Cob building is a very old method of using earth, straw and other natural fibers as building materials. Much like adobe, cob consists of a mixture of clay and sand. The addition of straw gives the material the property of having better insulation than adobe. Unlike traditional masonry techniques that involve stacking bricks or other units to form a structure, cob does not come in pre-formed blocks. The material is mixed and applied in “globs” by hand, which is an extremely labor intensive and time consuming process, which is the main reason it is not widely used commercially.
While building a home in an eco-friendly manner is important, a home that makes less impact on the environment based on its design and materials will make less of a footprint in the long run. Making sure the house is energy-efficient by using alternative sources such as solar and wind will make the house self-sustaining AND save you money on energy bills. Organic materials like non-treated wood and chemical-free paint will increase your indoor air qualitiy, which can be exacerbated by things like mildew, dust, and fumes from household products. For those who like to garden, composting reduces your waste dramatically and returns nutrients to the soil. See the sites below for more helpful information and in-depth explanations.
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