug locally right from the ground. They live in the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest, so high thermal mass (non-insulating) walls work in their climate.
This photo is from their websitte: http://www.cobcottage.com/laughing-house
This movie is entitled “Off The Treadmill” and is about getting out of mortgage debt by using the very ground we stand on to build our own homes. “It’s dirt cheap”, says Ianto Evans, master cob builder and architect at Cob Cottage in Southern Oregon. This film was created by Chris Tilt.
Earth is still the world’s most common building material. The word cob comes from an old English root meaning a lump or rounded mass. Cob building requires the use of hands and feet to form lumps of earth mixed with sand and straw. This is a sensory and aesthetic experience similar to sculpting with clay. Cob construction is easy to learn and is inexpensive to build. Because there are no forms, ramming, cement or rectilinear bricks, cob lends itself to organic shapes: curved walls, arches and niches. Earth homes are cool in summer, warm in winter. Cob’s resistance to rain and cold make it ideally suited to cold climates like the Pacific Northwest, and to desert conditions.