A cob home will have a very distinct and unique quality to it that you will not find among conventional homes. Living in a cob house is more than just abiding in a shelter. It includes a unique experience that is both uplifting and healthy.
Here are some concepts and advantages of cob homes to consider:
Cob Home Concepts
Cob homes are known to be small and size efficient. There are many reasons that they are built to “tiny home” standards. Most builders and residents of cob homes understand and appreciate keeping things simple and down to earth. You won’t find cob homes built to mimic the McMansions of conventional, mainstream planning.
Cob homes are also labor intensive to construct and they are often times built by the owners. It is usually more intelligent and efficient to only build to the size of your everyday needs.
Building with cob falls under the umbrella of “Natural Building.” Hence, the need for natural resources which can typically be found in your local area. A cob house can be built from the earth right beneath the building site, and whatever natural resources (sand, gravel, stones, timber, etc) not available on site can usually be sourced locally.
People are drawn to cob homes in large part due to their beauty and creative designs. Builders are not limited to ninety degree angles and they can sculpt and mold cob to whatever shape they desire. There is so much room for creativity and flexibility of design when it comes to building with cob. You can freely use your imagination. A cob home could be considered a place of shelter but could also be considered artwork.
The main ingredients for making cob are: clay, sand, and straw. All “natural” resources. A cob house is not mainly composed of synthetic materials, but is instead built out of natural materials found in nature.
Building a cob home can involve your community and friends to come together in the construction. You do not have to be an expert to help in the building process either. Even children can help build in many instances. Building with cob can be a good social activity and is good for strengthening a community.
A house made out of cob is actually a high standard home. Many uninformed people would label a house made out of materials such as mud as a poor living environment like something that would be found in a third-world country. However, this is just not the case. On the contrary, a standard conventionally built home could easily be considered low standard if you think about all of their negative health effects they can have upon their inhabitants.
Cob Home Advantages
With a cob house, you will not have to heat your home with nuclear electricity, Persian Gulf oil, or strip mining in Wyoming!
Cob is a “thermal mass” that absorbs sunlight and warms the building over the course of the day. This is called passive solar heating, and it will keep the inside of the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Inexpensive (Mortgage & Debt Free)
The primary materials for cob are: clay, sand, and straw. These are very easily accessible and cheap resources to acquire. Other parts like windows and doors can also be salvaged or purchased as used from restoration depots or dumps.
People have built high quality cob homes for as little as a few thousand dollars. It all really depends on what you want your home to be like. You should never have to take out a loan or go into any kind of debt to construct a nice cob house. If you want to live mortgage and debt free then a cob home is a very good option to consider.
Cob houses can usually be built by the owner. You don’t need a degree in architecture or to be a structural engineer to build a cob home. Many people build their own homes after taking a one week long cob building workshop.
It is very rewarding to be able to build your home with your own two hands.
Unlike conventional homes which are constructed with synthetic, industrial-formed materials, cob homes are built almost entirely out of natural, clean materials.
Industrial homes are full of indoor air pollutants and off-gassing of chemicals contained in the building materials. Cob homes do not have this problem. In fact, cob actually “breathes” through its tiny pores and keeps air fresh and clear. If you suffer from indoor allergies then living in a cob house could significantly improve your quality of life by eliminating the toxins that may cause them.
The straw, which is part of the cob mix, acts like a natural re-bar to hold the whole structure together as one monolithic piece. This makes cob homes extremely solid and resistant to earthquakes. Many cob homes have lasted for hundreds of years with minimal upkeep, whereas wooden structures generally survive only a few generations.
Build a cob home for your family and it will last for many many generations to come.
Earthen walls have very good sound-absorbing properties that keep it quiet inside, both from exterior noises and noise generated in the same building.
Since cob is a mixture of soil, aggregate sand, and straw it is not attractive to termites. To add to that, cob homes have not been known to become burrowing grounds for insects or animals either.
Cob does not catch fire. However, still be aware of your ceiling or roof as it might not be flame resistant like the body of the cob home.