I’m Alex Sumerall. I’m a natural builder with a vision to take the remarkable building materials of our past and meld them into our modern, conventional building systems. Due to their inherently beneficial properties, I’m a huge proponent of earth-based building materials, such as: cob, rammed earth, and adobe.
After studying accounting in college and then working in advertising and marketing for a number of years, I decided that I needed to follow my passion in life. I started my company, This Cob House, back in 2011 to educate and promote natural building and earthen construction techniques to people around the world.
Today, we’re reaching tens of thousands of people globally with our information on these natural building techniques, and we’re working to bring these methods of building to the mainstream.
Every day I am grateful for what has been bestowed on me with my work. I get to do what I love doing and I get to help people to realize their dreams of having a healthy, environmentally-friendly home.
I’ve always enjoyed using my hands to build things. I started from a young age building things like Legos, sand castles, and forts.
My Dad taught me a lot of building skills and passed on to me what he had learned as a builder and a handyman.
Now as an adult, I’m demonstrating and promoting natural building materials that are more sustainable, energy-efficient, healthy, and environmentally-friendly than our conventional products on the markets. I believe there is going to be a huge change in the way that we build our homes and buildings in the near future.
As the owner of This Cob House, LLC, my goal is to provide you with valuable and actionable information and a roadmap to help you build your own cob home and other cob constructions.
So Why Cob and Natural Building?
Many people are bringing back the ancient arts of building with earth and natural, local resources. As people have begun to look for more “Green”, sustainable, or ecological alternatives there has been a growing demand for these types of natural constructions.
I am using materials directly from the earth, they are not processed, they are local, and they are healthy for you and your family. I am going beyond the “Green” standards of building.
By using an earthen material called “Cob”, I am building structures that literally breathe and possess a character of their own. Cob is an amazingly functional material and is very pleasing to live with.
My Vision for the Future
Its my vision and goal with my company, This Cob House, to help launch earthen building materials into the mainstream field of construction.
It is my hope that we can see official building codes developed in the near future for cob and other earthen building materials not only throughout the United States but for the world. This would give builders like us the freedoms that we need to use these materials on a large scale and evolve past being just a grassroots movement.
The world has so much to benefit from by adopting natural and earthen building materials, and I believe it’s a very sensible direction for us to take and apply where appropriate.
Earthen building materials can be standalone or combined with other modern building systems. Its not about replacing all of our current building materials and systems, but about replacing materials where sensible and appropriate and complementing our current systems with these beneficial materials.