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Cob (building)

From Academic Kids

Cob is a building material. It consists of a mixture of clay, sand and straw.

Cob-building is a traditional technique that has been used for thousands of years and in all kind of climates (cob houses can be found in Africa as well as in Wales). However it is most strongly associated with Devon, where many cob cottages have survived and are still lived in. The walls of a cob house are necessarily thick, and windows are correspondingly deepset, giving the houses a characteristic internal appearance.
Cob outdoor oven
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Cob outdoor oven
The thick walls also provide excellent thermal mass, so that cob cottages are relatively easily kept warm in winter, and tend to be cool in summer. Surprisingly, the material is entirely suitable for rainy climates, and so long as a cob house is reasonably cared for, the structure will not deteriorate; many cob cottages in Devon (one of the wetter counties in England) have been inhabited for hundreds of years. Cob has many similarities to the adobe associated with Mexico and the southwestern United States, but unlike adobe, cob is never cast into brick form, and unlike adobe it is constituted so as to be suitable for a wet climate.

Cob has recently been rediscovered as a low-cost and artistic building technique, and cob houses are now being built again.

See also

References

  • The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book) by Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith, Linda Smiley, Deanne Bednar (Illustrator), Chelsea Green Publishing Company; (June 2002), ISBN 1890132349.

External Links

Cob building dated 1539 in Devon, England.
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Cob building dated 1539 in Devon, England.
Missing image
Cob_interior.jpg
Inside of a modern cob house.
Former cob house in Texas
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Former cob house in Texas
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