Building with Cob?

This past Saturday evening we hosted a community conversation on “Building with Cob.” Clare Kenny from the Mud Girls Natural Building Collective facilitated the gathering.

Cob is an ancient building material made up of clay, sand, straw, and water. Clay is the binder; sand gives the mixture strength; straw provides tensile strength (think “rebar”); and water helps activate the clay to hold the mixture together while building.

Here are some pictures of cob being formed in some of Clare’s recent projects:

Cob is fireproof, resistant to seismic activity and inexpensive. It can be used to create artistic, sculptural forms. Above all of that it is a fun project that the whole community can get involved in.

Over the past year, you’ve shared some amazing ideas for projects that we could do in The Grove: a garden, a Little Free Library, more seating, stage, pagoda, amphitheatre… the list goes on!

How many of these could be done at least in part by using cob? How could using cob create a unique one-of-a-kind feature in our neighbourhood?

At our recent workshop, we learned that the possibilities are pretty wide open. Let’s start dreaming!

Check out some of these amazing cob projects from around the world. If you want to see more, try Googling “building with cob” and see what you find! Share your ideas.

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