Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cob Homes in Cullinan

I visited two delightful homes today in Cullinan, just a short drive west of Ezemvelo. I helped with construction of a home made of cob in Iowa, USA, last year. Cob refers to the clay-sand-straw mix used to make the walls. It comes from Europe where there are homes that have survived for 100's of years made of cob. It's very suitable for South Africa as it is very inexpensive, and the homes are cool in summer and warm in winter. And unlike in USA, cob homes can only get building permits in South Africa if the walls are not structural. This turns out to be an advantage in that the roof must go up first, supported by round wood poles. So the slow process of making the walls can proceed in all weather conditions under the roof.

The creativity that this method allows is seemingly endless. The homes I saw had very beautiful recycled glass windows of all shapes and sizes, shelves, bathtubs, sinks, counters, nooks and bench seats all made of cob. I was truly impressed and present some pictures here for something to consider for exhibiting different sustainable building technologies at our planned eco-campus at Ezemvelo.

See our earlier post on Building with Earth.

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