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Green Architecture & Building Products



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Material or Product

Cob

Source

Cob is an old method of building with earth and straw or other fibers. It is similar to adobe in that the basic mix of clay and sand is the same, but it usually has a higher percentage of long straw fibers mixed in. Instead of creating uniform blocks for building, cob is normally applied by hand in large gobs (or cobs) which can be tossed from one person to another during the building process. The traditional way of mixing the clay/sand/straw is with the bare feet, and is labor intensive. Some of the process can be mechanized by using a backhoe to do the mixing. Because of the straw, cob can be slightly more insulating than adobe, but does not make a comfortable house in a climate of extreme temperatures. Cob was a common building material in England in the nineteenth century, with many buildings still standing.

 

Cob Wall

Cob wall construction, using clay, sand, straw, water and earth.