Cordwood with Cob Mortar is “Cobwood”

We had the distinct good fortune to participate in a Cordwood with Cob Mortar Workshop at Kinstone Permaculture Academy.  Building a Cobwood Entrance Center for the school was the order of the day.   A kidney-shaped grade beam had been put in place and the cobwood rises off a “gneiss” stone stem wall.

cobwood-workshop-8

The soil is first tested for clay content and the workability and firmness of the clay is determined by rolling a piece of clay for stiffness.  Note the sign which gives the cob mix proportions (2 sand, 1 clay, 1 sawdust, straw).

Cobwood workshop 14

 

Next the ingredients are mixed and stomped.  This can be a tedious process or a fun dance time:0)

Cobwood workshop 13

 

Cobwood workshop 12

A loaf of the cob mixture is laid down like a regular cordwood mortar bead.  However the cob mortar beads are thicker.  Here we are using 5 inches of cob on the inside and outside, with a 6″ insulation cavity.

Cobwood workshop 1

The walls rise similar to cordwood, except the cob will slump sooner, so the wall must be built one or two rows at a time.

 

Smiles are an integral part of natural building.

Cobwood workshop 3

This cobwood entrance center is an experimental build for the northern Midwest, as there are only a few examples of cobwood homes in this large geographical area.  Since cob is not a good insulator,we are combining it with an insulation cavity to see if it can be adaptable to our very cold winters (-30 degrees below zero).

Cobwood workshop 7

We will keep you apprised of our progress and how the building functions, winter and summer.

Cobwood workshop 5

The children make great cob mixers.

Cobwood workshop 6

Our plan is to keep track of the cob kiosk and see what we can offer/add to the increasing interest in cobwood construction.

Cobwood workshop 15

 

The stem wall is being built with gneiss stone.

Below, we laid down a lime bead to highlight the insulation cavity.  The sawdust insulation is mixed with lime to prevent insect infestation.

Cobwood workshop 8

Having the Kinstone Cordwood Chapel in the background is a valuable source of inspiration.

Cobwood workshop 9

If you have questions or comments, please email them to me at richardflatau@gmail.com  Follow this blog for further updates.

For more information on cordwood construction using many different types of mortar go to www.cordwoodconstruction.org

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s