Sculpting A Home: New Article on Off The Grid News Describes Economic and Sustainable Housing Material

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A new article on Off The Grid News, Surprising Material for Home Construction, describes the many benefits of building with the natural building material cob. Benefits include low cost, sustainability, durability, and the ability to make a truly unique structure.

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Cob is extremely energy-efficient because it has high thermal mass, meaning it can soak up unwanted heat during the daytime and release it at night when outside temperatures cool down.

Building a sturdy, one-of-a-kind house involves thinking outside the box, literally. Buildings and houses in the United States have typically been constructed from wood which necessitates straight walls and right angle corners. However, a new article on Off The Grid News, Surprising Material For Home Construction, describes cob, a natural building material that allows the builder to create a sustainable house of any shape, not bounded by straight walls.

Cob is easily made from an even mixture of soil, clay, sand, water and straw. When dried, cob creates a durable and rocklike building material. It is so durable, in fact, that some buildings in Europe constructed with cob several hundred years ago are still being used today and data has suggested that the material could withstand earthquakes as well (http://housealive.org/natural-building/cob-building/).

Surprising Material For Home Construction describes how cob is also an excellent choice for those looking to live more economically and sustainably, stating, “Cob is extremely energy-efficient because it has high thermal mass, meaning it can soak up unwanted heat during the daytime and release it at night when outside temperatures cool down. Also, because cob homes are not angular and rigid, structural openings for windows can be carved in at the perfect orientation to take full advantage of indigenous sun angles (for the harvest of natural light and the sun’s passive solar heat).”

In addition to sustainability, cob houses are also incredibly cheap to make: good news in the housing market’s slow recovery (http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/18/real_estate/housing-recovery/index.html). The author comments, “Cob homes can be constructed for as little as a few thousand dollars, if the natural ingredients used to make the cob are obtained locally – which they almost always can be – and labor is supplied by the homeowner along with friends and family. Using recycled doors and windows and foundation materials like urbanite can cut costs even further.” While building with cob is labor-intensive, it requires little outside power input and the costs of manufactured materials is reduced dramatically.

In addition to their cost efficiency, cob houses are works of art because they are ultimately sculpted rather than built. It is easy to create sweeping curves or geometric patterns as the house is constructed, resulting in a truly unique and sustainable home.

Off The Grid News is an independent organization devoted to providing practical information about living today and in light of the future. The news team looks for the truth beneath the facts of the top news stories and how they will affect your life.

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Tony Belha
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