The latest cob house designs

by ziggy on March 8, 2008 -- 3 comments -- Follow

In an earlier post about my cob cottage plans, I mentioned that I had some new design ideas. I’ve done some thinking about a new shape for the house, this latest (and perhaps final?) design being more like a spiral. (Or a scotch tape dispenser if you think about it.)

Check it out:

cob house floorplans

Originally, the design was more like a rounded rectangle, with the entrance in the southeast, opening directly into the room. This time, the door is in the northeast, opening into a curve of the house. This gives me a little space for shoes, jackets, etc., and it also means that people won’t immediately see the whole room upon entering. It’s a more gentle transition from outdoors this way. I’m pretty excited about this. It changes the feel of the whole building.

I also settled upon a reciprocal roof design. I don’t have an exact plan yet, but I have a good feel for how many beams I’ll need. I’ll probably get some oak wood poles from our land here if all goes well. Using a cart, I will transport these poles to my plot, and strip the bark before constructing the roof. I’m not totally sure what the layers above the poles will look like, but I’m still planning on having a living roof, probably with an EPDM membrane. EPDM is a type of synthetic rubber product, intended for waterproofing (ponds, for example). I should note that this product is the least exciting part of the roof construction. It’s a petroleum product. Unfortunately, I have not discovered any detailed instructions for creating a living roof without synthetic materials, but it must be possible since it’s been done in the past in places like Sweden. So instead of taking a gamble, I am going to be using EPDM, which is apparently very durable and has a long lifespan. Overall, I intend to use as few human-made, synthetic building materials in my cottage as is possible. EPDM is one exception, though.

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  • Dad

    It looks good I hope you are ready to do it

  • Congratulations!
    We saw you on the tour in the fall of 2007 and I think you were just working on the foundation. We moved into our cob cottage here in Fairfield IA this week and it feels really good. Our metal roof was a bit of a copout but it helped us get the house done in one building season. The steep pitch of our roof gives us a bedroom in the loft and that leaves the downstairs free for everything else. This winter I will be playing with reciprocal roof designs. Next time we will do the roof first which will make the building process less risky. Please contact us if you are ever up this way.
    All the best, Hap & Lin Mullenneaux

  • Thanks for the message, Hap! Will do.

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