Grand designs in Irish eco-living: Building with cob
Ever wanted to build an eco-friendly home from sustainably sourced materials?
In January, I had the opportunity to visit an Eco Village in the town of Cloughjordan with my neighbor, and Limerick-based architect, Caelan Bristow. Caelan designed a cob house in the Eco Village, and I tagged along on one of her site visits, just as the house was nearing its completion.
I have been interested in the building material cob for a while now. Until recently, however, I’d never had the opportunity to experience cob in-person.
According to Wikipedia, “Cob is a building material consisting of clay, sand, straw, water, and earth, similar to adobe. Cob is fireproof, resistant to seismic activity (relatively speaking), and inexpensive. It can be used to create artistic, sculptural forms and has been revived in recent years by the natural building and sustainability movements”.
Cob houses have stood in Ireland for hundreds of years, and many are still lived in today. In places such as the Cloughjordan Eco Village, as well as the Hollies Centre for Practical Sustainability in West Cork, cob construction has truly re-emerged.
Take a look at my photo gallery of my trip, explaining the process below. It’s my own hope to learn cob building methods, and build my own cob house some day!
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