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  1. Hey all! Does anyone know who's living in or has access to Terence Mckenna's old house on the big island of Hawaii as seen here: Could it be his wife or Dennis? I would like to think his garden is still in good shape - Cheers!
  2. ALL ABOUT EARTH BUILDING Everything you need to know about making a house from the bounty of earth..... .. A work in progress Things i hope to fully cover in the future: Cob - DONE Strawbails Strong Adobe Mudbrick Sod (Sod Roof, Living Roof, Grass Roof, sod house) Rammed Earth Underground Homes Super Adobe .....Log Cabbins Cob and Straw & Adobe House Adobe building dated to 500BC There are many ways to build a structual sound house by using mud, two of the most discussed ways are using Adobe|Mud Bricks or using straw bails as bricks and then essentially rendering the inside and then outside with Cob, These two methods we will be mainly discussing here but feel free to discuss other methods of "Earth" building. Cob houses if left to dry properly last for a amazing length of time and have proven to out last traditional homes, there are homes around the world that are still functional today 300 years later... made from simple adobe bricks. A Simple Recipe: The same recepe for Adobe bricks is also used for Cob rendering. The mixture consists of Sand / Clay Soil / Straw. Mixing cob is very forgiving there is no real perfect ratio the earth tends to addapt, basically you want just a bit more sand then clay, and that's it..... The sand stops the clayish soily muddy bricks from cracking once they dry out, I find using straw in bricks help with keeping cracked peices together, but i believe traditional adobe bricks have no straw, straw is invaluable for think rendering. Traditionally all ingrediants would be added to a hole and the builder uses's there feet to mash and thoroughly mix the ingredients add water to achieve a clay like consistency, some soil will be wet and you will not need any water you do not want to over water your cob mixture. Making Bricks: If then making the Cob into bricks one can simply pack a "brick" mold made from wood with the mixture, compress it with hands, load the cob right in there, then take the mold off put that brick aside then go again, bricks need to be left in the sun with NO rain for 7 - 14 days.Adobe bricks have been created and work quite well only using Clay and Sand, The straw acts as a additional binding agent but isn't really necessarily when making bricks it only come's into its own when rendering for the straw assists the muddy mixture in sticking to the straw bails (or mud bricks) better. Making Plaster/Render: If using the cob for rendering a strawbail wall or anything use imediatly and store airtight, if airtight storage cant be achieved simply remix the cob with a little water, remember the best way to mix is with your feet and you get a nice detoxing foot mask at the same time^_^. A Fun Simple DIY Weekend COB project: A simple weekend project involving cob would be to make a cob lounge chair outside, simple design your chair using the "straw bails" size lego blocks, you can really let your imagination run wild including book shelf's and such inside the lounge, stack your bails in accordance to yoru design then render 1 good think layer onto the structor let dry then add a second think layor (for those who work in three's feel free to add a 3rd and let dry), the lounge can then be sprayed with a limewash or rendered with a lime plaster, rendered with a clay wash or simply left how it looks with the cob. Building a COB House: First you must choose do you intend to build with Adobe bricks or with strawbails and a cob render. You will also need to decide if you will stack your bricks or bails in a load bearing configuration or a non load bearing configuration, a load bearing stack is simply the above brick stacked in the middle of the two lower bricks like conventional brick laying. When building a cob house the most important thing for one to consider is the foundation. The other challenging part of the design process is the roof, for simplicity sake its highly recommended that you hand your mock up design over to a draftsman or even better a architect to draft the final design this will cost you about 30$ a hour including travel expenses, you will find many around Australia specialize in eco design, If you have trouble finding a architect i can refer you to one in northen NSW who has studied a lengthy eco-technology course in Arizona, US. To build your design will have to meet all Australian building and State building codes, you will also need your designed singed of by a engineer, the local town planner of your shire will happily answer any questions and you will find they are all willing to help get a cob house created in there area's, most are rather exited about the idea. Another option is to use sand bags filled with earth, stacked and then rendered with cob, much like the strawbail method, this is called "super adobe". ...TO BE CONTINUED -V Cob Pictures for Inspiration: Some of my favorite ^_^ (You goto have a living roof!!, there to coool).... Great articial's on Cob houses: http://www.tinyhouse...e-construction/http://greenbuilding...house-for-5000/ http://small-scale.net/yearofmud/ House Plans: http://www.solarhave...erStrawBale.htm http://www.tinyhouse...ny-house-plans/ http://small-scale.n...me-house-plans/ http://opensourceeco...iki/House_Plans http://www.worldchanging.com http://www.freegreen...ouse-Plans.aspx http://www.tinyhouse...ab-micro-house/ Cob How To Videos: http://ilovecob.com/ http://ilovecob.com/...e-wash-resource More info: And References: http://en.wikipedia..../Cob_(material)http://www.google.co...6JOitiQfPnpi4DA http://en.wikipedia....ki/Rammed_earth http://www.pequals.c.../making_cob.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudbrick http://en.wikipedia....le_construction http://www.google.co...1H6ffmAWa9sD-CQ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sod_house http://en.wikipedia....iki/Super_Adobe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe This is a ongoing thread i will be adding more to it while i create my dwelling on my property Consider it a place to store notes and disccuse methods. So lets talk about earth building, starting with COB and adobe bricks,... Do you like it?.. mud that is. do you live in a cob house? Do you plan on living in a cob house? -V