Published on September 2nd, 2013 | by Tara O'Brien0
Natural Building: Living in Permanent Artwork
Living in a house made completely of sand, straw and water may sound like something from a third world country. However, cob buildings are beginning to reshape the mindset surrounding this method. There are many environmental, personal and financial benefits to building natural building with cob.
These homes are surprisingly well cooled and heated in their respective months. The cob acts as an oven would, which is why people tend to make ovens out of this material as well. The cob retains the heat and radiates it out as the area begins to cool down or absorbs the heat from the area when the temperature is too hot . These homes are typically heated with a wood stove or even a rocket stove that has been built into the house, which saves you money on gas. On top of that, these homes can be made really inexpensively. Many of the materials can be found for free around the construction site. Depending on how large and how much material you need for your home you may be able to build an entire house for free.
Cob allows the creator to use their imagination, the material is much more flexible than using your standard cement and wood combo which leads to many people building these homes in circular or odd shapes. You are even able to mold statues and permanent artwork out of your walls. But this material doesn’t just create beautiful homes; they are usually extremely functionally designed. Because you aren’t forced into the normal restraints of choosing premade cabinets or stairs you can create spaces that are relevant to your needs.
Through working with materials you find directly around your land you are able to reduce the waste of normal construction (about 8,000 pounds of waste for a 2,000 square foot home). In fact, if there is any waste left over after the completion of the project I would be surprised, as almost all ‘waste’ can be given back to the land or made into another piece of art to add to your lovely new home.