Cob is a building material that has been around for centuries. It is similar to adobe, except that adobe is fired in an oven to make bricks, whereas cob is left unfired. Cob is made from a mix of straw, sand, clay, and sometimes a hardening agent such as lime. Bricks or loaves of cob are made and then stacked while still wet. Three main benefits come from building with cob.
Build a Green Home
If you want to build a home that does not require a huge draw on earth's resources, build with cob. Depending on where you live, you might be able to use dirt from your home site as part of the building process. As for building materials, you can't get much more green than dirt, straw, and sand. Not only are you using natural materials, but you are using materials that do not require a lot of processing. Furthermore, you should be able to find all of the materials required to make cob locally, so you shouldn't have to worry about the high costs of transporting materials over large distances.
Draw on Thermal Mass
Thermal mass refers to a material's ability to absorb temperatures. Cob walls are made from at least a solid foot of material and can be as much as three feet thick. Thus, any solar heat the wall absorbs is dissipated through the sheer mass of the wall. In this way, cob walls can isolate the interior of your home from high summer heat. The converse is true during the winter as cob walls absorb freezing outside temperatures and dissipate the cool over a large area. Thus, a home with high thermal mass will use heat and cooling more efficiently. You can benefit from thermal mass with more common masonry products like concrete or bricks as well.
Because cob bricks are stacked while they are still wet, you can sculpt them to give your walls a uniform look, to add artwork, or to carve shelves and nooks inside the walls. You can also build walls that have a curved shape. Thus, it is easy to personalize your home and give it gingerbread features that will make it quaint and useful.
Cob has been used for centuries as a building material, but it is becoming popular again as people look for green materials. Cob may start out as a dull brown building material, but with the right finish, you can make cob walls of any color. If you are looking for a way to make your home unique and earth friendly, look into building with cob.
For more information about masonry, contact a company like A1 Everlast Construction.