Building With Cob - Got Dirt? Use It!
These pictures come from Sasha Rabin's Collection at http://www.earthenshelter.com. They are a terrific example showing the use of cob and a bucket tractor. Notice the mix looks kinda like dirt!#&@! What's with that? Well, just know that lumber isn't always the solution. You can be creative with pretty much any type of material, however, if you're looking for material on your own land, this is definitely one way to do it. Just make sure you get the right consistency of sand and clay, and it will be very strong and last for a long time (Cob structures are known to last for hundreds of years). Notice the concrete foundation to prevent moisture from wicking up from the ground. You can install whatever type of flooring inside that you so choose. For most, this would be simply a shed, or temporary shelter. If you have kids, yes it is a bit small. This is just about learning a concept, and then once you have the skills and the experience, you just can't help yourself but to keep on building! I recommend being a part of a cob or earthen construction workshop if you're interested in learning this technique. Sasha does them in California, Facebook's Ouachita Cob does them in Arkansas. If you host cob or earth building workshops, please let us know the dates and costs, and we'll help you spread the word! You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!