Saturday, December 2, 2006

Cob Homes

I am always on the lookout for innovative, earth-friendly projects and designs, especially on a local level. And here is one I am absolutely giddy green over...

I have to admit when I first heard of the term, "Cob Houses", I immediately thought of Bilbo Baggin's hobbit hole in Lord of the Rings. Those cute little ittybitty Olde World cottages made up of a low thatched-roof, small round-top doorways, and a grass covering... burrowed deep into a hillside. I wasn't far off from this image as the main architectural detail of the Cob house is essentially the use of earth materials. Yep, mud, dirt, soil, sand, straw, clay... tis true! Earth materials universally and readily available nearly everywhere we look...
Talk about reverting back to the basics! Interestingly, Cob was used as a building material in Canada by early immigrants from Britain. Thus, the concept has been around for centuries!

The term "green" is a common metaphor used to describe environmental consciousness and global responsiblity. Thank goodness, greener home building techniques and designs are becoming much more common and innovative this day and age. Beautiful round arches, sloping walls... and totally full of character. Cozy, cute, and creative Cobs!

There is a Cob home community, if you will, on Mayne Island B.C. They use earth and recycled materials to create their unique cotttage-style homes. And it is quite a site to visit in the summer when they allow public viewing.

I admire this type of environmental framework, and would love to live a much more simpler, greener, back-to-the-basics lifestyle. Hmmmm... live off of the land, in a house made from land. Sounds so magical, and oh so... right.

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