||Origins of Cob
The word ‘cob’ comes from an old English root word meaning a lump or rounded mass. It is essentially a building material composed of sand, straw and a clayey sub-soil, which is mixed with water to produce a moist, homogenous and malleable material. It can be mixed either by foot on a tarp, or in larger quantities using a JCB.
When fully dried it becomes extremely hard, and will last for hundreds of years as long as it has a solid stone foundation and a good roof.
Earth buidings have outstanding thermal capabilities. The walls are generally built up to two feet thick, making it an ideal material for both cool and warm climates. These properties make cob an ideal material for creating garden courtyard spaces. The ability of the earth to absorb and then re-radiate the heat of the sun can create a micro-climate suitable for growing tropical fruit trees and for personal comfort.
Despite the industrial revolution, earth is still the most common and versatile building material in the world. It is non-toxic, non exhaustible and will literally ‘return to the earth’ when it has served it’s full life.