The Beauty of Natural Building in Cord Wood

Categories: Building Methods

Cordwood construction (also called "cordwood masonry," "stackwall construction", "stovewood construction" or "stackwood construction") is a term used for a natural building method in which "cordwood" or short pieces of debarked tree are laid up crosswise with masonry or cob mixtures to build a wall.

Walls are usually constructed such that the pieces of wood are "proud" of (protrude from) the mortar by a small amount (an inch or less). Walls typically range between 12 and 24 inches thick, though in northern Canada, some walls are as much as 36 inches thick.

Cordwood homes are attractive for their visual appeal, maximization of interior space (with a rounded plan), economy of resources, and ease of construction. Wood usually accounts for about 40- 60% of the wall system, the remaining portion consisting of a mortar mix and insulating fill. 

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