Thursday, 24 October 2013

Cob building

Last night on Grand Designs you could see Kevin McCabe who is the leading living exponent of the ancient art of cob building. He was aiming to build his family castle out of cob. Kevin came to the garden project some 5 or 6 years ago to run our cob building workshop. Here are a few snaps Ive found from that weekend...






To see the episode on Grand Designs just click on the link below...

Cob is an ancient building material, that may have been used for building since prehistoric times. Some of the oldest man-made structures in Afghanistan are composed of rammed earth and cob.

Cob structures can be found in a variety of climates across the globe; In the UK it is most strongly associated with counties of Devon and Cornwall in the West Country.

Traditionally, English cob was made by mixing the clay-based subsoil with sand, straw and water using oxen to trample it. The earthen mixture was then ladled onto a stone foundation
 in courses and trodden onto the wall by workers in a process known as cobbing. The construction would progress according to the time required for the prior course to dry. After drying, the walls would be trimmed and the next course built, with lintels for later openings such as doors and windows being placed as the wall takes shape.

The walls of a cob house were generally about 24 inches thick, and windows were correspondingly deep-set, giving the homes a characteristic internal appearance. The thick walls provided excellent thermal mass which was easy to keep warm in winter and cool in summer. Walls with a high thermal mass value act as a thermal buffer inside the home. The material has a long life span even in rainy climates, provided a tall foundation and large roof overhang are present.

The cob with its Fizzy Bottle Roof

For more information about our Cob building and the Fizzy Bottle Roof Project please click here Fizzy Bottle Roof Project
For further reading about cob building a good book is...
Building With Cob, A Step by Step Guide by Adam Weismann and Katy Bryce. Published by Green Books ; 2006, ISBN 1-903998-72-7

Our cob building is located in the garden project at Deen City Farm, do come down and have a peek if you are interested!

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