building with cob - our journey

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One of the most important life skills is being able to build our own homes.

Not depending on others to do it for us, not paying loans for the rest of our lives.

Natural building materials are not just a healthy alternative to conventional materials full of toxins, they are also affordable and very accessible.

 

All the building materials have their own qualities, advantages and disadvantages, therefore we choose the ones we use based on our climate, needs and their accessibility. 

The most common and well known natural building materials used are stone, wood, earth, straw, and hemp. 

Our home is a combination of a rock foundation, wooden load bearing roof structure and cob walls - mixture of straw, earth and water. 

Our aim was to self build as much as we could, using natural building materials wherever possible and recycle to keep our budget low. 

During my research and study of permaculture, I discovered cob as a natural building material.  As an artistic person, I fell in love with it for its ability to form curves and the freedom it offers designers and builders.  Also because of the healthy home environment it creates. 

 

Permaculture and natural building complement each other so well.  We made plans to purchase a piece of land for a natural cob house, with enough space for a permaculture garden.  When sharing my ideas with other people, I realized very few or almost nobody knew about this clean, healthy and inexpensive building technique.  Many laughed, when we mentioned building a house from earth (mud).  Some said, it’s like going back into the Stone Age.  This is far from true.  We are carrying great ancient techniques into the future and developing them to create healthy efficient homes.  It’s up to you, to follow your dreams and not to get discouraged by others.

 

Living in an earthen home is such an amazing feeling, not easy to describe with words (magical).  As soon as you step into a cob building, you feel the difference, the energy.  It has its own pulse, breathing and living like you.  All the positive energy and the love that goes into the building process, is reflected once you are living inside. This positively affects your health and well-being.  

A cob house has its own unique story.  It’s up to you how this is written.

 

I’d like to show you how wonderful this material and technique really is. 

There is so much to write about cob: its qualities, advantages, disadvantages, how to build with it,

what to watch out for, how to combine it with other natural building materials and so much more.

Here are some of the photos from our building process to get you inspired. 

If you would like to learn more, you will find it in our book Naturally Richer, together with many other interesting topics about gardening, permaculture and much more.