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What is cob building?


Cob building

Cob and clay walls will form an important part of the new classroom at Castle Hill School.

But what exactly is cob, and how can it be used in building?

‘Cob’ simply means ‘lumps of earth’. Earth is the oldest building material in the world and there are many cob buildings around the UK. Lumps of moist earth (clay/sand mixed with straw) are formed with the hands, then pushed and smoothed into place, also by hand. This means that cob walls can be created in any shape and that anyone can learn the simple building techniques needed.

Benefits of building with cob

  • Cob is natural, safe and non-toxic
  • It is warm and strong and can withstand the elements in the UK climate
  • Cob lends itself to curved or organic shapes so is great for many creative building projects
  • Earth is a low-impact material – it can be sourced locally and does not require intensive production processes
  • It is easy to obtain and simple to build with, making it an accessible and inexpensive way to build

For more ideas, take a look at the blog of Michael Buck, who famously built his Oxfordshire cob home for just £150 just a few years ago!

Want to learn more?

Come along to our cob and clay building course in August and learn how to do it for yourself!

At Castle Hill School, we will be using cob to build cosy reading nooks for pupils to curl up with books. Whether you’re planning a simple outdoor structure or designing your eco home, or are simply curious about cob, our five-day hands on cob and clay course will give you the basic techniques and build your confidence.

Five day cob and clay building course

25 – 29 August 2014

Castle Hill School, Todmorden


For more information or to book a place, please contact us directly at info@greenstone-design.co.uk or phone us on 01706 813 777.

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