How to make shelves and nooks in cob walls

It is very easy to make nice corner shelves and nooks in a cob house. For this corner shelf we had to stab in some wooden steaks whilst the cob was wet. The steaks are pushed downwards in to the wall at a 45 degree angle. These steaks then hold the cob mixture up. Try…

How to fit a 1st floor in a cob house

If you are planning on building a cob castle with two floors, then you need a few extra techniques to hold that 1st storey in place. Here is a simple step by step guide showing you what to do as you approach the top of your ground floor walls. First of all you are going…

Why use ‘Deadmen’ in Cob Walls

Deadmen is the word used to describe the naily pieces of wood used inside cob walls to hold a variety of things to the walls. When building a cob wall you are probably going to want to stab many holes in the wall as you build, in order for the wall to dry evenly and…

Test Your Cob Mix

So you have tested your earth to see the sand and clay content, now you are going to need to do some tests once you have made the cob mix itself. The recommended quantities of sand and clay in a good cob mix are as follows: 75-85% sand 15-25% clay Water Long straw The quantities…

How to Level your House

As you start building up from the foundations you are going to need to keep an eye on your levels. A floor that is two centimetres too high for example can mean a LOT of wasted material when that 2cm is translated across the whole house. You are going to need a ‘story pole’ which…

How To Build a Cob House

Here are the stages I have seen whilst building a cob house in Brazil Most bio construction I have learned has been through Eco Caminhos, Nova Friburgo. Some photos are from our first building, and some from the second so apologies for the discontinuity. Both were constructed using similar if not the same techniques Architects designs…

Making Your Cob Walls Smooth before the Final Render

So once you have built the structure of your cob castle, you are probably going to want to make the walls smooth so that you can effectively apply your final, more water resistent render. I have written a post already about how we made our water resistent render using cow poo. I am writing this…

How to Fix a Damaged Cob Wall

A quick message before I begin, from a bioconstruction project in South Africa We’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to help finish building a training centre in early childhood development in one of the most dangerous suburbs in Cape Town. We are busy building a passive solar, earth sheltered building out of tyres, cob, compressed earth…

Stone Wall Foundations for a Cob House (with Lime Mortar)

Here at Eco Caminhos, Brazil, we have just started our second eco build. We are building an ecolodge in a beautiful location up in the hills near Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro. We started by digging the foundations down to the hard bedrock, sloping the foundation towards the edge of the hill to make sure…

Make a Natural, Breathable Limewash Paint

Preparing your paint is pretty easy. You just need your lime in a putty form before you start, this may mean soaking it for at least a month or just mixing your powder with water, depending which lime you use. Mix your pigment with warm water. You can make natural pigments using earth, charcoal, and…