Building with Cob

Those of you who have an interest in building with cob as in the Little Cob Cabin posted recently, will enjoy this site by Brian Liloia one of our readers.

Brian is a 23 year old currently living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, learning to fulfill his desires to live more sustainably and self-sufficiently.

There’s a growing need to help shape a more eco-conscious, less destructive, and healthy culture, and he hopes to share some of his experiences living in a community that values these qualities.


Building With Cob

Brian explains his cob building process that they have developed over the past few weeks.

  • Mixing Cob: The first step is the “burrito”, which consists of the final cob mix of sand, clay, and straw. When the consistency is right the mixture will roll and shape into a burrito.
  • Making Cobs: The second step is to make “cobs”, or little loafs of the material. Kind of like kneading dough. Each loaf should only take a few seconds to make.
  • Cob Wall: The third step is moving the loaves to the wall and lining them up. The wall is soaked with water before applying the new loaves.
  • Cobbler Thumbs: The fourth step is taking cobbler thumbs ( a wooden tool) and “stitching” the cobs together, by working the straw into the layer below the new cobs and blending them together.
  • Cob Finishing: In the fifth step you use your hands to create a clean, plumb edge.

Brian’s cob cottage footprint is 20×16, and the structure is spiral-shaped, with an urbanite foundation and all cob walls. The house will feature a reciprocal living roof, and it will make maximum usage of passive solar and feature a rocket stove connected to a mass cob bed.

Cob Building Photographs

Urbanite Foundation

Making “Cobs”

Three Foot Cob Walls

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