Where Can I Build A Cob House?
- Joe Thomas
In general, the farther you travel from city centers, the less limitations you will encounter. The majority of cob homes are constructed in rural counties since it has been simpler to get acceptability for this building form in locations with less limitations.
Now that there is an official building code for cob construction in the United States, there are more places where cob homes may be constructed and building permits can be obtained. However, if you wish to interact with building departments, rules, and inspections as little as possible, I may provide the following basic advise.
In a rural county, in an unincorporated township, on unrestricted property, you may construct. This is your finest opportunity to construct whatever you like without authorization. However, this is simply general guidance and not a guarantee. If you adhere to all construction codes, you could theoretically construct anyplace you like.
- Regardless of whether the location is rural, suburban, or metropolitan.
- I continue to encourage cob construction in rural regions.
- This is the most popular location for cob home construction.
- It also makes things easier in other ways.
- When searching for a rural site to construct a cob home on, it is important to consider the land’s limits.
Consider zoning type, homeowner associations, and minimum house square footage. Avoid purchasing land that has been subdivided. These properties often include several restrictions and homeowner organizations. Not only will you be required to pay HOA fees, but they will also have laws that require you to adhere to the area’s standard construction design.
Where are cob dwellings most prevalent?
Due to the antiquity of this earthen construction method, its specific origin is difficult to determine (England is a popular hypothesis). In regions like as England and Wales, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and throughout Africa, however, extremely ancient cob constructions are still standing.
Is it simple to obtain planning approval? – As with any construction projects, planning permission and compliance with Building Regulations are required. Although this may be challenging, there is no reason for you to fail to comply with the Building Regulations; nonetheless, gaining planning approval will rely on the attitude of the local planning office.
Are cob homes authorized in America?
What about cob building codes and requirements for cob permits? When people first find that cob may be used to construct homes and other buildings, their minds go wild with innovative ideas and all the possibilities the material affords for making things.
- Then, at some point in our elation, we are rudely awakened by the notion of how we may actually construct a cob structure in our bureaucratic, twisted society.
- We tend to be concerned about how we’ll navigate the rules, regulations, and construction requirements necessary to construct according to our own thoughts.
Not to mention the costly examinations! In the United States, the International Building Code is followed. This is intended to protect us against hazardous and unsafe building practices. While it is not completely worthless and does provide some genuine benefits, its limited scope inhibits creativity and innovation.
David Eisenberg elaborates on and discusses how following the IBC might really compromise our safety. Behind the tiny codes, money has become the ultimate unit of measurement for everything, proving that our existing weighing system is wrong. The innovation constraint is monetary, not human. The goal of the International Building Code, as stated by the International Code Council (ICC), is to “protect public health, safety, and general welfare against dangers associated with the built environment.” However, take it as you will.
As Cob Builders and Natural Builders, we must eventually consider the Orwellian-like system. It may appear intimidating, but there is really hope! It is not defined in the building code whether or not cob construction is prohibited. Many individuals have been obliged to obtain a permission prior to constructing using cob.
What is Cob House Construction? – Cob house construction is an old building method using the combination of soil, sand, straw, and water. These constructions may be used as dwellings, poultry coops, barns, and more. Cob construction is simple to master, requires no special tools, and employs eco-friendly materials.
Where can I obtain clay for cob?
Earth – Cob is formed from the soil directly beneath your feet. Excavate the subsurface that lies beneath the thin layer of topsoil. This is one of the essential elements for cob. The topsoil is the thin layer of brown earth that contains largely organic materials.
- The subsoil beneath contains relatively little organic material and is where you’ll discover the clay-rich soil suited for cob.
- You will normally see a fairly noticeable shift in color between the topsoil and the subsoil.
- Many individuals have the misunderstanding that you need to have clay to manufacture cob.
This is correct, yet you simply need a soil that is generally constituted of 15-25% clay content. This is termed clay-rich soil. The balance of the soil is made up of sand, silt, and other particles. Using a pure clay would need you to add back in the 75-85% aggregate.
It would not be practicable and would need buying more sand to modify it to the desired ratio. A significant amount of clay in the soil is actually less desirable since it shrinks and breaks when it dries up and is undesirable for earthen building. Soil for cob is often simple to find in abundance and can generally be found all across the world.
One smart option to get the dirt you need is to use what’s dug from your foundation trenches. You may also look at building sites where this excavated earth is deemed a waste product and is carted off to be disposed in landfills. This costs them a lot of money and they could just be delighted enough to give it to you for free! You may also purchase truckloads of soil from soil depots or landscaping supply businesses.
The clay is a binder and its role is to hold the sand (aggregate) together. The clay is constructed of minute platelets that function as suctions between the aggregate particles when they’re made wet. Something vital to realize is that clay expands when it’s formed moist and it contracts when it’s dried out.
This is why you can’t build a house out of pure clay. It needs the aggregate and straw fibers to provide it stability and to avoid cracking. This is also why, in actuality, a cob home looks more like a big sand castle that is bonded together in a coherent mass by the clay particles.
Note: Some grassland parts of the Midwestern United States and sandy areas of the Florida peninsula have a lack of clay in their soils. These soils might be too loose and crumbly for good cob. This does not mean that you can’t locate acceptable soils in these places, but you may have to hunt harder than others.
You can also have appropriate dirt hauled in. Sandy soils in these places can occasionally perform well for rammed earth however.